Research Workshop: OPSIO CITY WORKSHOP

Project Founders: Fabrizio Cocchiarella, Judith van den Boom

Research Collaboratory: Bas Kools, Gunter Wehmeyer, Theo Konijnenburg, Joe Hartley, Sally Titterington and support of others.

Through a 2 day workshop linking with the New Generation: Design for Living Symposium students from BA(Hons) Three Dimensional Design, MA Landscape Architecture and Product Design students from ArtEz Institute of the Arts, Arnhem, Netherlands, have been working as multi-disciplinary Design labs exploring notions of encountering the city. Students have been researching, testing and designing OPSIO sensing instruments that interpret and propose future scenarios in response to Pomona Island. The workshop took place at InSitu Architectural Salvage in Hulme. 

The ancient Greek word OPSIO means behind or back, but refers not to the past but to the future. Early Greek imagination envisaged the past and the present as in front of us, something that we can see. The Future was viewed as invisible, meaning that we are walking blind, backwards into the future. (Bernard Knox, ‘Backing into the Future’ 1994)

Acknowledging the city as a transitory state, with its fast information and digital nature, citizens move through the city landscape overlooking the past, present and future state of the places they embark. In today’s age there is a danger we are losing our physical connection, sensory nature and wayfinding in our cities. The project OPSIO CITY enabled a cross-disciplinary investigation into tangible cultural and critical experiences. Using Pomona Island as our inspiration students collect, analyse, interpret and explore social, historical, inter-generational and cultural stories to translate our ever changing multi layered city. Students used materials as interfaces to translate ideas into objects, experiences and interventions that convince the city’s citizens to embrace a new method for living. Workshops were based on location between Insitu, Phoenix House and Pomona Island.

On the first evening of the 2 day workshop students gave an informal presentation of their 1st day’s progress in a ‘Show and Tell’ at the Pilcrow Pub, linking with participants of the New Generation: Design for Living Symposium.

Workshop Video -