Summer School 2017 Visionary Lab: Urban Nightlife

Visionary Lab: Urban Nightlife

In this lab the participants try to improve the nightlife in cities by looking at it from various aspects. The aim is to create a manifest that would make nightlife better for everyone.

We started the lab on Tuesday afternoon by brainstorming different places and activities where and how people could spend their evenings in the city. Then we sorted them in different categories like culture, outdoors, playing and creating. Then we diveded into two groups and each group had three aspects to look at these places and activities from. Our group had the aspects of mobility, gender and health, and we were supposed to think about possible problems and solutions for them from the defined point of view. After some intense brainstorming we presented the solutions to the other group. It was a great way of acknowledging problems people might have that you don’t normally encounter yourself.

On Wednesday we paid a very interesting visit to a local culture center freiLand which promotes sustainability, equality and solidarity. The center is just a 10 minute walk from the central train station of Potsdam, and it combines very different iniatives, like workshops, ateliers, a club, a cafe and various NGOs, in one big former factory area. We heard about freiLand’s vivid history and the struggle to create a community for creative workers in Potsdam. We also heard about whole new concepts that haven’t yet landed in Finland,  for example an awareness team that takes care of peoples’ safety and wellbeing in a nightclub.

Thursday was the final day of the lab, so we had to come up with a result from the discussions and the excursion. We watched a short documentary about the diminishing club scene of London, which raised some new issues to consideration. After that we tried to think of the main points of our workshop and how to turn them into statements. It took a surprisingly long time to find the right words to use in the statement. Finally we ended up with 9 important points about nightlife.

Friday was our last day in the summer school so we presented the results of the workshops to the other groups. It was interesting to see how different kind of things the groups had created in these three days. After the presentations we also made a small exhibition so the other students of the University of Applied Sciences Potsdam could see the results of the summer school. The week was very interesting, it provoked a lot of new ideas and I made a lot of new friends from the same field of study from around the world.

-Ronja

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