Local participation session

Tuesday 21st of August
14:00 – 17:00
LUCA School of Arts, Campus C-mine, Genk

The Participatory Design Conference (PDC) 2018 is looking for conference attendees to think/work with local communities with their issues of participation during one afternoon. On Tuesday 21st of August (14-17h) , we will organise a ‘Local Participation Session’ in which two local organisations will present their project and related participation issues they are currently dealing with.

The selected local projects/organisations are:

Dirk Habils (Stad Genk), Petra Pferdmenges (Alive Architecture), Nik Baerten and Virginia Tassinari (Pantopicon), Liesbeth Huybrechts (UHasselt)
La Biomista

La Biomista is a city development project, which is integrated in the former mining district of Zwartberg (Genk),  and a collaboration between the city of Genk and the internationally renowned artist Koen Vanmechelen.  The elaboration of La Biomista will bring a new dynamic in the neighbourhood and hopefully will generate a positive effect on the social economic development of the Koning Boudewijnlaan (former shoppingstreet in decline). During this session we want to reflect on the way inhabitants can be involved/challenged in this process of social economical revaluation  After a short introduction of and confrontation of insights from the La Biomista and the ParckFarm case , we will engage participants hands-on with one challenge in detail – in this case La Biomista site – by means of the LABkit, a discussion tool designed to enable multiple stakeholders to lay the groundwork for an urban lab together, will be utilised to both raise questions and explore potential answers.

Carolien Schalenbourg and Geert Derwael (‘t Sjokkepoeike)
‘t Sjokkepoeike

‘t Sjokkepoeike (swing horse) is a small day-care center with parental participation in Hasselt, founded in 1976 on the initiative of a number of parents who were dissatisfied with the care of children at that time. Although parental participation is a key issue of the crèche, quite a few thresholds hinder this participative approach. Some key questions that will be discussed: how to get parents to participate more actively; how to convey the participatory vision of ‘t Sjokkepoeike; how to involve vulnerable families, etc.


Tessy Gorris and Sandy Claes (Veerkrachtige Dorpen)
’t WERFT@Heist-op-den-Berg en Veerkrachtige Dorpen
The challenge of triggering people’s interest in participatory processes in small villages and municipalities

‘t WERFT en Veerkrachtige Dorpen are participatory projects that aim to involve communities in the future of their environment. ‘t Werft designs and develops a neighborhood area near the railway station of Heist-op-den-Berg. The objective is to gain support of the local inhabitants, the local youth movement (i.e. Chiro) who have their facilities on the site, and of the nearby school which is attended by about 1.500 students. We have involved all of them to create a place where they all feel welcome. The objective of the project is to design a multifunctional place that supports the creation of a community. As the open space is decreasing in the municipality, it is important to create an efficient design that takes leisure, play and high quality green elements into account.

We start with a short introduction about the participatory approaches in the two projects, which includes using the MAP-it methodology, both on paper as on-site. Afterwards, we want to discuss a key challenge in this type of trajectories in smaller villages and municipalities, namely the often low interest of citizens  in these contexts to participate in giving form to their environment.  How can you trigger more people’s interest to participate? And, when they are engaged, how do you keep the momentum? Projects have several phases – how can you keep them engaged throughout the project?  How do you stimulate ownership?

If would like to discuss/work with one of the above mentioned projects, please send a mail with the project of your choice before July 15, 2018 to participation@pdc2018.org. Notification of acceptance: end July, 2018.

Katrien Dreessen, Andrew Vande Moere and Antonella De Angeli
Participation chairs PDC 2018