Governors Island, New York, sign 'LAND! Pioneers of Change' by Experimental Jetset
A Repairing Manifesto, six-feet-long needles knitting sheep wool into a huge rug, the possibilities of urban farming in New York and an original Slow Food café (image below) are projects of Pioneers of Change, a group of Dutch designers exhibiting their latest work in new York. No one less than Renny Ramakers, co-founder and director of the Dutch conceptual design company, Droog, curated the show, exhibited in and around 11 officer's houses. Take a walk around and discover a different kind of luxury; that of space, fresh air, respect, caring, silence, slowness and time. Here's what we liked:
Heleen Klopper's Wool Filler
Upon entering House 6A:Harlem / Haarlem, we found Platform 21's Repair Manifesto pinned on the wall, and couldn't agree more with it favouring repair over throw-away. In the first room, people sat around a huge wooden table chatting, and repairing woollen sweaters simply by sticking felt into the holes with needles. Designer Heleen Klopper's technique is called Wool Filler, and the results are fun patches of colourful shapes where moths had once eaten. Another repair station is Adobe Wallpaper, by Daan van den Berg. The designer decided to create a Dutch souvenir in the form of a sort of plaster for damaged walls. His patched of colourful transfers, inspired by traditional Dutch wallpaper, can be applied to a damaged area of a wall, creating instant history.
If after the repairing actions you feel hungry, visit Droog's Slow Food café in House 8A: Bloomingdale / Bloemendaal and let yourself be served by elderly people of New York. Here, tea bags are sewn on the spot, the menu is embroided and food miles play an important role. The ingredients coming from a distant place are served in tiny portions, and local food is dished out generously. A nice way to appreciate slowness, and food of course.
Droog's Slow Food café. Photo by Sergio Carratalá
Of course the Dutch architects 2012Architecten were present, inspiring people to use local building left-overs to do something new, very much along the same line as Recyclicity and Superuse, an online community (and book) where everyone interested in design and reuse can sent in stories, designs, etc. You can watch the Superuse documentary and the project called Harvest Map in House 7B: Flushing / Vlissingen.
MVRDV also kept it local and decided to explore the possibilities of urban farming in New York. Watch the graphic screenings in House 7A: Bushwick / Boswijck, and see if it is at all possible to reduce the distance between cities and their food. On the lawn outside, we discovered designer Martin Azua's Plaited Fence, which invites you to participate in its design by weaving your unwanted plastic bag into the structure to create a colourful fence.
As it explains on the exhibition's web site, Pioneers of Change encourages a more responsible and sustainable approach to living. The event celebrates the blurring of low- and high-brow, establishing new collaborations, encouraging involvement and valuing handcraft and the local context. The show can be visited September 11-13 / 18-20 2009 in and around eleven officers' houses at Nolan Park on Governors Island in New York. ::Pioneers of Change