The first workshop of the Youth 4 Bauhaus project was called Design Think Your City Košice. In September, we hosted 40 young people in Košice. Students from Košice, Braga, Bucharest, and Ghent took part in seminars, workshops, discussions, and presentations on the topics of urban planning and public spaces.
We introduced students to the New European Bauhaus (NEB) concept, whose effort is to build a beautiful, sustainable and inclusive future. They learned to collaborate, co-create, tolerate each other, listen to the opinions of others, and present their ideas. In addition, they also acquired digital skills and tried to implement their sustainable solutions for communities in Košice in the virtual space of the computer game Minecraft.
Even young people must be heard
Our effort was to fulfill one of the goals of the Youth 4 Bauhaus project: to show that young people also have an important position in the cities in which they live and that their ideas about the used spaces, opinions, and suggestions can be heard and they can work on important tasks, too—for example, designing a city.
On the first day of the workshop, they got basic information about the NEB, took a tour of the public space in Košice, and got as much information as possible about it. Since all 4 participating cities are connected by a river, they got to know the surroundings of the Hornád River.
On the second day, students completed a co-creation workshop. We tried to use creative methods that guide young people not only to create and present their ideas but also to be able to search for common solutions, negotiate, assert themselves, find compromises and accept the needs of others. Together, they tried to design options for improving the public space around the Hornad river.
Later, they had a discussion with the representative of the city, Martin Jerguš from the ÚHA, who informed them about what interferes with the decision-making process in the implementation of the project and about the project of the New City Center Košice – Hornád.
Minecraft – a virtual tool for real solutions
We were looking for relevant and tangible tools, thanks to which young people would see that even their solutions can have a real form and usability for the city. The tools of the computer game Minecraft have become a way to introduce young people to the possibilities of planning and designing a city. The third day of the workshop was about urban planning, and computer scientist and lecturer Liliana Carrillo from Belgium’s CollectiveUP introduced them to the possibilities of the Minecraft game.
The students introduced and presented their proposals on the last day of the meeting at a public event in Kasárne/Kulturpark.
We shared our common needs and challenges
An important moment during the workshops was that the students tried to look at the public space from the perspective of local residents, but also as “foreigners” who have never been here. Not only 40 young people, but also organizers, partners, teachers – fulfilled one of the ideas of the New European Bauhaus Initiative – to perceive the needs of all population groups. We also hosted students with special needs, hearing disabilities or autism, so we could give young people their experience of public space, and together they could share their needs. They learned what challenges they face and what solutions need to be considered when designing the city.
Partnerskými organizáciami v projekte je okrem CIKE je Teatro Circo de Braga, mestská kultúrna spoločnosť so sídlom v Brage, Portugalsku, ktorého úlohou je stmeľovať a riadiť kultúrne dianie v meste a regióne. Ďalším z partnerov je GEYC, rumunská mládežnícka organizácia so sídom v Bukurešti. Ich poslaním je podporiť mladých ľudí, aby vytvorili pozitívnu zmenu vo svojej komunite. Štvrtým partnerom je CollectiveUP, Belgická sociálna spoločnosť so sídlom v belgickom Gente. Zaoberá výskumom zameraným na vytváranie metód a technológií, z ktorých majú úžitok jednotlivci a kolektívy. Pridruženým partnerom projektu je Stredná priemyselná škola stavebná a geodetická v Košiciach, odkiaľ pochádzalo 10 slovenských zúčastnených študentov.
In addition to CIKE, the partner organizations in the project are Teatro Circo de Braga, a municipal cultural society based in Braga, Portugal, whose task is to agglutinate and manage cultural events in the city and region. Another partner is GEYC, a Romanian youth organization based in Bucharest. Their mission is to support young people to create positive change in their community. The fourth partner is CollectiveUP, a Belgian social society based in Ghent, Belgium. It deals with research aimed at creating methods and technologies that benefit individuals and collectives. The associated partner of the project is the Secondary Technical School of Civil Engineering and Geodetic in Košice, where the 10 participating Slovak students came from.
Together with our partners, we are preparing several more workshops in partner cities. You can read more about the Youth 4 Bauhaus project and other activities on the project page.
Project is co-funded by European Union.