City Eco Lab

We have started work in earnest on City Eco Lab, a ‘nomadic market of projects’ that takes place in November in St Etienne, France. The concept is simple: literally millions of people are active in projects which, in different ways, are the building blocks of one planet living. These projects deal with different aspects of daily life: food, water, energy, mobility, school, and economy. But many of these projects are invisible, even locally. So it can feel, depressingly, as if nothing is happening. City Eco Lab, by making some of these projects visible to the wider populace, starts people talking about ways they might be improved – or about doing similar projects themselves. The live projects we are researching from the St Etienne region (it’s an hour right from Lyon as you head south) will be shown side-by-side with best practice projects from other parts of the world. There will also be a tool shed with resources to help people improve their projects: tools for designing, tools for modelling and making things, tools for monitoring local flows, tools for finding and sharing resources.In the middle of this market (it’s in a 5,000 square metre former gun factory) will be a campfire zone for encounters between citizens, project leaders, tool makers, and designers. The event is hosted by the St Etienne Cite du Design; its designers are Exyzt and Gaelle Gabillet. Yes, we do want your suggestions for best-practice projects to show next to the St Etienne projects: for now, a short email, a weblink and a pic will suffice: john [at] doorsofperception [dot] com.

Biennale Internationale Design 15-30 November 2008, Saint-Etienne.

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