A workshop for the co-design and construction of the furniture for the multifunctional spaces of the Rulli Frulli station at Finale Emilia (IT)
Is it possible to design and build new places of coexistence, rethinking public space from below and in an experimental way? Can we do so by including diversity? And can we, in doing so, open a debate on the unresolved issues of city life?
These are the questions that underlie Here Be Dragons, a project of urban reactivation and regeneration that has already taken place in 2019 in Santa Cruz de la Palma (Canary Islands) and in 2021 in Porto (Portugal).
Hic sunt Dracones is a project of urban reactivation and social integration, which is part of the process of the new Multifunctional Pole for the integration of people with disabilities in the workplace and the quality youth aggregation held from 28 March to 14 April at the construction site of the old bus station in Finale Emilia.
For this edition of Here Be Dragons, we collaborated with the boys and girls of the socio-labour workshop AstroNave_Lab, and the students of the Liceo Scientifico Morando Morandi of Finale Emilia and the volunteers of the APS ETS Rulli Frulli Lab, the reference figure of the new Multifunctional Pole. Our task was to build over 20 different pieces of furniture for the new Stazione Rulli Frulli, during a three-week workshop.
Watch the video-documentary of the workshop:
The project consists of three complementary phases:
1. “EMOTIONAL MAP”, a physical and temporal space that allows participants to get to know each other and immerse themselves in the project, inspired by the context. With the students of the Morando Morandi High School and the boys and girls of AstroNave_Lab, we discovered Finale Emilia, talking, photographing, drawing, cataloguing objects and architectural and natural details.
2. “COLLABORATIVE CONSTRUCTION”, the premise of which is, on the one hand, the study of the materials and tools available, on the other, the sharing of ideas and suggestions and the drawing up of the plans for the project. Our task for this workshop was to study and propose a construction system adapted to the workshop participants, and then to move on to the moment of construction, in which everyone participates, each with their own skills. In view of the characteristics of the AstroNave_Lab workshop and the boys and girls who work in it, the choice of materials fell on wood and water-based paints. We decided to work with only one type of wooden board, and to design and develop all the furniture from it.
3. The “CELEBRATION”, which creates a great expectation among the participants and contributes to create a more dynamic and participative create a more dynamic and participatory atmosphere within the learning environment. The aim of the project was not simply to provide the space of La Stazione Rulli Frulli – in particular the inclusive bar with its its dehor, AstroNave_Lab’s carpentry workshop and the multi-purpose room – with original and functional furniture.
What benefited from the initiative was not only the site itself, but above all the participants in the workshop, who acquired new transversal transversal skills, from emotional and relational to technical and manual ones, and have in fact contributed to building a part of the very community of which they are a part.
In particular, the boys and girls of Astronave Lab have come into contact with a different scale of design, but in respect of the techniques, tools and materials usually used. Hence the name given to the project: “Hic Sunt Dracones” indicated on the old maps our limit, but at the same time it it opened the horizon, making us sit on the edge of infinity.