During this case study students did research into many different topics. To summarise this research, we developed three theories:
At the beginning of mankind, communities were greatly based around physical space. When the first religious groups came about, communities became connected in a spiritual way as well. Having been invented in the 50’s the computer became a piece of technology that was inhabited by different communities. Starting around the second decade of the 2000’s a sense of longing for more personal connections has brought about a wish for the integration of digital, spiritual, and physical communities.
Communities are created through the combination of aspects on the spiritual, physical, and digital spectrum. Spiritual communities congregate around a shared belief or idea about life. Physical communities come together because they share the love of a given place, background, or because they simply ended up being in close physical proximity to others in the same group.
Digital communities are together in spirit in the sense that they communicate online, through digital devices and within a physical-digital space.
From the dawn of mankind, people have been drawn to the creation of communities in order to survive. With the rise of industrialisation, people became fonder of individuality. We are now reaching a period where our high- tech culture is rediscovering the value of the global as well as local community.
At the beginning of this project we asked ourselves what a community is. After researching and experimenting we realised that we were not aiming to define what a community is per se but were trying instead to under- stand how a community works.
We concluded that communities are backbones of society and are found in every shape and form. We realised that a community can be temporary, forced, accidental, or even unwanted. The definition of what a community is depends on the community itself and the way people associate with it. There is little virtue in attempting to define what exactly a community is or endeavouring to lay down ground rules that force the creation of a community.
In the early days of our case study, we all sat down with our tutor, Irene Müller, and discussed the importance of rituals. Irene suggested to sit in a circle, close our eyes and make few noises to exercise our existence towards each other. Somebody suggested that each school day we bring in a present to exchange with others and discuss themes of possessions and belongings. Participating in these rituals brought us together.
After doing research on different community types we moved towards experimentation. Some students were interested in activating public spaces by means of different experiments while others focussed on testing theories on themselves.
D/DOCK, our client, and the symposium helped us to experience how theory can be put into practice, how to receive and utilise feedback from critics, interact with other people in public space, examine our perceptions towards community and test our willingness to share and to interact. Finally, we decided to visualise our perception by making a documentary about what we have learned about community. The symposium helped us to look back and reorganise our information before we exhibited our work.
During this last year we have come to understand how a community works by building one ourselves. Using the case study as a backbone, we experimented on ourselves and played with different aspects of co-existence.
We found that one of the essential ingredients of a community is willingness. When we are willing to communicate with others, share with others and interact with others, we forge bonds that last. We are constantly trying to find ways of bringing people together to make this willingness present within our communities. In the process of building up our case study, we created and tested many ways of communicating with each other.
We created rituals like making daily sketches that we shared on Instagram and wrote blogs to share our research. We experimented with space and groups; we had a picnic at the train station, lived everywhere, did yoga together, planted herbs in canteen, lived in the train for a day, and drew our ideal working space. By building up a compendium of methods and theories, we tried to make public space attractive as well as active for people, in order to share knowledge, share space, and ultimately, connect people.
The publication of this Case-Study can be found on ISSUU: https://issuu.com/home/published/case-study_7.0.2018_issuu