Networks of Care - improving the quality of the social environment in the Bovisa district

Day 1: Reflections on why the Bovisa neighborhood is living a social hiatus with the Politecnico campus, and the reasons behind the overall unpleasant feeling you live in the area. Many ideas, focusing on three themes: food, a gathering place and knowledge sharing. Highlight: the strong necessity for the concept to bring high utility to all the stakeholders involved (students, Bovisa dwellers, local workers/artisans).

Day 2: Decision to open up the focus, in order not to restrain to only the “venue” idea. Discussion on initiatives of social cohesion and networking we were aware of. After this, come back to the first idea, and refinement: not just a place for exchanging ideas, life experiences and knowledge, but also a relaxing , informal and cozy working space.

Moment of stop and ideas recollection after the review with the professors: need of getting the focus back and to separate the working and the mere “socializing” side. Choice of a place that could be a reference for the neighborhood, opened longer than existing shops (maybe 24 hours), giving employment to locals, and access to a multifunctional working space for students. Possibility of eating, drinking, chatting, finding printers, tools and various working materials.

Day 3: In depth plunging into the definition of our idea. Separation of the group in two units: graphic design one, to prepare the material for the video, and on-the-field interview one, to gather insights for the refinement of the concept. Brief brainstorming for deciding the name, which remains a surprise for now. Stay tuned!

Day 4 : Video link

Your personal experience?

Welcome to edgeryders @7koalas , nice to meet you.

Interesting way of phrasing it, “social hiatus”. I am wondering if you have your own memory of feeling strange or unease, or lonely in a situation. How long have you been living in the neighborhood?

For me and my colleagues in Edgeryders, being new to a city like Brussels (we live here but we are all expatriates) definitely risked feeling loney or unfit. It made us reconsider our lifestyle habits and become more social in our own living environment, through trying co-housing. The reason it works is that we are both designers and subjects of the experiment, so we only designed what we are willing to do. Have a look at the story we posted and feel free to comment there or here… do you socialize or create bonds with people in Bovisa outside your student circle or friends? if yes, great. if no, what are the constraints at the personal level?