#26 Between buildings: Landscape, Public space, Environment

Community Spaces

Why the talk is inspiring?

Although the responsibility for the design, its delivery and maintenance of urban open spaces in most cases fall under the scope of local authorities and hoards of professionals working for them, we, the city dwellers, guests and strangers, are the ones who use them. This talk, dedicated to two outstanding community-led projects – Miesto Laboratorija in Vilnius and Šilainių Sodai in Kaunas, will centre on urban spaces that are initiated, created and looked after by local communities. During the evening we will discuss what rights to urban space do local residents and communities hold and question if bureaucratic structures and professional omniscience is always capable to assess the different and differing needs of the ones who use urban spaces.



Agnė Gaisrė, Evelina Šimkutė

How the speaker is exceptional?

For last 15 years Agnė Gaisrė has been working in non-governmental sphere. She is an advocate of gardening in urban spaces, or even in one’s balcony, and leads the courses related to it. In 2015 together with a team she founded the educational community centre Miesto Laboratorija.

Miesto Laboratorija is a team of initiative community members who established and have been operating the modern and environment-friendly educational community centre Miesto Laboratorija in Antakalnis neighbourhood in Vilnius. Here the green initiatives and practices that are easily applicable in a busy life of every city dweller are presented and nurtured.

Inspired by environmental protection culture from Amsterdam, Berlin and Copenhagen, we aim to spread these ideas among our local community and promote sustainable living, responsible use of environmental and energy resources and urban gardening.

The members of Miesto Laboratorija are united by their passionate engagement with environmental protection, effective energy use, creation of sustainable society, and many other similar themes.

Evelina Šimkutė is an artist and cultural producer working with socially engaged art and creative placemaking practices. Since 2015 Evelina is leading ‘Šilainiai Project’ – creative platform in housing estate of Šilainiai, Kaunas, which focuses on active engagement with the site and local community through a variety of creative processes – collaborative archives, workshops, artist residencies, talks and events.

In 2018, together with sustainability practitioner Rūta Lukošiūnaitė she has started working with Šilainiai urban gardening community and established a project Šilainių Sodai (Šilainiai Urban gardens). The project aims to work together with Public Institution Kaunas Fortress Park in joint efforts to adopt Kaunas Fort No. 8 for community needs, encouraging healthy living, physical exercise and meaningful activities for local community members.



Social Design Cookbook. Recipes for social Cooperation

Attila Bujdosó

Why the book is worth reading?

The Social Design Cookbook, co-authored by designers and researchers from Finland, Hungary and the Netherlands, aims to uncover what it takes to design successful social cooperative systems – processes, organisations and societies.

The book showcases international examples of successful, sustainable and replicable formats of social cooperation such as Freesound, Restaurant Day and the Long Night of Museums.