MA at HDK ,Social Intervention project 2017
From the first human settlement in the area of Goteborg, the life had been much related with the water, both with the sea and the canal. In the 1621 the when the city was founded, the area sounding the perimeter was a large a swamp.
The ancient configuration of the territory is still visible on the toponymy of areas like: Gullbergvass (central station), Tindstandvassen or Lundybyvasse. The suffix “-vass" which literally means “-reed” in Swedish, is the evident trace that the reed had been a legitimate inhabitant of the territory before the human took its place. From this consideration I went to look for the last reed inhabitant of the city in order to give them a new recognizable right to survive. I made so this water plant the steak older of my design intervention.
From early beginning my purpose was to analyze the value of a material, I started my research questioning what is making a material “local” and how it can effects people living in a specific place. I soon understood that I could change my human centered prospective, by taking in account the point of view of a no-human substance and its habitat.
To let the reed survive inside and outside the urban landscape, it is necessary that the community reconsider the value of the plant itself. A symbiotic cycle, that guarantee the survival of plants by using it for our needs, will have a positive impact on the territory .This plant has a cyclical seasonal growth, and it can provide a renewable useful material for human purposes. While the human (collecting the steam when the plant is not in a vegetative state) can help to prevent the formation of parasites and to give more strength to the roots. Moreover the plant, that occupied not used water spaces, has beneficial effects on all the area. The Reeds are natural regulator of the cleaning of the water and a shelter in the warm season for many spices of birds.
With my project I wanted to point out how a mutual interaction between human and reeds can achieve an interesting result. As a designer, my role was not just to design the furniture, but also design the relationship between humans and local materials through objects.