Back to the Future!
Discovering the past can teach how to make better use of our future.
Where do things come from? Indeed, the ultimate answer, cosmologists argue, may be the Big Bang. Yet, in everyday life, we become more and more accustomed to the use of many items we have forgot the origin of. The complex, fluid society that we shape and shapes us in turn, does not allow any simple answers, and disorients anyone who seeks to identify causes and consequences of things. Thus, many objects seem to lose their stories.
In the previous article, we discussed how objects may find new life, and how their future stories depend on our awareness of their potential. Now, let us do the opposite…
Two Dutch schools from Amsterdam and Castricum engaged with the exploration of their respective neighbourhoods’ laboratories, trying to reestablish some connection not only between theoretical and applied knowledge, but also between the classroom and the surrounding areas. Not only did this experience raise awareness of the efforts that hide behind everything we use, but sought to safeguard the endangered secrets of artisanship. Craftsmen of various kinds were visited, from woodworkers to mushroom farmers, and students were always able to transform their formative activity into productive contributions to the work of these craftsmen.
However, the best part is yet to come… A group of students from the Castricum school is now working on the development of a 3D map of the town’s activities, with the aim of producing a local makers tour. This way, the students may just become the pioneers of a wider projects that, started from the classrooms, can be of great benefit to anyone who is interested in discovering something more about the place they happen to be in.
Photograph: …and mapping.