SCH was selected as a participant in the parallel program at BIO 50: NOW, Biennial of Design in Ljubljana, Slovenia. We titled the event SKLJ14 which consists of two parts that connect the three participating organizations: Macedonian Cultural Society - Gallery MKD Ljubljana, City Creative Network (CCN) Skopje and ProstoRož, Ljubljana. ProstoRož is a public space initiative and our collaborator at the Skopje Creative Hub 2014. For many years the force behind BIO’s foundation was the ambition to establish design as an integral part of the industrial production of objects for a better everyday life. However, in a world driven by consumerism, oversaturated with products and projects, the goal of the design discipline shifts towards creating networks that ignite collaborative and community oriented initiatives, which was the main idea behind this year’s BIO50. The first event was a presentation of the SCH at the Gallery MKD Ljubljana focusing on the problems of public space, observed through the examples of different environments in Skopje. The event took the form of presentations and debates, where we presented projects of detection and reinterpretation of degraded public space that was discussed at Skopje Creative Hub 2014. The second event was titled Day of Open Spaces, organized by ProstoRož, that was at the same time mark of their 10 year anniversary. This event was an attempt to temporarily occupy abandoned construction sites, which are abundant in Ljubljana, and stand as a grim symbol for the failed speculative building developments. The idea of ProstoRož comes at a moment where these abandoned sites are being rethought by the local authorities and is building on their efforts to make these places publicly accessible. This initiative deepens the dialogue between the NGO’s and the city officials. A large number of NGO’s from Slovenia were invited, together with CCN from Macedonia to make a one day festival of presentations, culinary events, games and musical performances in one abandoned construction site. The event was also an opportunity to create a network and get to know all of the interesting work of the various NGO’s. CCN together with the Macedonian Cultural Society prepared a traditional Macedonian dish called Ajvar. It is made by many hours of roasting and processing peppers, usually conducted outdoors and rooted in the social milieu of Macedonia as a public ritual that takes place every autumn on the streets. Through this event we tried to contest the lack of such outdoor activities in Ljubljana, besides the high design quality of the public places.
Digital version of our book about Skopje Creative Hub 2014 - new content in public space