| 07-09/24-09 Research Report
Creating a starting point This chapter is a overview of the first week of the Next Door / Quartier project. The project revolves around the (in)famous Brabantwijk in Brussels. The Brabantwijk is a so called disadvantaged urban area in which social cohesion between ethnicities is very low. The goal of the project is to find a way how design can contribute to learning from each other across ethnic borders. During the first week the project group was required to do research on a) similar projects, b) experts relevant to the project, c) similar neighborhoods and d) reading provided literature.
Similar Projects Researching similar projects is a good way of finding out what ‘common denominators’ are when dealing with disadvantaged urban areas. Two members of the project team were both involved in the project ‘My Cup of Tea’ which dealt with coffee and tea rituals across cultures. The process of research was analyzed for both projects in order to find a useful approach for this project.
My Cup of tea Arabic Coffee Ritual For the ‘My Cup of Tea’ project the project group researched the Arabian coffee ritual. This was done by researching along with the persons of expertise, the Arabians. By visiting an Arabic shop in Woensel and talking about the recipe and how to prepare the coffee the group could start brewing Arabic coffee themselves. Subsequently a visit was paid to Rotterdam to an Arabic coffee house where a host prepared and poured the coffee. Through talking with experts about the process, experiencing the authentic process and recreating the process ourselves a deeper understanding about the origins and reasoning behind this coffee ritual was created.