The Woensel West Project
Welcome to Edisonstraat
Walking through the Edisonstraat is like walking through an inhabited mound of terminal architecture. At a first sight, nothing seems out of the ordinary. There are people taking care of their front gardens, children play in the courtyards, shopkeepers attend their long-term businesses. Most inhabitants seem unaware of the fact that their environment is about to change drastically. The neighborhood of Woensel West, an area developed by the electronics firm Philips for its employees in the early 19th century, is currently managed by Trudo. This cooperation is responsible for the redevelopment of the neighborhood and many of the existing houses are going to be demolished. It signals the end of an era where social housing is supported by the government.
For her project, Julieta Garcia Vazquez together with residents will select a house in the neighborhood that is on the verge demolition; this house will be completely conserved and moved to another location. The process of demolition, transportation and reconstruction serves as a metaphor for the process of urban renewal and the social movements it creates.
The Van Abbemuseum has invited the Argentinean artist Julieta Garcia Vazquez to create a social artwork which deals with this transformation of an exemplary 19th century neighborhood in Eindhoven. With her project, Garcia Vazquez wants to highlight the impact on the lives of the current inhabitants of massive demolition and renovation of social housing. Not only the houses, but also the memories and the stories of the inhabitants are on the verge of disappearing.
The house that will be selected for conservation and transportation, will receive a new location and owner: the Eindhoven Museum â€“ a local museum which focuses on cultural heritage from Eindhoven. The house, with an interior designed together with people from the neighborhood, will be open for the public. The goal is to create with objects, documentary material and collected stories the collective memory of the neighborhood and let it reflect into a permanent monument which remembers the lives of all those people who lived in the Philips workers houses in the 20th century in Eindhoven. With a simple but poetic gesture the history and cultural identity of Woensel West is saved for future generations.
The Living Room of Woensel West Julieta’s project is developed for and by the people in the area. In the first phase, which started in 2012 and carries the title ‘De Huiskamer van Woensel West’, she went from door to door to collect objects – typical Woensel West items, which all together, furnished a ‘Woenselse’ living room. The living room has developed into a cosy and comfortable place, which people use as it was their own living room. Every week, several
meetings take place: dinners, art workshops, knitting courses, round table talks. The living room forms Julieta’s base in the neighborhood – it represents the communal feeling that the inhabitants of the area share and express the need they feel to get involved into something that touches upon their own lives, probing them into action.
The ‘shopping cart’ which Julieta Garcia Vazquez used to collect items for the living room
The living room is not only a visual archive of the neighborhood, but also a social meeting place where lots of activities take place.
Another event organized by the Huiskamer, was the Pracht en Prul event. Here, people could ask experts to evaluate their object, just like the famous TV programme.
Left to right: Rob Nendels, chairman Woensel West Geschiedenis Groep; Rutger Hensen, autodidact antiques expert; Luc Eekhout, director Eindhoven Museum
The most beautiful House In 2013, cultural historical research will start after summer. The building history concerning the neighborhood will be researched in order to be able to select the most interesting property for conservation. The Regionaal Historisch Centrum Eindhoven â€“ regional historical centre - will serve as a source of information concerning interiors of houses, with original features like wooden floors and stained glass windows.
Inhabitants of the area will participate of the research, sharing documents pictures from personal archives, organizing meetings and inteviewing former residents. The result of the research will point to a selection of houses which can be considered for conservation.
Dreaming of Woensel West The research phase will continue with several workshops, which will be developed together with people in the neighborhood and students of the Design Academy Eindhoven. They will focus on different concepts for the interior of the house. A central question is, if it is possible to determine an identity for the ‘Woenselenaar’ and a collective memory for the neighborhood. The results of the workshops will be developed by students of the Design Academy into schedules, statistics and infographics; products that will be used to select the final design of the interior of the house.
unique identity of the ‘Woenselenaar’ but that this area forms a complex amalgam of different identities and ways of living. This will be, of course,
Objects, materials and colors will be matched to values, chosen by the inhabitants. This will result in a hilarious interior with too small or too large objects in unusual colors and materials. It will become clear that there is no
also visible in the conserved house which will be transported to the Eindhoven Museum – it will represent the lives, dreams and wishes of the inhabitants but also witness a special culture and its development.
2013 Announcement of the project in the neighborhood
Historical Research (Eindhoven Museum - The Woensel West Historcal Group)
December WKSP 6
WKSP 4 WKSP 5
Selection of The House that is going to be preserved
Production (collection, building and commision) of the Objetcs and Furniture for the Interior of the House
WKSP 2 WKSP 7
January WKSP 6
Design of the survey that will define the Interior Design of The House
March Realization of The Survey In the Neighborhood
Demolition of Phase 1 Preservation of the House
June Displacement and Relocation Of the House in Eindhoven Museum
Translation of the Survey into Fomal Strategies and selection of the objetcs for the Interior of The House
How to understand the world through a Phillips Microscope Company towns and Social Housing. Rethinking Dutch identity through urbanism
My own private collection An introduction to curatorial strategies for your home and street window
Temporary Museums Guided tours to neighbor's houses carried out by the owners. Personal stories, selection of objects, use and distribution of space
Implacement and Displacement The Adherence of the Group to Its Location
Restoration as re-writing How to re activate history through contemporary interventions A practical workshop about creative interventions on historical lefovers Altervative archives Ways to preserve memory without images. Research on textures, smells, colors and sounds that builds an identity How to create an impossible categorizations Jorge Luis Borges and The Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge Writing workshop for children. About Arbitrary, fantastic and impossible categorizations
Contact information: In the fall of 2014, the house will be moved to the Eindhoven Museum. Inside the house, an extensive programme will be on offer with different workshops, meetings and courses for the inhabitants of Woensel West as well as the visitors of the museum. For more information about the project and in which ways you can contribute or participate, you can contact Daniel Neugebauer (email@example.com) or Luc Eekhout (firstname.lastname@example.org).
By Julieta Garcia Vazquez