‘Making’ with people. Week 2: We’re sharing, caring and very daring!

WOW what a week!  First Jose empowered us to ‘make’ our city with technology and now I’m encouraging everyone to ‘make’ our cities with people. We’re experimenting with “Dynamically Connecting” people and places through dynamic transportation and community connections.

Day 6 – Wednesday 4 July is entitled ‘Beyond profit… Dare to share’

Thanks to the latest technologies collaborative consumption is on the rise. Collaborative Consumption describes the rapid explosion in swapping, sharing, bartering, trading and renting being reinvented through the latest technologies and peer-to-peer marketplaces in ways and on a scale never possible before. This theme will allow people to experiment with sharing activities and to involve people in courageous acts of collaboration. We will be seeking out suggestions and solutions to ‘survive and thrive’ through financial crises, climate change and crisis events such as floods and earthquakes. Day 6 is action packed with some of my personal highlights include:

  • For 16 years Heidemarie Schwermer has been living without money, without her own home and with only a few possessions just by sharing. Heidemarie is going to host a “Give and Take Table’ accompanied by a series of conversations about her philosophy on sharing.
  • With our local collaborators ‘Trial and Error’ we are going to spend the day experimenting, testing and trailing collaborative consumption principles; sharing and swapping skills, ideas, connections, time and our ‘stuff’. I can’t wait!
  • Join us as we walk around Prenzlauer Berg to understand how the Internet and our eBay culture are affecting our streets, our neighbourhoods, our cities, our freight systems and our post offices. We’ll be having conversations and posing many questions such as: Do we need a local Internet shop in every neighbourhood? Will shopping in cities become anonymous? How will urban freight transport change if we borrow more? and How will architecture respond to address the changes in sharing?

Day 7 ­ Thursday 5 July we’re ‘Talking Tourism’ 

Join us as we explore the positive effects and risks of tourism.  What is the future of tourism in Berlin and cities around the world? How can we diversify tourism and how can we make tourism more resilient?

  • Manda Brookman and Marja VanLoef from One Planet Tourism – who are currently travelling by train from Cornwall to Berlin! – will be facilitating a two-part tourism masterclass. We’ll discussing and experimenting with understanding sustainable, ethical and responsible tourism; social, economic and environmental limits of tourists; networking, communication, engagement and Positive Deviance; engaging others in solving issues and how to avoid greenwashing
  • Our field trip ‘Spectacles’ will involve a grand tour of the heavy hitters of guided tours. This bicycle ride visits the classical tourist locations such as the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column but the spectacles only serve as clichéd backdrops for this series of unconventional presentations, for example, over poisonous Peruvian frogs, extrasensory perception or medieval headwear. Jump on board!
  • Plus I’ve asked our wonderful Lab Blogger Christine to tell us about her recent holiday… crossing the Atlantic aboard a container ship. That’s a trip that I want to do!

Day 8 – Friday 6 July is ‘Reverse Garbage Infrastructure’ day 

In my opinion rubbish dumps and landfill sites are the mining pits of the future and because waste never really goes ‘away’ we have to re-use the commodities that we dispose of in our cities. I’ll be asking “Can we rethink new ways of using our garbage and waste in our cities?”. The aim of the day is to investigate how to create and build civic infrastructure out of household waste and then to experiment and prototype with trash salvaged from Berlin. As well as experimenting our days includes:

  • From Bottles to Bridge: The Vertech bridge is the first recycled thermoplastic road bridge to be built in Europe and the longest ever constructed. It will never rust or rot.  It does not require painting, treating or regular maintenance. The bridge is 100% recyclable. I can’t wait to hear the Vertech story and about how we really can feasibly transform trash into civil infrastructure
  • Plastiki: The Plastiki expedition used an 18 metre long catamaran, which was constructed out of 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles and other waste products. We are going to learn about this fascinating and amazing project when we meet Jo Royle the female skipper of the Plastiki boat. I can’t wait to hear Jo’s stories.

WOW what a week!

As well as my programs I’m also busy with the Dynamic Connections Bike Map.

A world first, and unlike traditional mapping efforts, the interactive biking map shows the here and the now as well as the potential and the future. I’m inviting everyone in Berlin to get involved whether they’re a confident cyclists, a sometimes cyclist, an interested but concerned potential bike rider cyclists or someone who loves their car!  The Dynamic Connections Map allows anyone to rate/score different Berlin streets on how amenable and safe they are for cycling by answering 5 simple questions and the website will crowd source data to create a map of the potential future bicycle infrastructure network in Berlin.

 Dynamic Connections Map is a project organized by me (BMW Guggenheim Lab Team member Rachel Smith) with John Schimmel and Dave Dawson.

Details on all of my programs, timings, durations and locations can be found on the Lab website www.bmwguggenheimlab.org

I’ll of course be blogging www.cyclingrachelsmith.com, Facebooking, Linkedin-ing and tweeting everyday.