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HYB: Build your furniture

Want to discover how people experience invisible borders across Europe? Want to develop activities and devices that help people hack public spaces? As globalisation breaks down geographic, cultural & economic borders, it impacts our lives, creating new opportunities, but also new insecurities. It’s becoming more and more difficult to see, let alone adapt to the changes it is having on our local economies and our local communities. Not knowing how to navigate a world constantly redefined, many people become tempted by physical, economic and cultural borders to protect themselves from what they can’t control nor understand – from immigration controls to gated communities. Despite the opportunities globalisation creates, only some have the capabilities to re-shape these borders. There are corporate powers who blur the boundaries between private and common goods, asset stripping our natural, digital and economic resources. We see energy companies fracking our environment, technology agencies exploiting our data and supermarkets hoarding our land. By doing this, they prevent the rest of society from using these resources to develop new forms of common goods. There lies the biggest frontier, between those who reshape borders and those reshaped by them. But there are methods we can learn from that people use to cross invisible and physical boundaries within public space. Learning from these can help others reshape the borders that restrict them. People have always tweaked the way things have evolved. For example ARTfarm has turned a crossing between two blocks into a transitional space to grow plants and to meet, while Bubbleware turns the linear lines that define where we walk into circular bubbles where people can interact. However, there are people subverting the systems that define the boundaries of our public spaces, from ‘chair bombing‘ parking spaces to protest against not being able to sit on the sidewalk to turning foreclosure adverts into ways to let people know where to squat. In some cases, citizens are creating their own boundaries to show the authorities the solutions needed, like creating their own ‘guerrilla bike lanes‘. If we can learn to see the invisible and physical borders that people experience in our neighbourhoods, we can design and open up public spaces to be more accessible and inclusive for everyone to feel the space is theirs. From border hacking to public space making: What invisible borders do people experience using public spaces, be they social, cultural or psychological? How are people hacking these borders? Come and meet civic designers who've been uncovering how people experience and break down social & cultural barriers in cities across Europe (Laura, Natalia, Noel, et al.). Public space makers (Jekaterina & Paco) who’ve been using and turning turn public spaces into platforms for discovery, for collaboration and for production. Using hybrid practices that help people do this, inspired by the local communities and practitioners they work with, but also from disciplines that don't normally interact, from free culture to academic research, social design to open source hardware. In the first session of our workshop, you’ll be able to discover these methods and how you can use them in your neighbourhoods, from blowing bubbles to occupy cushions But we also want you to come and share methods you use to hack public spacess. Presentation? Roundtable? Workshop? We hope as a result of the workshop, you will better understand and get excited in wanting to use the methods in their neighbourhoods, and we’ll be able to critically reflect on how we can better involve people in “hacking” public spaces. In the second session of our workshop, we’ll use the methods we shared in the first session to actually create and make these hacks in the public spaces of Belgrade with designers and makers. Focus on creating an activity as well as making prototypes Focus on creating lo-fi prototypes (i.e. card/cardboard) If you want to discover and share recipes that hack public spaces in exciting ways, if you want to test these out with people from across Europe in Belgrade, come to and hack (y)our borders with us!