The Justiniškės district in Vilnius, Lithuania, photo: organiser’s press materials
A modernisation may revive an inactive fountain and a concrete amphiteathre as social and cultural hubs for the local community. Microinstallations set up by the Polish NO Studio designer-duo, (Magdalena Szwajcowska and Michał Majewski), will give the common public space back to the inhabitants of the Justiniškės district in Vilnius.
Floating between architecture and design, NO Studio tries to patch up and produce urban fabric, while never forgetting about the social relevance of their projects.
Our project is meant to show that our surroundings can be changed step-by-step and through small (and, what is important – cost-effective) interferences and the final improvements in the functioning of a given space in relation to the work put into it can astonish.
Preparation for the project in Vilnius included a study visit and discussions with officials and residents of the Justiniškės district. NO Studio’s microinstallations always grow out from observation and an analysis of inhabitants’ needs. This makes their projects tailored to local contexts.
Established in the 1980s, the district is peppered with objects which no longer serve their primary functions, are rarely used and lack any plans for adaptation. During discussions with the Polish architects, locals emphasised the lack of social infrastructure suited to the needs of all age groups in that part of the city. The needs of the locals inspired the designers to choose two objects by Justiniškės’ main street to undergo metamorphoses – a concrete amphitheatre and an inactive fountain.
The architects put forward the idea of transforming the fountain into a place of leisure and placing new seats on the amphitheatre steps. A distinguishing characteristic of the new objects will be an open, simple and attractive form which will offer its users various ways of using them – simultaneously inciting them to go outside and socialise with the local community.
NO Studio’s Magdalena Szwajcowska and Michał Majewski are based in Wrocław, where their microinstallations have gained great popularity and were noticed by renowned design sites like DesignBoom. Their cooperation with the Future Architecture Platform allows them to share their experiences and an innovative approach to an international audience.
The project is organised by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute, under its flagship brand Culture.pl, and the Vilnius city municipality. The project is also supported by the Polish Institute in Vilnius.
Sources: press materials, compiled by Marta Kolbuszewska, 20 Jul 2017, translated by AP, 3 Aug 2017
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