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5 days in Jakomini – The Symposium

By Anke Strittmatter

After collecting knowledge about the district Jakomini in Graz throughout the summer semester, Exhibition Design students at FH Joanneum Graz began phase two of the Experimentation Labs: An experimentation week called Five days in Jakomini.
The topic was to build an open space where citizens can stay and interact without being forced to consume anything. Beginning with May the 9th, experts in the fields of architecture, design and urban planning gathered in a public Symposium. The Symposium was structured into three sections.

First local initiators Pia Paierl, Andreas Morianz and Erika Thümmel revised what has happened in Jakomini so far. What stood out most was the importance of connectivity, creativity and municipal authorization regarding communal projects and associations like Jakominiviertel.

What’s going on elsewhere? Speakers from Ljubljana, London and Saint-Étienne presented their progress. Human City planners Matej Niksic, Frank van Hasselt and Camille Vilain concluded what they’ve done to provide ecological and social benefits for their city’s inhabitants. Matej Niksics introduced an outdoor reading space in Ljubljana to create bonds between locals. Camille Vilain spoke about how she and her team turned a former cardboard factory into an open space for citizens.

At last Jakomini was put into perspective and city managers, architects, artists and designers evaluated the future of the district. Amongst them was Anke Strittmatter, who concluded the Experimentation Labs supervised by herself and Erika Thümmel. Both of them will continue working on the progress with the Exhibition Design students. The Symposium ended with Heimo Maieritsch, from the city management in Graz. He discussed about how top-down-projects combine with bottom-up-initiatives to achieve improved communication between local communities and municipal institutions.

The Symposium was the first day of the experimentation week where Exhibition Design students developed ideas for Jakomini, with help from OSA, the office for subversive architecture, the artist collective Zweintopf and InterACT, a theatre group.

Author: Isadora Wallnöfer