eco design forum – Auja

experiences / Impressions 2

This is the second part of the reports from the participants of the ECO DESIGN FORUM. What happens when designers and artists from four different countries go on a trip together? The five-day programme with presentations, excursions and a good amount of exchange – first in Tel Aviv, Israel and then in Auja, Palestine – really made an impression on everyone and gave rise to a lot of questions.

eco design forum – Tel Aviv
Ruth after our workshop in Tel Aviv
eco design forum – Jericho
A visit to a women’s cooperative in Jericho

Ruth

Recycling material expert / Tel Aviv, Israel

We had very broad topics: from the national aspects of sustainability to very specific topics like business models. I would like to have had more time for each thing, maybe one day. Then you are able to go deeper into the issues. The workshop “effectuation” was very helpful because it reflected the process I was just starting to make. This was the reason why I came, because I am in at a starting point. For this starting point I was looking for more input and people. When I was attending the workshop I could see something about the process I was going into: I naturally did a process which is established and it gives me a lot of confidence. It was also interesting to hear what other people had to say about their own experience and to hear the questions. Personally I enjoyed very much the way Christof did this presentation. I think his group managing qualities are very good and I really appreciate what he gives from his time and experience. It was nice.

If the next two days in Auja could go deeper into the subjects that are presented in the first two days, I think I would do everything to be there. Maybe this is something to think about for the next time. How to link everything together. That you can see, we got this presentation and what is the link between this presentation and this presentation. How can we develop something new from this information that came from the more educational part to the more social things. Because sustainable design goes through all aspects from society. It is in art and in culture, in community and design.

eco design forum – Auja
Annegret at the EcoCenter Auja

Annegret

Artist / Cologne, Germany

The workshop brought about such different and contrasting experiences! The sessions were very informative, especially the different aspects that are important here, became much clearer. The visit we made to the studios and production centres really made an impression on me. We were able to see how unused resources are taken on and used. The different, profound impressions that I will take with me will definitely find their way into my work, even if I cannot yet say how. My perspectives have widened and continue to develop.

I wrote down this spontaneous statement above just before we left Auja, the experiences were still very fresh. A few weeks later, all caught up in the daily grind, the great impression this trip has left on me have become clearer. The experiences and meetings have moved me so much that I want to share my experience with others. I have also started to inform myself more about the situation in Israel and Palestine. We were able to see how the geographic, historical, political, social and ecological conditions shape personal living environments in their complexity and plasticity. A truly sustainable workshop!

eco design forum – Adital Ela Tel Aviv
Adital in her studio telling the participants about her work with students in Tel Aviv
eco design forum – IOTA Tel Aviv
Dagmar and Christiane at IOTA in Tel Aviv

Dagmar

Graphic designer / Munich, Germany

I think the planning and organisation that had to happen to put together the EDF was amazing. So first of all I would like to compliment all of you!

On the first day, I found the personal introductions as interesting as they were important. I was impressed by what people have put together and the passion that they do it with. For example, the woman from Iota that works with Bedouin women, and on top of that, their products are incredible. I was just as impressed by our visit to the bus station. It was really interesting but it lasted too long. At that point, I had seen so much that by the time we got to Adital’s part, I almost wasn’t able to take in any more information. All in all, there were so many impressive things to take in from other people and their stories and of course from Tel Aviv itself. And that was just day one!
For me, the beginning of the second day was interesting, unfortunately, the lecture held via skype lasted too long. At my age, I have already been to a lot of workshops and training seminars, so a lot of the information wasn’t new for me. I found Pinar and Tuna’s work based in Istanbul very impressive. For me, their art and therefore their way of thinking are great.

Day three in Palestine… there was a huge difference to Tel Aviv. Like black and white. The artist really impressed me, his eyes lit up while presenting his products, which, by the way, were awesome.

To sum it up I can say that, for me, the opportunities you gave us to meet these people/artists and see these countries will have a lasting impression on me! I will always fondly remember the woman with the mosaics, for example. What a heart she has. And then Adital, from Israel, stood next to the woman from Palestine, what an incredible impression. And with that I must mention Pina and Tuna from Istanbul who put so much effort into changing things – which they surely do.

Specifically for my work as an editorial designer, there wasn’t really anything for me. Even the content of Christof’s presentation was more or less familiar to me. But I didn’t go into this with that expectation. I was interested in the people, their ideas and their work. And in that respect, the EDF really lived up to my expectations! The networking and these impressive people with their work, that really left a lasting impression on me.

Christiane

Graphic designer / Munich, Germany

In my experience, it is very important to not only work on something theoretically, but to go somewhere, meet the people and find out about their ideas, viewpoints, wishes and dreams. That also means dealing with the respective problems and critical voices that come along with their situations.

The extreme contrast between the Israel and the West Bank and the very different life situations really left a lasting impression on me. It really made me think, maybe because of my own personal history (I grew up in the Berlin that was still divided into two parts by the German Wall). In addition to that, we were lucky to be part of a really great group of people from many different countries. That reminded me to step outside of my own comfort zone, and taking more time to communicate with other people really did good. And it made you reflect about your own little “luxury problems”.

In my job as a normal graphic artist/service provider, the workshop hasn’t yet had a big influence, except maybe with issues regarding how to deal with resources in one’s own project. I mean, Dagmar and I, as graphic designers working in the magazine industry, generally produce short-lived products that are quickly thrown away and use a lot of paper and other resources.

But I knew beforehand that the workshop wouldn’t have a direct effect on my work. I decided to join in on the trip for personal reasons. The exchange with other people from different countries, interesting projects and a fascinating place are always food for creativity.

Disarming Design Ramallah
A small product exhibit at Disarming Design in Ramallah
Eco design Forum Tel Aviv
Aviya after our workshop in Tel Aviv

Aviya

Produktdesignerin / Tel Aviv, Israel

Participating in the workshop was a great pleasure. Meeting some great designers from different countries that are most importantly, interesting lovely people that I’m happy I have met. We had many opportunities to connect and getting to know each other and I think that just this, for itself, is an amazing opportunity.

In addition, It was pleasantly surprising, that although the workshop was held in my home city, ökoRAUSCH group found the way to expose us locals to some great content and experiences within our own city that we haven’t heard or seen before.

I personally think that as designers, everything that we experience is absorbed in our system and at the end comes out in our work in one way or another.

Author

Christina Schütz

Christina Schütz

Christina is a communications expert. She develops holistic communication concepts that synchronise clear content, different channels and forms of communication. She has been a member of the ökoRAUSCH team since 2012, mainly working in communications.

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