Within the theme various project scenarios are developed. Scenarios are developed during the project development based on the Agent’s experiences and work. The aim is to define specific possible projects within the theme.
Identity (“ having something identical “) can only be created through the act of sharing. That said, sharing is not always easy when natives already have their habits and social networks, while the newcomers do not know all the rules. Successful sharing is preceded by a personal selection of what is really important, like a chef selecting ingredients or a DJ selecting songs. Sharing becomes a way to progress and improve when it goes both ways. Each person thinks about what is important to them, shares it, and enjoys the experience and the selections of others.
In Florø, like in Saint-Nazaire, sharing seems to be a delicate operation even though the Agents realised that in good conditions everyone is eager to contribute. The preparation of conducive conditions for sharing is what inspired us.
We created objects with the goal to encourage others to share teatime, a simple moment in which mastering each others’ language isn’t of great importance. The Florø experience gave birth to a complete manual coffee maker set taking its form from the subsea installations that bring Norwegian gas and oil from under the sea, serving trays which reflect the metallurgic tradition of the city and are named Svele after the special local pancakes that they lift and offer like an open palm. The work in Saint-Nazaire produced a boxed tea set inspired by seaside life, floats, and the fishing cabins along the estuary.
Integration is a process in which one maintains individuality while adapting to stay relevant and alive. In the case of migration, it is to make space for the new without losing the familiar, both for the welcoming society as well as for the migrant. For cities, it means becoming more attractive while staying unique. Adaptation is a dialectic movement between transformation and conservation Florø and Saint-Nazaire alike depend on their industrial activity to survive economically, and therefore on the know-how of their working migrants. But to keep being attractive to skilled migrants, the two cities need to adapt while being faithful to what makes them unique. In both cities, adaptation is not only human and economic, it is also an essential feature of their geography, of the ocean and its tide, the ever changing weather, the uninterrupted movement of people, objects, and elements.
In the video How To Spend Eternity Wisely, a figure is following the movement of a cloud. The body is set in the framework of universal time, in the constantly changing limits of the world. The climate of the Northern sea with its extreme weather has inspired the “Storm” vases that bend the flowers like the coastal pine that adapt to the wind and find its place in a horizontal position. The deafening lack of signs of the ocean in downtown Saint-Nazaire generated the idea of a tide indicator “Tideograph” to be placed in the city centre where the ocean cannot be seen. The tide also gave the idea to an urban swing, a collective, playful, ideal object designed to inspire conversation.
Belonging is a result of the two previous scenarios. Belonging is a feeling based on the collective identity, shared rituals and a collective imagination. The common identity shows what people really share, the rituals which make everyone feel physically and emotionally connected. The collective imagination is filled with events, artistic expressions, and traditions which have touched everyone. Ideal Lab’s Agents were fascinated by the significance of manual traditions in both cities – creating, fixing, making, restoring – and their absence in the public space. Both cities have a typical architecture (wood for Florø, post-war rational planning for Saint-Nazaire) which is sometimes not well taken care of nor embraced. The collective transformation process, through work and the reclaiming of public space, are the main themes of this scenario. An artistic video describes the life of the cornerstone company of Florø, the shipyard. Here workers are connected like parts in an enormous machine. The “machinery” would not exist without the people that manage to unite into a well-functioning cooperation. This is illustrated by the symmetrical iron sculpture called The Wrestler. The pass-stop use of the city for practicalities, gave the idea to design seats that invite the busy habitants to slow down, enjoy and take a break. Inspired by the locksman, who guides the boats into and out of the port, the urban seats “Les Lamaneurs” take their shape from the architecture of the 50’s locks-houses. The traditional mooring ring of the harbour inspired the seat’s round rack, which can be used to secure a bike, a dog… or a boat.