Opiso City Workshop
Through a 2 day workshop linking with the New Generation: Design for Living Symposium students from BA(Hons) Three Dimensional Design, MA Landscape Architecture and Product Design students from ArtEz Institute for the Arts, Arnhem, Netherlands, worked as multi-disciplinary DESIGN LABs exploring notions of encountering the city. Students researched, tested and designed OPISO sensing instruments that interpret and propose future scenarios in response to Pomona Island. The workshop took place at InSitu Architectural Salvage in Hulme.
The ancient Greek word OPISO means behind or back, but refers not to the past but to the future. Early Greek imagination envisaged the past and the present as in front of us, something that we can see. The Future was viewed as invisible, meaning that we are walking blind, backwards into the future.
(Bernard Knox, ‘Backing into the Future’ 1994)
Acknowledging the city as a transitory state, with its fast information and digital nature, citizens move through the city landscape overlooking the past, present and future state of the places they embark. In today’s age there is a danger we are losing our physical connection, sensory nature and wayfinding in our cities. The project OPISO CITY enabled a cross-disciplinary investigation into tangible cultural and critical experiences. Using Pomona Island as our inspiration students collected, analysed, interpreted and explored social, historical, inter-generational and cultural stories to translate our ever changing multilayered city. Students used materials as interfaces to translate ideas into objects, experiences and interventions that convince the city’s citizens to embrace a new method for living. Workshops were based on location between Insitu, Phoenix House and Pomona Island.