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Open Lab 2015
Start date: May 1, 2015, End date: Sep 30, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Open Lab is a project week in Viborg (DK) for youngsters from Belgium, France and Denmark. During the last week of July, we'll dive into an intercultural research, exploring the cultural differences and universal similarities between people through the senses. This collaboration was formed in the aftermath of the cultural project 'Between Us' that was realized in 2012 thanks to European funding. For this project, four groups of youngsters from Belgium, France, Denmark and Slovenia created a village, under the direction of director and anthropologist Enrique Vargas, where people didn’t exchange words, but communicated through body language and the senses. The cultural and personal exchanges and bonds formed during this project were perceived extremely valuable. Therefore the youngster from Belgium, France and Denmark took on the initiative to gather again and continue their inquiry into the body and the senses. Our current society is predominantly built on rationality and reason. Nevertheless, we want to address the issue of the body, which is often omitted, through a focus on the senses. Not only sight, but also hearing, smell, touch and taste. Workshops on the senses should enable us to gain insight into our own bodies, as well as how we can relate ourselves to our environment. With this, we want to contribute to the development of the personality of the youngsters and everything necessary to cultivate these youngsters into critical, independently thinking and conscious citizens, interculturally proficient, with an open mind and a rich and profound worldview. Learning is so much more than solely the transfer of knowledge. Through workshops, designed by some young creative forces, the participants learn about themselves and their relationships with other in an interactive and focused manner. The youngsters work intensively for two or three hours on sound, smell, environment and body. They will be able to use their recently gathered knowledge from these workshops immediately in their group projects. Besides the workshops, we plan three projects on one certain topic ('Leaving the city', 'Inside/Outside' and 'Structures') for the participant to work on for several days. While the workshops are moments of very focused participation, the group project allows the youngsters to create and study in depth. These projects were integrated to satisfy the desire of the participants to explore their own creativity. During the workshops the instructor is in charge. However during the project, the youngsters are responsible to outline their own trajectory (as a group). The skills acquired during this practical experience (by doing (active) instead of hearing (passive)) grow on the participants and will sustainably continue to develop in further challenges. Open Lab 2015 consists of 19 youngsters: 5 Belgians, 6 French and 8 Danes. De participants are students or young professionals in various field of work. The research intends to trigger the creativity and entrepreneurship of the participants. We engage account the variety of opinions and cultures, as well as the connectedness with others, the environment and ourselves. We address these values through the senses and the body in order to propagate them within the different fields of work and study of the youngsters: architecture, medicine, academic research, social work, etc. We involve different target audiences in Viborg (DK) through the three group projects. One group will work on the topic of ‘Inside/Outside’ for children (2-8 years), another intends to have an impact on a group of adolescents (15-18 years) on the principle of ‘Structures’ and the last one will invite every interested citizen of Viborg to come and see the end result of their work on ‘Leaving the City’. Through these projects we aim to connect with the local population and move them on a personal level. We organize these showcases of the end result in order that other people can learn from our experiences during Open Lab 2015 as well. In this way we will contribute on an extra level (with a wide range of age categories) to the enunciation of life long learning across borders, one of the main objectives of Erasmus+ and Europe2020.
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