Playing Estate Urban Game

Format Action Alternative Pedagogy Games Mapping Workshops

City Lublin, Poland

Lublin, LSM mass-housing estates – We have announced the day of an urban game as after-party celebration during the last day of the local school, official beginning of the summer. Instruction was very simple, kids were to gather on set point, get the map, talk to animator to get instructions and decode the leads put at 12 points at the map, where there were hidden particular tasks. An order of visiting the designated points was optional, but everyone had to meet at certain hour at abandoned amphitheatre to share experiance of the final activity.

„Playing Estates Urban Game” was a format summing up project „Tenants. Narratives around cooperative utopias” that we have implemented from February to December 2014 in housing cooperative settlements, designed in the 1960s and 1970s in Warsaw (Przyczółek Grochowski) and Lublin (LSM, the Juliusz Słowacki settlement) by famous Polish architects; Zofia and Oskar Hansen. As part of the activities, we have recalled assumptions of social housing together with aims declaired by modernist architects, gathered around CIAM. Together with current inhabitants we have reviewed utopian visions of the designers of the estates and confronted them with nowadays needs and challenges.

Mobilization Influence the locals with your enthusiasm

We start from involvement of the school teenagers. We are mapping estate together, searching for local wonders and potentials. The most interesting for the group of tenagers form school nr 10 were hidden places, important individuals running small business, people who have local fame because of what they do e.g Ms.Irena leading waffle point for over 40 years, who has became a hero character of a local hip hop rhymes.

Things you need You definitelly need to collect the contencts and get to know that you know very little

Give workshop participants the tools and prepare them for interviewing chosen individuals and asking by-passers about the spots marked at the map.

Production Key issues from peoples stories shaped our thematic paths

Choose 10-15 points that could host site-specific interventions. Ask their hosts/owners to be main actors during the game. Plan activities with them, showing their potential. Remember the game starts at the edge of local reality and creative fiction. Create the map, where finding the points with activities is a task itself. Play with local absurds. Take the visitors to the places where everyday access is difficult. Use subjective perspectives and personal stories. Let the players become Indiana Jones of their nearest environment.

LSM estates continouesly provoke discussions between architects and art historians. Some of them seem to forget that the housing estate is not just an architecture or an urban plan. The dozen of interesting forms of blocks are inhabited by several thousand (of not any no less interesting!) people. In our opinion, residents are the true practitioners of the Open Form theory in housing, and our task is to strengthen their perspectives.

Open Territory Foundation