Social Innovation Lab
The Lab represents an open thinking platform oriented towards creating long-term, new format relationships, structures and projects and will be focusing on five major directions:
1. Projects from outside of the hub and consultancy services;
2. Long-term programs: ‘Conversion’, ‘Art Meets Craft’, ‘Manufactura’;
3. Six partners represented in the hub and their joint projects: - Georgian Video Art Archive - Parallel Class - Platform: Design Tbilisi - Center for Creative Futurology - Center of Regenerative Agriculture - Vernacular Building Traditions Research and Adaptation Platform - Conversion - Inbetween Condition - Circe
4. All Social Innovation Lab projects also stand as the material with which the Creative Mediation students interact closely and which they turn into real tangible products. All Lab projects will be accessible to the students in the form of presentations.
5. The Hub’s Social Innovations direction already has established international partners: Social Design - Arts as Urban Innovation at The University of Applied Arts Vienna, Plymouth College of Art, Fondazione Pistoletto – MA in Social Innovation at the University of Milan. There is a successful history of cooperation and experience-sharing with the partners, hence, once the hub is fully functional, there is a possibility to raise the partnership to a higher level.
Before the repressive Soviet regime took over, self-organization was an established practice in our society. Sadly, this culture was eradicated by the regime, resulting in the community development being replaced by the Soviet collectivism and eventually weakening the former social mechanisms of self-organization.
The project aims to create the examples of community organizations, initiating local public and cultural spaces, which consequently aids gradual development of the sense of civic responsibility in communities. As a result, we see precedents of realized projects and ideas coming from self-initiative and self-organization, which in turn enables a change of the existing situation.
The first stage of the Conversion project, realized in 2016, involved research and was also aired on the 1st Public Broadcast TV channel and was focused on the transformation of spaces that have lost their function into cultural platforms across 11 municipalities of six regions. The main goal of the Conversion team was to create experience and accumulate knowledge with regards to self-organization and self-initiative of local communities.
The first online archive of Georgian video art and moving images was created in 2014 and contains up to 400 works created from 1990s until now by more than 80 authors. More recent creations within the Georgian art sphere include works created in various media – a novel form for the Georgian reality. Nevertheless, this was not followed by an adequate analysis and reflection, which is crucial for the understanding of the virtues and significance that any creation carries. Our archive embodies a role of a mediator between the audience and this specific form of art, and it aims to map the stages of Georgian video art development and to support the creation of a discourse within the cultural field of the country in this direction.
The local video art and moving image created for the exhibition context counts almost 26 years. It was in the beginning of the 90s, when the local artists started exhibiting their first video art works in Georgia and beyond its borders. Globally, the video art started establishing itself within the global exhibition practice of visual arts in the 1960s, gradually becoming one of the leading mediums in the world.
videoimage.ge / https://www.facebook.com/videoimage.ge
Parallel Class is a non-governmental organization established in 2017, whose main mission is to create parallel, non-formal educational processes for high school students. The organization operates on the initiative of young artists and uses creative methods to act as a connecting link between educational resources in the country, creative organizations, and schools. Give high-school students access to both local and international up-to-date information.
In 5 years, the Parallel Class has created more than ten courses/projects for the students of IX, X, XI, and XII grades, both in Tbilisi and in the regions of Georgia. Each concept of the course is unique with its content and practical outcome, as the dramaturgy of the process is set and organized around the local space and human resources where the educational process takes place. This characteristic determines students' interest and re-engagement each time. More than 200 students from more than 30 schools are involved in the activities of the organization, which today form a kind of community, and some, already students, continue to communicate with the organization.
In 2019 our organization created a tenth-grade textbook for the school - Organizing Space, which explains the teaching methodology of the Parallel Class. The book includes local and international experiences and examples of key issues that are creatively shared with adults: Archive / Dramaturgy / Communication / Production / Exposition.
A large group of local, both young and accomplished contemporary artists is involved in the parallel classroom learning processes. The organization cooperates with various governmental and non-governmental organizations and tries to remodel their knowledge and experience into an alternative school program and syllabus, to enable students to gain creative and practical solutions, and on the other hand to strengthen the educational function of various organizations.
Center for Creative Futurology will be established on the basis of the club Fantast, with the goal of theoretical research of future, creation of popular science, analytical, applied-practical, original (and fictional) works, resulting in both electronic and print publications.
At the initial stage the center will work on the creation of the information bank, review of existing theories and creation of future scenarios, projects and ideas. The next stage will focus on the development of original theories and forecasts, as well as the research of specific issues, organization of public and international discussions and conferences, informing and educating the public.
Design Tbilisi is contributing the mediatorial data to the fields of design, architecture and visual arts.
In March 2012, the first issue of the newspaper was published and continued until 2013 with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection of Georgia.
In 2016, The Ministry of Culture and Monument Protection supported the publication of the summary of the works published between 2012 and 2016 through the Design Tbilisi resources, 25 interviews were chosen for this project.
Since 2019, Design Tbilisi is publishing a 1,000-copy monthly English-language newspaper, which is distributed free in up to 600 public spaces. Our main motivation for creating this publication is based on the following factors:
- Modern art suffers from deficiency of professional periodicals about architecture, design and media arts;
- Design Tbilisi has gathered a vast information database. Since 2012, the developments and events in the fields of contemporary art, architecture and design are actively published. The experience accumulated through years, as well as the wide local and international network, enables the dissemination of quality information and expertise.
The 2020 Action Plan of Design Tbilisi editorial board includes creation of local design companies’ database and recording their institutional capabilities, differentiation of the production capabilities and creation of a mechanism allowing accessibility based on the methodological acquisition of data.
One of the priorities of the publications is the modernization of an open platform, which will simplify the moderation of news coverage.
The Center of Regenerative Agriculture aims at researching ecological, natural, regenerative agricultural principles and methods, their development and promotion in Georgia.
The regenerative agriculture studies and practices alternative agricultural systems, among them the celebrated natural farming established by Japanese Masanobu Fukuoka and permaculture revolutionized by Australian Bill Mollison. The said philosophies share common approach and several guiding principles that serve as a foundation for the Center of Regenerative Agriculture. The vast practical experience and results achieved my numerous countries across the globe prove that these approaches are highly effective, healthy and ecologically justified.
The Center of Regenerative Agriculture will work on informing and educating those interested and the general public, and will also create an information bank, publish special literature, build experimental and demo agricultural nurseries. Moreover, the center will focus on organizing eco villages, build relationships with the farmers and support their work, build partnerships with the state and international funds. The center will also work on developing special projects and environmental education, establishing a consultancy service, social enterprises and parks, as well as organizing mass tree planting activities.