With a team of extraordinary crazy dames, we packed up our first set of clay models, a couple hundred blankets and some drilled tennis balls and headed to the Gardiner Museum.
On Monday, July 25th, we opened We Built this City with an epic blanket fort building workshop. Using drilled out tennis balls, bamboo sticks, duct tape and a couple hundred blankets, a group of 50 or so participants worked together through trial and error to set up a giant blanket fort.
We also had the opportunity to get a head start on the clay models and the clay city is continuing to sprawl.
We are also featuring a number of films, historic and current, representing explorations in the City and in city building more generally. This includes a reel of films by the talented Eva Kolzce.
Come by and check it out!
This weekend provided Crazy Dames the opportunity to explore and play and we want to thank Sparkbox Studio for providing the perfect playground.
We still want to look back and reflect on our questions: Could our conversations and creations shape the vision for the County? How can our stories and experiences of place be reflected in our future spaces? Do these exploratory workshops focused on our spaces better connect us with community and our physical surroundings?
This mini workshop series was an experiment in thinking through these questions - Perhaps by honouring these everyday experiences, planners and city-builders can begin to think about spaces in new ways. Or it may be that by highlighting a diversity of people and how they experience our environments in such different ways can push us to consider these distinct perspectives when designing our physical spaces. Most importantly, these workshops provide new ways of communicating with citizens, connecting them to our cities and asking them to consider how they can participate in public life in a way that could potentially better it.
“In great cities, spaces as well as places are designed and built: walking, witnessing, being in public, are as much part of the design and purpose as is being inside to eat, sleep, make shoes or love or music. The word citizen has to do with cities, and the ideal city is organized around citizenship – around participation in public life.” - Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking
What the map cuts up, the story cuts across - Michel De Certeau
On Sunday, Crazy Dames facilitated a walkshop throughout Picton. A walkshop is essentially a walking tour, a way to physically engage in a place while discussing and learning about it.
Picton is the largest community in Prince Edward County, home to a thriving and growing tourist industry. With tourist pamphlets and brochures outlining which beaches, wineries and restaurants to visit, our walkshop aimed to discover the paths less traveled in Picton - the mundane, the everyday, through playful stories of place. What would a tourist brochure of everyday Picton tell us?
In keeping with our weekend theme, we wanted to explore these places in a playful way. This walkshop was community led, interactive and open ended, with only a predetermined starting point - designed to encourage participants to spontaneously plan the walk as we went, asking them to determine the tour stops that respond to their own memories and/or connections to place. With a blank map in hand, we drew out and connected the stops as we went, with the goal of creating an drawing of the woven path that ties together the diverse places of Picton.
As we walked, participants suggested places to visit and shared their experiences, memories and ideas that spontaneously emerged. Participants were also asked to collect artefacts that best reflected their stories.
We stopped in Giant Tiger and reminisced on visits to the chain as kids;
Visited Kelly’s Shop and heard about how dangerous feral cats roaming the streets can mess with our psyches;
Explored the House of Falconer, a historic residence that is slowly being renovated by the curious and creative caretaker Alex Fida; and
Roamed through the beautiful Glenwood Cemetery, where we heard stories of epic hide and seek games.
The woven map, the stories and artefacts will all contribute to a tourist package featuring the everyday places of Picton.