In a world that is spinning faster than ever, being a creator can sometimes be a luxury. There are expectations to meet, with no time to meet them in. Dreams to fulfil, with no time to sleep; and competition to beat, with no regard for how you beat them.
The world does have its fair share of problems. The unfair part, is that we do nothing about it. When we live life at a blur, it’s no surprise that we tend to miss a few things.
That’s where creators are supposed to come in. They make, change and fix. They dabble with form and meddle with function. Most of all, they see things where others would turn a blind eye.
That, in essence, was the brief given to our students. Tasked with finding problems that a creator can help solve, our students were set loose. Before long, they were back from all across the city. They had stumbled across things like garbage dumps, abandoned cars, potholes, and rundown bus stops. It soon became obvious that ‘problems’ were typical, everyday things.
Not another brick in the wall.
First on our list of problems was a wall. Well, part of it anyway. The wall surrounded a private residence so we had to ask for permission. Rather bemused, the owner agreed to our offer and informed us that it had been left unrepaired for more than 3 years. We had a special plan for this project, and it came in the form of German artist, Jan Vormann. His work involves repairing damaged structures with Lego, or other plastic building blocks. Needless to say, it was a perfect fit.
After raiding several toy stores for practical and inexpensive building blocks, our students got to building. Eventually, with some help from their trusty glue gun, and no help from the midday sun, the repair job was finally taking shape.
The effort drew in quite a crowd throughout the day. Adults walked by, as bemused as the owner; while children ogled in amazement and resisted the urge to touch. During breaks, a student had to be posted near the wall to deter kids in search of souvenirs.
It took a little over a day, but the wait was worth it. Backpacks and building equipment in tow, our students headed for their next project. Behind them, stood a visibly pleased homeowner and his daughter, who analysed each and every block – wondering why all walls weren’t made this way.
Rumble in the (urban) jungle.
Somewhere, on the other side of the city, another group of creators were huddled around a tree.
The problem with most of our cities, is that there isn’t enough greenery to go around. There simply isn’t enough space. With that in mind, our students decided to make the most of what little space they could find.
With nothing but rope, patience and their bare hands, our students began creating a lattice framework fit for a tree. The idea was to create a modular framework on the tree itself, where potted plants could be placed. With some internet know-how, our students started with the knots. This was real tedious stuff, but over the course of the day, the framework started to take shape.
Work was slow and steady, much like the crowd that was gathering. Upon hearing that a group of young people were “meddling” with a tree, the good folk from the BMC appeared. When they got there, they saw a group of creators, creating something more than just a tree. With a nod of approval, they left us to our own devices. Not long after, the framework was complete. The one lonely tree was now home to four potted plants.
Made to Create
Over the course of 4 days, our students showed us what a creator is capable of. Some had never repaired a wall before, others knew naught about knots. In the end, it all came together beautifully and with purpose.
The thing is, from bemused adults, to wide-eyed children and “meddling” students – we are all creators. The world is what we make of it. Why not make it better?