Design agency wants ‘bring neighbourhood together’

Photo credit: Ludo Schlechtriem/Studio040

The residents of are Eindhoven neighbourhood of Limbeek should be brought closer together.

That’s what the initiative, Wijk in Bloei (Blooming Neighbourhood), wants. They’ve tasked the local design agency, Tante Netty with this. The agency must tackle the social challenges facing the Limbeek district. Aunt Netty links young artists and designers to social challenges.

The main issue is a lack of a ‘collective neighbourhood feeling’, a Tante Netty spokesperson says. “Previous preliminary research had already revealed the lack of contact between residents. That’s partly due to there being no spontaneous meeting points.”

A different mindset

So, designer and resident, René Vullings, was asked to tackle the problem. “I walked through my neighbourhood with a different view and mindset. I talked to people about what they do and don’t do.”

“The pitfall is to focus on the negative aspects. But I soon noticed positive things and possibilities. The lady who was picking up litter while walking her dog, the groups of enthusiastic footballers in the park, how many people use the many green areas.”

A community identity

This gave Vullings the idea of forging a community identity.  “The development of this identity became paramount to me. Something which residents recognise, and can take pride in.”

Because of its history, bricks plays a prominent role in this area. The Van Hapert brick factory was located in that area. It was demolished in 1930.

“It’s the perfect metaphor for the neighbourhood,” says René. “Rough but constructive. Simple, effective and robust.”

Studio Maatwerk, for which Vullings works, then designed loan items. Think of barbecues, tables and umbrellas. These make it easier for neighbours to gather.

Source: Studio040

Translator: Bob

Editor: Melinda Walraven

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