LWCircus-ArnoLab018| Arno Riverbanks, Florence (IT) 
This experiential workshop, based on research in the field, looks for operative sharing methods in collaboration with local communities and their relationship and coexistence with environmentally sensitive areas; investigates shared practices; looks for devices able to give long-term life through sustainable development; works for a RESILIENT and INCLUSIVE urban future for the local community. It will represent an excellent opportunity for students that are looking to learn through a different way and methodology through designing sustainable cultural and sensitive landscapes, collaborating with different kinds of practitioners (as artists, architects, landscape architects, anthropologists, ethnographers or film directors) and people from the local community from multiple backgrounds and learning styles to gain mutually beneficial goals, achieving enrichment that benefits all participants involved in the experience.

The workshop will be set on the banks of the Arno River in the Renaissance Florentine context and its main topic will be around the shared practice strategies in collaboration with the locals, looking to conserve the Riverbanks and its cultural landscape value. The students will start by researching and testing alternative methods working together with the locals community, Arno River Agency’s technicians, National Forestry Agency referents, creative experts, local artists and minorities, as political refugees and migrants living temporarily in the Florentine context.

The students will have opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the field, inside the cradle of the Renaissance, working with locals on the topic of the cultural sustainability inside the sensitive area currently under transition in the middle of this historical centre (UNESCO heritage), where the intrinsic reality is a hyper-dynamic landscape due to the Arno river’s flows (in the 2016 was the 50th anniversary of last tragical flooding occurred in the 1966), now at a temporary equilibrium, that gives life to ephemeral situations, changing habitats of local wildlife and the local civic uses.

The main purpose of this INTENSIVE workshop experience is to encourage students to use their acquired knowledge with different attitudes, as the anthropological survey and shared design process with the inhabitants; working sensitively and responsibly with the locals for a sustainable outcome, to rediscover a “sense of the place”. The outcome may result in a re-appropriation of the traditional way of living the Riverbanks, through a plausible common space, where different members of the community can interact, take ownership and manage the reconquered public space, without any kind of discrimination, rediscovering the living open space as medium and cohesion between the community and its minorities. The aim will be focused on the investigation around shared practices, through the involvement of multicultural and multi-disciplinary attitudes, looking for outcomes able to give life to long-term process in terms of cultural responsibility and sustainable uses for the local communities and minorities that will be directly involved during the operative Workshop.

Under the guidance of the professors, local experts in environmental conservation strategies and local artistic-cultural conservation, the fully immersive experience will give students the opportunity to acquire precious knowledge and different attitudes in the sustainable design of cultural landscapes in semi-natural and culturally sensitive contexts. The students will have direct experience in this context – make measurements, interview local experts, survey on site, visit a historical cartographic library to appreciate the historical maps and iconographies; retrace the history of Arno river through the centuries; speak with Administrators and different Riverbank users to collect precious information fundamental to prepare a Plan Guide and Micro Design proposals that will be discussed on-site by colleagues and international guest critics, resulting in a base for the installations (light infrastructures, staging points, urban furniture) that will be realised during the Operative Workshop. The local Community and minorities interested by the LWC-ArnoLab will have a major role inside the workshop experiences and on the base of the quality of the established relationships, it will depend the final result in terms of shared design process and final realisations on site. LWC Program’s goal over the next years is to contribute in the training of self-sufficient community minorities through a different landscape design practice on site. This will continue with LWC-ArnoLab018 by enabling the local community to sustainably re-purpose a common equal and inclusive space inside the urban context selected.

LIST OF TOPICS that will be dealt at LWCircus-ArnoLab Operative-Shared Workshop:
SURVEY TECHNIQUES – Topographic, graphic, photographic and video mapping, story telling, locals’s interviews;
GRAPHIC RESTITUTION – techniques: cartographic and ethnographical methods, mental maps;
SHARED PRACTICES & CREATIVE APPROACHES listening techniques and conflict’s creative management;
ARTISTIC LANGUAGES – primitive art, medieval and renaissance, relational art, land art, visual art, performing and extemporaneous art approaches;
SHARED DESIGN PROCESS – partecipative strategies and other shared methods;
OPERATIVE PRACTICES – “learning through making” + other cultural anthropology’s approaches;
SELF-CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES – eco-traditional building – sustainable approaches.