In its inaugural year, AA Visiting School Slovenia pioneered in the development and execution of nanotourist strategies in the town of Vitanje, Slovenia.
Exhibition hotel in KSEVT, Accommodation Strategies in Vitanje and Objects of Activation were three proposed topics that stimulated students to develop and test four strategic projects at a scale of 1:1.
A three week research, design and make course focused on the strategies of nanotourism, allowing participants to engage in a wide range of projects: from site-specific micro interventions at a 1:1 scale to holistic strategies for existing contexts. The students had to develop adapted projects that had to materialize as actions or structures, temporary or permanent, ultimately seeking to create a comprehensible, tangible and novel experience of the building and institution of KSEVT and Vitanje. Within the contemporary economic realities, the workshop aimed for small and smart solutions that relied on local resources, and pursued innovative design and financing alternatives that bypass major institutions and established spatial planning bureaucracy.
The course took place at the new, highly specific building KSEVT, Cultural Centre of European Space Technologies, a bold landmark in the tiny Slovenian village of Vitanje of 800 residents that has welcomed over 25,000 visitors in its first year of activity. KSEVT has a public significance and generates social, cultural, and scientific activities, with fixed and temporary exhibitions, conferences and club/study activities. There is an open need and an exposed potential of Vitanje to become a case study of developing an extreme set of bottom up strategies or prototypes to challenge the conventional notion of tourism.
The key teaching agenda of AAVS Slovenia is to research and promote the process of creation that stretches beyond ‘design’. The process is equally as important as the final project itself. A simple process diagram was introduced to the students at the beginning of the course: ‘research’, ‘design’ and ‘make’ activities have to be successively organised in a recurrent process to create a closed circle that has to be perpetually repeated to generate refined, specific and sharp results. Following this bottom-up process of design development and starting with initial elements of research, decision-making and prototyping, these had to be gradually organised at higher levels of understanding, in order to produce more complex structures and holistic design solutions.
AAVS 2014 Slovenia collaborated with Ljubljana’s Biennial of Design (BIO 50) and its curator Jan Boelen, director of Z33 - House for Contemporary Art, in a multidisciplinary research that explored possible futures for design. The participants of Biennial’s research topics Nanotourism, informed the workshop’s theoretical framework, presented and discussed at the opening mini-conference of the workshop.
Exhibition hotel in KSEVT, Accommodation Strategies in Vitanje and Objects of Activation were three proposed topics that stimulated students to develop and test, at a scale of 1:1, four strategic projects.
Aljoša Dekleva, Tina Gregorič
Jakob Travnik, Blaž Šef
Visiting experts in juries and tutorials:
Vedran Mimica – Profesor, Associate Dean of Research IIT, Chicago
Christopher Pierce – director AA Visiting School programe, London
Jan Boelen – Z33, BIO 50 curator, Design Academy Eindhoven
Miha Turšič – director KSEVT
Dragan Živadinov – KSEVT and post-gravity theatre
Boštjan Vuga – Sadar + Vuga arhitekti, architect
Vasa Perović – Bevk Perović arhitekti, Faculty for Arch. Ljubljana
Nikola Radeljković – NUMEN / For use, Zagreb
Nejc Matjaž – ONDU, Ljubljana
Blaž Šef – actor, KSEVT Vitanje
Samo Bojnec – Slovenia
Natalie Jasinski – Poland/Austria
Jurij Ličen – Slovenia
Marijan Ladić – Croatia
Janaina Lisiak – Brazil
Anja Petek – Slovenia
Arefeh Sanaei – Iran
Kaja Švab – Slovenia
Valentin Tribušon – Slovenia
Dorian Vujnovič – Croatia
Runze Wang – China/Australia
Zizhengyan Yang – China/Australia
Aleš Žmavc – Slovenia
Vid Žnidaršič – Slovenia
Photo credits: Ajda Schmidt and AA Visiting School Slovenia archive
AA Visiting School Slovenia 2014 was made possible by the following sponsors: