Summerschool Lingezegen further reading

What is Lingezegen Park?

The third Lingezegen summer school will be from 22 – 29 August. Students from various countries and various types of courses will spend seven days working together on the identity of Lingezegen Park, which is to be developed in the area between the cities of Arnhem and Nijmegen. This will not be done from the safety of a remote computer screen – instead, we will spend the seven days out in the park, with the subject of our study all around us. The countless sources of inspiration that are already present in the park, ranging from door-to-door selling of cheese, fruit or honey to production of bio-energy, can be used by you and developed further. The summer school is a work of art in its own right, devised by artist and urban designer Ton Matton and funded by the Art and Public Space Foundation, the Province of Gelderland, Lingezegen Park, Alterra, Larenstein and ArtEZ. Rather than to find one answer, we expect to find many answers.

Your proposals are putting the park on the map. They challenge people to take them serious – they’re already talking about them! Now that you’ve made them, people will have to respond to them. Some ideas will be rejected, but people may insist that others be carried out. Your efforts will already do a great deal to boost the park’s image, and will be the talk of the region. You are the ideal designers to launch such a process, with none of the cynicism that so often comes with experience. Students can make mistakes – we expect that. But above all they are open-minded – and we insist on that.

Assignment

The key questions at the summer school will be as follows. What is the identity of Lingezegen Park? And how can a sustainable future be created there? This is a multifaceted area. It is an extension of the Betuwe fruit-growing region, it is divided between three local authorities, and it is bisected by a major railway line. But the very concept of ‘identity’ is not a simple one, and can never be defined by a single sound bite. That’s why we’re holding this summer school. We want plenty of input from a group as varied as possible. And everyone will have to consider the underlying question: is this really a park?

Part of the Lingezegen landscape will be redesigned. A new waterscape will be created. Here you can imagine that this might be a park. But elsewhere in the area there is scarcely anything that suggests a park as we know it. People live and work in the area. There are villages, greenhouses, a caravan site and so on. The parts that aren’t built up contain market gardens. You can hardly go anywhere without someone chasing you away again. Can this seriously be called a park?

Enrolment

On the first day of the 2007 summer school, a rented lorry from Wendorf – where Ton Matton lives – arrived at the De Woerdt fruit farm. In no time the appearance of the farmyard had totally changed. The open barn became a cheerfully chaotic mixture of fruit crates, grading machines, kitchen tables, armchairs with built-in reading lamps from which the light also helped potted plants to grow, and a store cupboard with a built-in free-range chicken run.

That was then. This year we again want to create a special setting – not ours, but yours. That’s why we expect everyone who attends the school to come up with a proposal for elements in the park. The best idea – or perhaps a compilation of the best ideas – will be carried out.

Programme and location

The summer school will include lectures and performances. They’re intended for us, but anyone who’s interested is invited to join in.

Every evening one of the tutors will give a lecture and a film show: Rose Akkra (dance), Jan Roozenbeek (landscape architecture), Ton Matton (visual arts and urban design), Marius Veldman (game design), Esther Vonk (advisor on art at the office of the Chief Government Architect), Evelien van Vugt (graphic design) and Harmen van de Wal (architect).

There will be lectures by an international group of researchers, designers and philosophers. Around midday Polyesther will provide a lunch for us in the flood lands.

The great thing about the location is that we’ll feel we’re right in the heart of Lingezegen. Although Huize Doornik (which is where we’ll be) is on the edge of the park, it’s in the middle of the landscape. Adjoining it are the estate grounds, a village and flood lands. We won’t just be working there, we’ll also spending the night there. The barn we use as a workshop is in a farmyard, next to a public roadway. The farm includes a salmon smokehouse and so attracts lots of customers, who all drop in at our workshop to take a look round, have a glass of wine with us or join in the debate on the park they live and work in. Rather than a closed-off encampment, this will be an open workshop.

The Summerschool is open to third and fourth year students. It costs 100 euro to attend (breakfast, lunch, dinner, a place to sleep and some drinks included). For further information contact Harmen van der Wal krill@krill.nl