PROJECT VILLAGE 2016 SETTLING - RITUALS OF ARRIVAL
Can a weeklong exercise in real-time master planning, practicing the craft and politics of building, and constructing a community lead to a new form of village? Architects, urban thinkers, and students from all around the globe – from universities like Cambridge University, Oxford University, ETH Zürich, Goldsmith University, and TU Delft, among others – sought answers to Hello Wood’s proposal of exploring the first architectural steps in the process of settling. 2016 was the second year of Project Village, a three-year-long quest challenging participants to build their very own settlement, the rural campus for the summer school of Hello Wood's nomadic faculty and student body in Csoromfolde, Hungary.
Although 14 projects were built by the weekend, the summer school went way beyond construction: it was an event of cutting-edge architectural discourse through lectures, debates and partying.
Participants were asked to construct a place of arrival, permanence, and connection. They explored the first architectural acts of settling, while debating current and historical precedents on the topic during the symposium and roundtable discussions, examiningwhat subtle cues and territorial definitions make the roles of host and guest change or interchange. The topical challenges of settling in the context of global displacement and the ever more transient nature of current domesticities were also challenged and examined. While participating in the educational programmes of the summer school, students helped to invent, design and realise their own campus, based on the collective ideas of the community.This rural campus will become the base of the educative activities and research of Hello Wood. The village now has its own place for debate, the “Parliament”, that uses a picnic table as a module forming an ampitheatre; its own “Cathedral” built on the 300-year-old ruins of a previous settlement in Csoromfolde, addressing the spiritual needs of the first settlers; and even its own Shou Sugi Ban workshop, that uses a Japanese technique of charring wood to extend its lifespan. Hello Wood’s Project Village 2016 ended with a panel discussion with the participation of Dr. Khadija von Zinnenburg Carroll (Researcher, Artist, Oxford University UK), Ruby Hoette (Researcher, Lecturer, Designer, Course Director at Goldsmiths University, UK), Dr Ákos Juhász (Head of Architecture, Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design), and András Szépe (sociologist, co-founder of community project Gólya), reflecting on the possible future of the campus with the participants. Questions were raised on the relationship with its immediate context, integration with the surrounding villages and communities, addressing the resilience and sustainability of the settlement, while challenging the educational approaches of the summer school.