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How would we like to live our old age?
HABITATS is a forum for arts, sciences, and public consultation that will stretch over the course of three years. The project is organized by UN ET UN FONT MILLE under the artistic direction of François Grisé in collaboration with the GOETHE-INSTITUT, ÉLISABETH BRUYÈRE SCHOOL OF SOCIAL INNOVATION, PERCOLAB and PRÉSÂGES.
HABITATS is an opportunity to create a space for active reflection and collective consultation around questions such as: How would we like to live our old age? How do we create living spaces that respond to the needs of aging human beings? They are adults, self-determined, and equipped with the ability to act. How do we connect all those who experience old age? These are not just the people who are in fact old, but also the relatives who take care of them, the communities in which they live, and society as a whole.
Breaking down silos
HABITATS wants to break down silos between the spheres of knowledge. In a melting pot, HABITATS incorporates scientific and empirical knowledge, knowledge connected to the imagination and to artistic processes, as well as entrenched popular knowledge. To reach this goal, the forum gathers actors from the arts and sciences who are interested in this reality of ageing.
In addition – or probably better to say, first and foremost – HABITATS wants to give interested women and men of all ages who are not specialists, the opportunity to reflect collectively on these questions.
HABITATS is not a conventional encounter like a conference where people listen to speakers share their knowledge. It’s more like a space for active reflecting in order to create a type of architecture made of ideas, something alive, able to evolve, and fueled by everyone involved.
This is why the concept and realization of HABITATS is based on the process of codesign where all involved parties take part in the process of reflection and creation. It is also inspired by the methods and principles of fiction design where reflection is materialized in a concrete manner by imagining visions of the future that allow us to get a better grasp of the presence.
Diffusing knowledge with the goal of involvement and education
HABITATS also views itself as an open agora whose questions, reflections, and knowledge will become accessible to the general public “in real time”.
For this purpose, we will create a diffusion platform where the different stages and components of the forum will be made public. We will share the knowledge via works of art, comprehensible publications, and accessible and widely available forms of information.
The intention to make knowledge accessible and to communicate it, is at the very core of HABITATS: to include, educate, and inform ordinary people and give them the feeling that they have the ability to act in the face of these realities and questions.
A process where time plays a major role
HABITAT stretches over a period of three years. There will be an initial meeting in October 2020, followed by three yearly large group forums in October 2021, 2022, and 2023. These encounters will be an opportunity to refine the basic questioning, and the reflection on actions and artistic, scientific, and “community-type” projects.
The projects will be continued during the year in-between the annual forums. These events offer the opportunity to make a point, to fine-tune and detail the ongoing reflection. The forums will also be an opportunity to share the results of the work during the year and make them available to the general public.
Taking the time together
We believe that it is crucial to gather a group of women and men who will allow reflecting in a non-academic format. It is also crucial that we are given time for this collective conception in order to break the “specialist” approach to these questions.
With HABITATS, we strive to create for the general public an agora that stands out by its duration. Because we believe that when faced with these questions, sufficient patience is needed so that truly new ideas can emerge. Ideas that will break the loneliness, the taboo, and the isolation of denial. Ideas that question the status quo. Ideas that, we hope, will return to us some sort of power to self-determination so that we can live our old age with imagination and liberty.