Review: Summer School 2018
The Summer School 2018, launched by the New Design University, dealt with the application of St. Pölten as European Capital of Culture in 2024. In addition to five NDU students, another ten participants from selected universities with a focus on design, based in past or future European capitals of culture, had been invited. Led by Peter Stasny, research associate at the NDU Faculty of Design, the summer school started with introductory lectures and a panel discussion to give the participants an overview of the topic. Thereafter, two English-language workshops took place, with the purpose to support the city of St. Pölten in the application process, but also to contribute to the greater identification of citizens with their city.
The experimental workshop by NDU Lecturer Serdar Songür "No maps for these territories – Superpose to (Re-Create) Re-Connect the City" (inspired by the independent documentation about William Gibson with the same title) strove to explore alternative pathways, methods and strategies for coming to terms with the concept of “European Capital of Culture” and its implementation in the upcoming nomination of Sankt Pölten for this position in 2024. The workshop led by NDU Assistant Professor Florian Sammer took place under the motto "Tracing Identities: Vélo-Dérives To Re-Create The City". In this workshop, St. Pölten was explored by bike, on the one hand to test the "bikeability" of the city and, on the other hand, to gain and document impressions from different perspectives.
On 18 August, the results were presented to invited guests, including Albrecht Grossberger, (Commercial Director of the Cultural Capital St. Pölten application office), Martin Grüneis (Head of Department Art and Culture at the Lower Austrian government), Carolin Riedelsberger (Marketing Director of the Cultural Capital St. Pölten application office) and Eva Prischl (Head of St. Pölten Tourism). The presentation took place at the "NDU Temp.Space" in the Rathausgasse. Member of Lower Austrian Parliament Doris Schmidl, representing Regional Governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner, emphasized in her speech that the candidacy of St. Pölten as European Capital of Culture 2024 is a great opportunity for the city and the surrounding region. Rector Herbert Grüner underlined this and also pointed out the importance for the university. City Councilor Harald Ludwig agreed to this view and also emphasized the creativity of the New Design University as an opportunity that must be made use of. Jakob Redl, co-initiator of the civil platform "KulturhauptSTART St. Pölten" and project manager of the 2024 application office expressed his satisfaction with the first cooperation project with the creative private university. "Above all, the European dimension of the Summer School is particularly important for the application," says Redl, adding that the inputs provided by the participants bring a fresh view of St. Pölten.
The Summer School 2018 took place in cooperation with the St. Pölten 2024 - Lower Austria Cultural Capital application office, as well as in cooperation with the civil platforms KulturhauptSTART, Sonnenpark and LAMES.
The final results of the Summer School 2018 will soon be published online and in print.
Concept and direction of the Summer School: Peter Stasny (Research Associate, NDU Faculty of Design)
Workshop leaders: Florian Sammer, Serdar Songür (NDU Lecturers)
Assistance: Christian Herzog, Michael Kropacek