Featured People: Jekaterina Lavrinec

Jekaterina Lavrinec, a Vilnius-based curator of community art initiatives, researcher and educator in the fields of media and urban studies, was selected to participate to the Idea Camp 2014 with her idea using urban furniture to give residents the tools to (re)think about their use of public space. Her idea, Open Code Urban Furniture: Co-Design Workshops,* has been awarded an R&D grant

[Open Code Urban Furniture] is a tool for studying, researching and finding out how people domesticate public spaces in their communities.

Photo by Kamera.

Jekaterina has co-founded an interdisciplinary platform for urban research, community art, non-formal learning and activism called Laimikis.lt (NGO), which cooperates with Radarq and European Alternatives in studying the role of urban furniture in developing public spaces.

Open Code Urban Furniture offers the tools for residents to play with the possible usages of public space in their local neighbourhoods. The design of the furniture has been inspired by the Tetris game, which invites participants through playful interaction to become active makers in their neighbourhood. 

Photo by Kamera.

In the past few months, a series of co-design workshops took place in four Vilnius neighbourhoods: Antakalnis, Šnipiškės, Lazdynai, šv. Stepono str., where residents were invited to create unique configurations of urban furniture arranged in public spaces, using Open Code Urban Furniture. The preferences of the residents of each neighbourhood allowed to map the level of trust and safety in each of participating neighbourhood. 

Watch this short video (produced by Kamera) featuring Jekaterina and presenting you the various aspects of Open Code Urban Furniture: 

Jekaterina Lavrinec is also an Associate Professor at Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, where she teaches courses in urban studies and creative communication in public space and runs workshops in participatory/social design. In her practice, she implements participatory art-based research approaches. Her interests embrace urban networks, regeneration and the usability of public spaces.

For further information about Open Code Urban Furniture visit laimikis.lt 

Photo by Kamera.

*At the time of the application, the original name of the idea was "Street Komoda Workshops: Co-Designing the Urban Furniture for Sharing”.