Meet the 25 R&D Grantees and their ideas

Following up on the first ECF Idea Camp that took place from 23 to 25 October 2014 in Marseille (France), the 50 participants – the Idea Makers  - were invited to further develop their ideas on engaging people in re-defining and shaping the public space and submit a proposal for a Research and Development (R&D) Grant. Below is a list of the  25 proposals that have been awarded with an R&D grant of up to 10.000 EUR each.

To read the individual biographies of each grantee, check the Idea Camp 2014 Booklet presenting the 50 participants to the Idea Camp. 

    Airspace is Public Space – Lot Amorós (Aeracoop), Spain

    Airspace is increasingly being transformed by drones run by private companies. This innovative proposal by Lot Amorós aims to challenge that by creating the first open source drone, which will be used to help reclaim our skies for the common good.


    Statelessness in Europe – Rabiaâ Benlahbib (Creative Court), The Netherlands

    There are more than 680,000 stateless people across Europe, with no nationality, no bank account and no democratic rights. Working with partners from Belgium, the UK, Lebanon and Ukraine, this project will collaborate with artists, writers, local bloggers and philosophers to engage the public in discussions about statelessness and public space.

    Website: - Twitter: @creative_court

    Photo: Michel Marang

    Photo: Michel Marang

    Consortium Instabile, Italy – Gaetano Carboni (Pollinaria), Italy

    This project aims to sow the seeds of rural regeneration in the Abruzzo region of Italy by engaging the local community through a programme of activities – including research and radio broadcasts – run by a consortium of farmers, seed keepers, environmentalists, artists and researchers.


    The Library Takeover – Nicky Crabb (Apples and Snakes), UK

    The goal of this London-based project is to change the way young people think about their local libraries in a series of planned “takeover” events. The goal is to transform libraries into an exciting public space for young people where they can meet with their peers and get involved in creative activities.

    Website: - Twitter: @applesandsnakes

    Ex Marlstone Quarry as a Community Space – Antonija Eremut (City of Solin), Croatia

    The idea behind this project is to create an interactive park and a participatory urban garden on an underdeveloped five-hectare site near the source of the Jadro River in the city of Solin in Croatia. The goal is to increase environmental awareness and to encourage public engagement in urban policies.

    The Liverpool Air Project – Matthew Fox (Engage Liverpool CIC), UK

    The air is our public space, but air quality in the UK – and across many countries in Europe – is dangerously poor. This Liverpool-based project aims to bring artists and scientists together to think about air quality and to design new cultural products to engage the public – helping to change how we think about public space.


    Open source public space devices – Paco Gonzalez (radarq), Spain

    The aim of this project is to co-design a prototype construction open source kit of devices for public space – one example might be street furniture co-designed by the community. Working with partners in Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, London and Vilnius, the project’s long-term goal is to explore what public space means for different people across European cities.  

    Website: - Twitter: @radarqnet @pacogonzalez 

    Hack y(our) Borders – Noel Hatch (European Alternatives), UK

    Hack y(our) Borders aims to help people to discover the invisible borders in their neighbourhoods. Working particularly with migrant communities in Amsterdam, Barcelona, Berlin, London, Vilnius and Warsaw, the project will focus on mapping those invisible borders –as well as designing interventions to “hack” them.

    Website: - Twitter: @noelito

    White Paper – Adelita Husni-Bey, The Netherlands/Italy

    In response to a wave of legislation criminalising squatting across countries in Europe, the project will work with activists, constitutionalists, lawyers, film-makers and students in the Netherlands, Spain and Egypt to explore the issue of housing rights. The long-term goal is to develop a new European-wide statute enshrining housing rights.

    Public Space Legal Tool Kit – David Juarez (STRADDLE3), Spain

    This project’s goal is to build a Legal Tool Kit for Public Space in the form of an interactive website that will empower citizens across Europe in the active use of public space. Inspired by an existing project developed in Spain, the project aims to encourage citizens to get involved in the legal realm by creating accessible tools with a clear interface based on free software.

    Website: - Twitter: @straddle3

    Clash over Trash – Miodrag Kuč (ZK/U – Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik), Germany

    In 2012, the cultural institution ZK/U was set up in the middle of a newly opened public park in Moabit, Berlin. This led to blurred responsibilities when it comes to waste management. In response, this project will develop a toolbox exploring new approaches to trash involving  park users, the local authority, the recycling industry and ZK/U as a ‘cultural mediator’.


    Street Komoda Workshops: Co-Designing the Urban Furniture for Sharing – Jekaterina Lavrinec, Lithuania

    Working initially in Vilnius, Barcelona and London, the project’s goal is to develop a network of Street Komodas (commodes or chest of drawers). Collaborating with residents from different neighbourhoods, the project will collect collages of shared objects, as well as creating a toolkit of methods for regenerating public spaces and developing local networks.


    Digital Toy Libraries – Catherine Lenoble (Dcalk), Belgium/France

    This project’s long-term goal is to create a network of digital toy libraries across Europe – redefining public access to games and gaming. The project aims to develop an online platform displaying a collection of free licensed games and an offline device that allows users to share files locally.


    P2P Plazas: A Southern European Network – Carmen Lozano Bright, Spain

    Across Southern Europe, a network of bottom-up initiatives has been springing up in response to the economic crisis – from urban gardens and squats to open schools and hacklabs. This project aims to map these so-called “P2P Plazas” – starting in Spain, Italy and Greece – with a view to establishing a network across Southern European for sharing tools, knowledge and legal frameworks.

    Website: - Twitter: @carmenlozano

    Community Street Design Toolkit – Flo Marshall (Sustrans), UK

    Building on the existing work of Sustrans (the UK’s leading sustainable transport charity), this project will engage communities to produce an innovative online Community Street Design Toolkit. This sharable resource will empower communities and local groups to take action to shape and redefine their public space themselves, with a view to creating lasting social change.

    Website: - Twitter: @sustrans

    Walk into my Life – Sofia Olins (Minority Rights Group), UK

    Walk into my Life aims to (re)define public space, using people’s homes and everyday locations as the venue for universal stories that will be retold and brought to life by actors. Members of the Roma and migrant communities in four cities in Europe – London (UK), Stockholm (Sweden), Budapest (Hungary) and Oviedo (Spain) – will be invited to work collaboratively on this participatory project.


    140journos: Activating Citizen Journalism – Engin Onder (140journos), Turkey

    140journos will activate communities in ten underreported cities across Turkey to produce their own news reports and data analysis through citizen journalism. The goal is to demonstrate that ‘public space’ is not an elusive concept, but it is actually what we collectively create through reporting, analysing and discussing.

    Website: - Twitter: @140journos

    Switch Stance – Kasia Ozga, France/Poland

    Switch Stance aims to use urban skate parks in England, Italy and Slovakia as the backdrop for an interactive artwork that will engage local people in discussions about public space. The project will harness specific resurfacing and large-scale mural technologies to create initially hidden artworks that will reveal themselves over time as skateboarders repeatedly glide over each surface.


    Revealing Spaces: Surfacing the hidden services of public space through hyper-local data campaigns – Kay Pallaris, UK

    Revealing Spaces seeks to understand whether making people aware of invisible data about their local area can initiate new interactions and better design thinking. The project will begin by trialling several fun and engaging information dissemination methods (art, performance, imagery) through developing the Crofton Park Neighbourhood Plan in Lewisham, London.

    Twitter: @RevealingSpaces

    New Life for Marketplaces – Daniela Patti (Wonderland Platform for European Architecture), Austria

    This project will explore the possibilities of renewing markets as public spaces, by connecting them with new agriculture initiatives, by inviting various actors to play a role in their renewal, and by creating viable economic models for their maintenance and vitality. Starting in Rome, the aim is to develop models that are transferable to various contexts in Europe.


    Urban Orchards: Pick your (city) fruits – Moirika Reker, Portugal

    This Lisbon-based project plans to develop urban orchards as public artworks, co-created by the community, allowing for the sharing of knowledge and experiences while fostering social engagement. The aim is to encourage active participation and understanding of the possibility of physically shaping and redefining public spaces by planting fruits people want to pick.  

    Spatial Thinking in School Curriculum – Karin Tõugu (Arhitektuuri Huvikool), Estonia


    The aim of this project is to promote teaching the basics of architecture and the built environment in schools as a platform for bringing together knowledge from different areas and combining it to understand this complex part of our everyday lives. The Tallinn-based project will produce a collection of topics and assignments about the built environment for teachers of different subjects. 

    Library-Supported Tourism in Kiev, Ukraine – Yaroslava Tytarenko (Ukrainian Library Association – ULA), Ukraine

    The Ukrainian Library Association (ULA) aims to redefine the role of the public library as a public space by developing a series of free, customised Kiev city tours offered in Ukrainian and English. Taking on a new role, the library will serve as a meeting point for experts and members of the community who will work together to develop the tours.

    Website: and

    We Are Here occupying the border – Elke Uitentuis (Here to Support), The Netherlands

    We Are Here plans to set up a three-day forum where different refugee collectives that are actively fighting for their rights in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium can meet and formulate common strategies, as well as a proposal for humane European asylum policies. This forum will be set up in Vaals, where the borders of the three countries come together.


    Germination for the Future: The Education Gardens for children – Izabela Zalewska Kantek (‘VIRId’OR’), Poland

    This project proposes educational gardens for children in small and medium-sized cities in Poland. Drawing on the ideas of Rudolf Steiner, Germination for the Future will encourage adults to work alongside children to nurture a mutual respect and love for nature. The project will also develop a manual and a seminar to share the findings of the first education garden set up in Warsaw.