the spur magazine

#01 espais i xarxes creatives

Contemporary art, a spur for the recuperation of creative spaces in cities

The school, a post-academic multidisciplinary school, festival and interactive city hub

Pablo Hannon

The School is not a school. The School is a festival.

It is time to reform the city as we know it. We want to shift the car and ego-centered concept to one that is collaborative and human. A creative disturbance is needed, a new punk is due. In comes a new school called The School. The School will experiment and challenge the educational system as we know it, and while doing so, shape a different, better and happier city, feeding the future with a permaculture of creative and collaborative education.

The School is located in front of the train station in a former hotel in Hasselt, a Belgian micro-city of 77,000 inhabitants from 130 different nationalities who live together on 102 square kilometers. It is designed as a compact and multidisciplinary influential space to be creative: large common space, 5 do-rooms and 2 basecamps and play rooms

The School is a multidisciplinary and post-academic residency for collaborative designers: through a creative residency program of 6 months, 2 teams of 8 young and international talents are provided with the tools to take on a common challenge. During the 6-month cycles each artist conducts one bigger research project, presented at the showcase festival in April. Various smaller projects are a constant throughout the 6 months. The School is organized by a core and local team of 4 experts with complementary talents and experience. The resident designers have constant and active support from team coaches and do-room specialists. On a regular basis various international experts and artists will give workshops, talks and one-on-one feedback. Finally, a network of international specialists in education, creativity and business will provide constant feedback and exchange of knowledge. All resident designers will create and lead workshops with participants from the local community, authority, (art) schools on a monthly basis, outside The School walls, to share their knowledge. There will be monthly presentations, open-doors, visits, talks, workshops, exhibitions, and at the end, there is the showcase festival.

The School researches how to shape a different, better and happier city, along with its community. Each creator will think, react and create as an individual and as a collaborator, part of a multidisciplinary and effective (compact) team. No matter what their discipline is, we call these creators designers for their dedicated role towards chosen subjects. With its closeness, scale and focus on practicality, the aim is to create effectiveness in multidisciplinary collaboration.

This pilot project operates from an abandoned hotel building in Hasselt Belgium from 15 October to 6 May. More than sixteen international creators will react to urban challenges and activate the citizens in product-making and festival creating. The click with The Spur is immense, abandoned spaces turned into creative hubs or cultural collaborations are spot on. The dream and plan were planted to have The School be an urban collaborative plan to revive human energy in micro city environments.

Pablo Hannon

Pablo Hannon, born in Chile, is a Concept Designer, Creative Collaboration Curator, Professor at the PXL MAD School of Arts and Organizer of the graphic festival Beyondergound in Hasselt, Belgium. When it comes to creating concepts and designs thorough his studio, Hectica, he uses a multidisciplinary and sideways approach. A dynamic and energetic professional, Pablo has initiated many projects such as Beyonderground, Who:How, Kubus Kwadraat, Everyone Loves Ice Cream and the soon starting: The School. He has also taken part in different creative collaborations like The Things I Like a Lot or A2 Collective.