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Schermafbeelding 2015-06-29 om 14.25.42
Schermafbeelding 2015-06-29 om 14.26.45

Elise van Beurden


Pooling People
Product design

Since a decade, Polish labour migrants have been starting to settle down in my hometown Steenbergen (Noord-Brabant) to work in e.g. the horticulture sector. Many migrants visit Steenbergen for a few months whereupon they return to Poland. However, there is a growing number of migrants who decide to stay to build up a future. Steenbergen's inhabitants seem to know only the Polish route of home-work and home-supermarket, and seem to have only a little knowledge about their culture. In a small rural city where a culturally diverse mentality has not much developed, a certain amount of background information is needed to live together. By doing a great amount of field research with as well the Polish and Dutch inhabitants as various stakeholders, I got inspired by the needs, future visions, differences and similarities of the communities. During the dozens of interviews, surveys and workshops, I developed and tested Open Design tools that provoke acquaitance and for the longer term, social contact.

The ‘tool table’ is an Open Design acquaintance tool that collects stories and visions of citizens and it provides assignments and questions for both cultural groups. By the use of 100-year old mahogany wood out of the Gummarus church of Steenbergen, the table gets a traditional and catholic expression. In addition, its modifiable content provides an adventure through the city's people.