The main objective of this project is to encourage cultural growth and at the same time to promote environmental education for the citizens inhabiting the Nou Alacant neighborhood. This is going to be achieved by creating a workshop, using the existing free space on the roundabout, where plastic materials, furniture, paper and cardboard will be turned into “recycled art”. Even though the environmental topics are heavily discussed and quite popular nowadays, the most common association they bring to our minds is the act of gathering and dividing of recyclable materials that are considered waste, which actually represents only a tiny bit of the entire complete process of “Reduced, Reuse, Recycle”.
WHY THIS NEIGHBORHOOD ?
Environmental degradation of the area: The north area of Alicante, in particular the neighborhood of Nou Alacant, has a very high population density. In spite of that, the absence of publicly available spaces that were supposed to be planned and established during the process of setting up the neighborhoods in the city, is a major issue for the inhabitants of the area and it is a problem that yet needs to be resolved.
We are facing another problem – socio-cultural. The evolution of the environmental culture is a slow process and it’s very important for the new generations to be raised with the right attitude of respect towards the environmental space and the world surrounding us.
WHY THE ROUNDABOUT?
The main purpose of the roundabouts, like key element of the traffic, is to facilitate the movement on pedestrian crossings, reduce the risk of accidents, cut down the need of traffic lights and, last but not least, to provide certain smoothness of the entire traffic. On the other hand, almost all roundabouts, being covered with grass, plants and trees, not only serve aesthetic purpose, but are also considered a great “contributor” to the reduction of the overall pollution in the traffic areas. However, the expenses for the maintenance of these public places and the high consumption of water are shocking.
Unarguably, the problem is not only economical, but also environmental, thus it is, by all means, an appropriate moment for the present project to be developed and put into action.
The roundabout consist of one central square, surrounded by a main road that other lateral roads float into, which serves as a resolution for the common problem with the traffic jams. The central island I another “tool” for visualizing the intersections and their adequacy to the environment. The roundabouts are recognizable from a far and present one of the parts of the city with the highest flow of pedestrians.
On the other hand, the roundabouts are an excellent model space for art installation, however in lots of cases, the pieces of art presented to the general public fail to grab their attention and provoke excitement, which leads to these exposition places being not very useful in a general plan. It’s definitely worth mentioning, that in addition, not only the maintenance of these public spaces is expensive, but also the possible applications offered, if any, haven’t take into consideration the necessities of the locals.
In this particular case, we are situated on the roundabout, located in the neighborhood of Nou Alacant, that is characterized with excellent visibility not only for the traffic of people inhabiting the district itself, but also citizens from other parts of Alicante, that are visiting the local hospital next to the roundabout.
The transformation proposed in the current project will create a totally new image of the existing roundabout and turn it into an emblematic symbol – a point for ArtRecycling, where the citizens living in the district will be able to participate in different kinds of activities, related to giving new life and meaning to things that are considered useless.
Due to security reasons, generally the access to the roundabouts is either prohibited or limited, but in our case this is already solved as a problem and facilitated, thanks to the exiting pedestrian crossing.
HOW IS REGULATED THE PROCESS OF GARBAGE COLLECTION IN ALICANTE?
The main system of garbage recollection in Alicante involves containers situated on the streets, either throughout the entire city or in specific determined areas. This distribution is subjected to a determined rate, for example – 1 container for cardboard and paper is planned to serve for 500 citizens. The statutory regulation that is active at the present moment – the local municipal ordinance for the cleaning del excelentísimo Ayuntamiento de Alicante – doesn’t allow voluminous objects, wooden boxes and empty plastic envelopes to be thrown without being pressed/folded or broken up into pieces, beforehand.
A recent study shows that the number of containers available for every 300 citizens is barely enough, and it doesn’t comply with the requirement of the PNIR. Currently Alicante has only one Eco park (deixalleries) available – where you can take your garbage or contact the municipal and order special transportation to come and carry away your useless stuff to the determined place.
STRATEGIES – INTRODUCTION
As part of the strategies, a workshop/learning hall will be organized, where the participant can meet in person with associations, artists, professors and commercial organizations that are participating in the Recycled Art project. The project is not only focused on the overall reduction of maintenance expenses, but is also aims at transforming the “static” image that we have in our minds about the roundabouts, usually considered as exposition places for pieces of art created by not very well known artists.
STRATEGIES – PHASE 0
In the beginning, a foundation [RE]Art will be established in charge of which will be a director and a manager that will carry out the main organization process and will create the emblematic symbol of the institution. Their work will consists of taking care of strictly administrative tasks related to the regularization of the documentation with the Town Hall of Alicante and the creation the program for the workshops a year in advance. The entire process will be carried out in direct cooperation with the association of the neighbors from Nou Alacant.
WHO COULD BE INTERESTED?
WHY THEY COULD BE INTERESTED?
The main objectives will be for the participants to learn more about the plasticity of the disposable materials, in order to transform them into pieces of art – to recognize the usefulness and the alternative applications of the recycling in our everyday lives, by learning about sculpture techniques, interior design, illustration, handcrafting, etc.
In the very beginning, the interest of the children can be provoked mainly by proposing the idea in the form of play. Another important aspect is the involvement of their parents, because of the fact that they server as a role model for the young ones.
With the help of teachers from local schools and colleges will be developed the work methodology for the workshops considering the participation of children from different age groups. The workshops will be proposed as program implementation for after school classes in six educational centers in a radius of 600m (showed in the image above). Little by little, the children will adopt the variety of skills and this initial game will be converted in a competition between the different educational centers, where at the end of every workshop will be celebrated an exposition with the best works.
The basic possible schedules for each center are shown below:
Due the detailed study of the existing commerce in the zone was detected that 90% of the existing commerce was never renovated since it’s opening, whenever that was. As a result of its degraded exterior and interior look, these commerce are increasing the feeling of abandonment and emptiness of the area.
So involving some of these commerce, to participate in the art recycling workshops dedicated a renovation using old furniture and certain type of recycled materials, we want show them how can they apply this knowledge to renovate their commerce in a cheap and creative way.
For the more complex projects, as could be the renovation of the facades, will be offered the competent assistance of the students from the Polytechnic School of the University of Alicante will be sought as well, because of their theoretical specialization in the design field.
The students will establish contact with the different commerce that needs or wants renovation, like a “future potential client in the real life”, and the different proposals will be discussed. When the final decision is taken and the intervention is clear the students will participate actively in the construction of their proposal among with the owner.
This strategy has mutual benefit, because this way both parts get satisfied:
– The owner of the commerce gets a renovation almost for free.
– The students can apply their knowledge and practice in real life situations, as the university doesn’t offer proper places as workshops, for developing projects of any type or dimensions.
On the other hand, there will be activities focused only on learning how, with a bit of retouch, to give new life to old furniture and objects for decoration that later on can be reused, donated or sold – an action that can contribute the fight against planned obsolescence.
STRATEGIES PHASE 0 – INITIAL TEMPORARY PROMOTION FOR THE EVENT + CREATING 3-DIMENTIONAL LANDMARK FROM THE LOGO
Meanwhile the new association is formed and the paper work with the different departments of the Town Hall of Alicante is done, local artists as well as children from the six schools chosen previously for the participation, will be invited to create a story based promotion for the future intervention, as shown in the pictures below.
All they will contribute for the designs and artwork for the project, which includes a sculpture made entirely from recycled materials.
For the creation of the sculpture, we will count with the help of the Nou Alacant’s bonfire artists to elaborate the [RE]Art logo into this sculpture. The bonfire artists are perfect for this job, because as we know they are really good in the creation of these type of artefacts and sculptures. The 3D-Logo will take place in the center of the already prepared for this action fountain, serving as a new icon for the people of the neighborhood.
STRATEGIES PHASE 0 – INITIAL PREPARATIONS IN THE ROUNDABOUT FOR THE FUTURE INTERVENTION
The process of amending the roundabout will be in several phases, since as I have mentioned, the process of environmental evolution and transformation into art is quite long.
The project, in particular the initial process of transformation – Phase 0, needs a small grant in order to be initiated.
We can propose reduction of the current expenses for maintenance, watering and gardening, in the budget of the Municipal of Alicante for the upcoming financial year. This reduction can be beneficial for the execution of one of the following steps of the project:
Remove the lawn from the surface of the roundabout and transform the existing fountain adapting it for different use, without damaging anything.
Meanwhile, will be placed reused wooden pallets that are planned to serve as main structure material for the pavement of the pavilion where the workshops will take place.
In the construction of the pavilion will participate adolescences and students older than 14 and the entire process will be performed under the strict control and in direct collaboration with the Polytechnic School of the University of Alicante.
Also a perimeter fence serving as protection for the future visitants, from the passing by TRAM and traffic flow, will be created.
STRATEGIES (COMMON FOR ALL PHASES) – PANELS CONTAINING AND EXPOSING THE ART
The building structure and interior spaces for each proposal are planted to be developed by the people who attend at the different art workshops. For this reason a modular panels system is tough, which will be made entirely of recyclable materials, and also has to be manageable by one or two persons.
Before or after the placement of each panel, there will be incorporated the artefacts made in the workshop by the children and other participants. The result is an abstract expository of contemporary art made by micro artefacts from recycled materials.
STRATEGIES (COMMON FOR ALL PHASES) – FURNITURE AND AUXILIARY OBJECTS
PHASE 1 – Pape[R]ound
Bulky invisible objects
Given the abundance of cardboard left in any urban environment, be us or our neighbors responsible for its disposal has been adopted so far one, lazy, passive attitude that makes cardboard lying around corners (in the worst case) or in any municipal container (best of them) in an invisible objects, worthless and despised.
After completing the preparatory works at the roundabout (Phase – 0) the organization will begin with the recollection of objects, from cardboard boxes to books (PHASE 1.1), obtained in:
– Donations from family, friends, acquaintances
– Removals and “garage sales”
– Lidl – (this is separated from the trade, as it would be one of the main suppliers of raw materials, because of their quantities produced)
– Car repair workshops or construction stores
All these items will be collected by adults, youth and children.
The first workshop building for recycling cardboard and paper (PHASE 1.2) located in the roundabout – the most visible site in the neighborhood, will start emerging. For this phase each element of the work (plates, structure, etc.) will be formed and made in the roundabout itself with the participation of young people and adults in the form of artistic activities. Another problem for the lack of public space for art exhibitions is resolved.
The building will be the symbol of the first theme of the exhibitions of art objects for 2 months.
Each thematic workshop will last about two months (PHASE 1.3). For one month they can make the different artefacts and by the time they are placed little by little, the structure itself will emerge and different interior spaces will be created. Thus, the artistic works can be developed and gradually shown to the public.
The remaining two-three weeks of the period of each workshop will be devoted to exhibition of the works, to the public. Meanwhile, will start the next workshop, overlapping exposition and educational artistic creation “in situ”. Thus, people are coming to see the exhibition, they can learn the tasks and methods used in the workshops to create the art.
As construction development is progressing, cardboard furniture and auxiliary elements are made.
With the participation of artists and teachers of colleges (PHASE 1.4) at the end of the paper recycling workshops the art objects will be exposed in exhibition scheduled at the end of month.
This phase ends with sales of some of the best artefacts for symbolic prices.
With the proceeds, we will help initiate phase 2 – [PLA] stic World.
Potential problems that can arise are any remaining excess paper. As a point of bringing all kinds of cardboard and paper, transportation is provided for the recycling process in collaboration with the Environmental Council of the City of Alicante.
Plastic Recycling not only reduces the need to manufacture new petroleum derivate, but a series of energy saving costs associated with the extraction and transport of oil. Moreover, the production of new plastic products from recycled plastics, compared to manufacture from virgin materials, represents a total energy savings of 66%. To put it another way, the energy savings of recycling one plastic bottle could power a 60 watt light bulb for six hours.
The second phase consists of the development of art from recycled plastic, and so further advance and progress in the goals proposed in this project will be achieved. It has already been mentioned that the number of containers for the recollection of garbage is less than required by the PNIR and according to the new ordinance cleaning – traders are required to maintain in proper condition cleaning the urban space around both for glass, plastic, metal or the like in order to prevent the containers are thrown to the floor.
I have already commented that the elements for the [PLA]stic World will be developed in the last month of the existence of Pape[R]ound to exploit the conditions. Therefore there will be a small overlap in phase 1.4 and 2.1 – Phase 2.1 is the time required for recollecting plastic and produce the elements.
The collection of all these objects will be held with the participation of traders in the neighborhood and of course, the participation of children, youth and adults in the neighborhood.
For this stage is already set as a small self-financing and the next step is to remove Pape[R]ound, the process (phase 2.2) which is mounting [PLA]stic World, will begin. This building will be the symbol of the second theme of the exhibitions of plastic art objects. The duration of the entire process is 2 months. Furniture and similarly as in Phase I workshops (phase 2.3.) are going to be developed. The last month is for exposure (phase 2.4) of objects of art and its subsequent sale will be organized.
The cost of Phase 2 will be the same as Phase 1, depending on the quantity of the panels placed.
PHASE 3 Meta[ L ]and
The last 2 months will be the development and organization of the exhibition of art from recycled metal. The steps (3.1 and 3.2) are repeated as in the two previous phases. In the last month of the previous phase (phase 2.4) are collected and processed the elements of Meta[L]and. This will be the iconic symbol of the third exhibition of artworks. Workshops – Phase 3.3 will be organized with the same agents. Phase 3.4 is the exhibition of the winning entries.
The cost of Phase 3 will be the same as Phase 1, depending on the quantity of the panels placed.
– [RE]Art Alicante –
A non-profit organization will be crated under the name of [RE]Art Alicante and it will be the principal organization in charge of the realization of the project. Its main objectives will be to promote the creative recycling, organizing workshops, expositions, etc. In the organization will participate plastic artists, designers, craftsmen, and theorists in the field of recycled art, that have practical experience in the area. Awareness-raising campaigns focused on environmental issues and saving of potentially useful materials will be carried out on a regular basis.
– Asociación de vecinos AVV “Nou Alacant” – the most important collaborator in the project
The main objectives ahead of the neighborhood organization will be to manage and control the cultural and the social development and growth of the children and the youngsters living in the district by the means of creating different workshops. It’s worth mentioning, that even though these activities are aimed primarily at the young ones, people of all ages are more than welcome to participate. These events will be a place, where people that share the same interests and affections are gathered by their drive to contribute and give real meaning to their spare time. Another task of the organization of the neighbors will be to broadcast and spread information about every upcoming event.
– Council of Education and Culture of Alicante –
Is presented by a group of people that will carry out a series of complementary educational activities intended to meet the necessities of the citizens and the aspirations of the neighborhood community
– The University of Alicante –
Will be in charge of organizing a joint project between the specialists in the design field from the Polytechnic school and commercial organizations, located in the neighborhood.
– The environmental council of Alicante –
Is the main agent controlling the environmental and cleaning related processes taking place in the public space as part of the current project.
– Participants from the city –
Colleges near by the neighborhood of Nou Alacant
All colleges are going to participate in the workshops in order to for the main goals of the project to be achieved: by giving a direct example, to encourage the young ones to start working on their own personal creations. By constructing a set of sculptures of small size, the little ones are not only going to adopt the right attitude of respect towards the environment but also popularize the ecological and the conservation approach.
– Commerce –
For them we have planned workshop with educational purpose, aiming at giving them more knowledge in the field of interior design and alternative ideas on how to transform furniture and recyclable materials into something new that will serve a purpose.
– Hospital –
A special workshop will be held, for children and grown-ups that are hospitalized, where they will be preparing sculptures in the form of play, using disposable materials from the hospital itself.
This will help patients not only to get used to the hospital environment and make their stay more comfortable and bearable, but also to learn more about the contemporary art, by enjoying the creation and the contemplation of their own pieces of art, and at the same time – being socially active and appreciating the process of sharing knowledge with others.
POSSIBLE SUBVENTIONS FOR THE PROJECT
The initial economical start could form part of a new initiative of the AA.VV Nou Alacant. They will ask for a small grant to the Town Hall of Alicante, as there is an open base for these activities. It will not be easy to get this money, we have to submit a detailed project with the objectives.
BENFITS OF THE PROJECT
The most important benefit is the one that comes from the process of recycling itself. The recycling contributes to the great reduction of primary raw materials used in the manufacturing process and by this saving our planet’s natural resources.
By reducing the green areas the high water consumption will be lowered and thus, later on, smaller amounts will be necessary for the watering process.
The economic benefits are mainly based on the reduced expenses for obtaining raw materials, later on involved in the manufacturing process. In simple words – by reutilizing, the production of new items will not only require less money and will result in reduction of the total costs of the manufacturing process but will also spare the natural resources of our planet and lower the energy consumption.
On the other hand, will be achieved reduction in the public expenses for maintaining this particular area. The money that will be raised from sales of objects that went through a “makeover” and obtained a new life, or pieces of art created by recyclable material, will be later on put into the organization of new workshops throughout the entire year, the specific designs required for each one of them, the expositions held, etc.
The socio-cultural benefits are centered around the encouragement of the personal development of the citizens, in particular – the young ones. The search for new aesthetic solutions using recyclable materials, not only develops and unfolds the creativity of the participants, but also encourages them to look for new materials that may find their new purpose in form of art. This way, step by step, is cultivated the attitude of respect and appreciation towards the environment and everything in the world that surrounds us.