Last week the eco-hostel group summarised the work done so far –
I wanted to pick up on some of the issues – especially the idea of the ‘manual’ and what this could possibly mean for our work with 20 de Noviembre.
Firstly, Delfin (visiting with Gabo & Juan, talking biomimicry & architecture) contributed the poetic idea of the soil-water-seed (a,b,c) relationship and how we could perceive the roles of community, knowledge and environment as these inter-related entities.
a) soil – i.e. nutrients
Soil contains the essential ingredients necessary for seed germination. These elements are activated when the seed comes into contact and this interplay makes growth (life) possible.
This notion of activation and interplay are directly related to the concept of the ‘manual’:
– ideas / instructions which combine with other entities to create ‘new’ life / growth etc..
Also, surely each seed requires different elements and compositions of soil in order for life to flourish, so we can also make the connection that nutrients within the soil can be tailored for specific seed species (e.g. farmers changing composition of soil for different crops). But this of course highlights the soil-seed relationship; one is not developed in isolation of the other, actually they are co-dependent and responsive to one another.
So the question then becomes >
how is the community (seed) contributing to the composition of the manual (soil nutrients)? how do we co-create a manual that is responsive and relevant?
Inuit Tactile Maps
Maybe we should also give the form of the manual some consideration. I guess my first impression of a manual is of a set of explicit instructions issued by one party (active) to another party (passive), with usually only one party defining all the rules, process etc.. So the traditional manual stays very abstract (sets of written rules which make interpretation difficult). [Interpretation = interplay as in the seed-soil interplay]
If a manual is to be co-created then surely it must reflect the cultural practices of both parties. One such example is the carved wooden tactile maps of the Inuit people in Greenland, which are traditionally used to navigate in conjunction with the stars and ‘feel’ the way through the landscape. (The carved wooden object responds both to Inuit cultural tradition and the landscape it is ‘mapping’). [ http://middlesavagery.wordpress.com/2008/03/01/tactile-maps-and-imaginary-geographies/ ]
I bring up this example also because of the artisanal culture of 20 de Noviembre:
– maybe in a very similar sense the ‘manual’ can be crafted??
– would this be more relevant / useful to an artisanal community as opposed to a set of drawings or written instructions? [Is it important that they have been involved in the manual-creation process?]
– what could this process be?
Maybe we can propose to work together in the workshops to produce these ‘manuals’?
These could be models of what the tourist infrastructure would look like in the community (community site models / building models / other objects)??
In this way we could discuss together how building strategies and the eco-tourism concept relates to 20 de Noviembre through the process of making
– is this more appropriate (constructive) than the traditional ‘manual’ approach?