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Gangmakers & Koplopers

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Title: Gangmakers & Koplopers
Creator: Vaneycken, Annelies
Issue Date: 2016
Published in: Series of workshops (Optochtbouwers, Dialogue Shapers, Kunstenfabriek, Kunstenspeelplaats, Trage wegen stapstenen) organised by the three partners (Trage wegen, zZmogh and Office for Public Play), Ghent BE, May-October 2016
Exhibition: Dialogue Shapers, Pastory, Ghent BE, 7 July 2016
Exhibition: Kunstfabriek 1, DOK Gent, Ghent BE, 8 July 2016
Exhibition: Kunstfabriek 2, DOK Gent, Ghent BE, 15 July 2016
Exhibition: Kunstfabriek 3, DOK Gent, Ghent BE, 26 August 2016
Exhibition: Child parade, Ghent BE, 16 October 2016
Presentation on conference: Child in the City Conference, Ghent BE, 7-9 November 2016
Publication (poster 2): Office for Public Play (2015). Archive for Public Play. Excerpt 20161016
Blog post: Gangmakers & Koplopers, Child in the City website (, ongoing
Publication type: artistic work
Keywords: Participatory design/art
urban slow paths
public space
Summary: Gangmakers & Koplopers is a participatory design project focusing on children’s participation in the development of a network of slow paths in the city of Ghent. The workshops series enabled children, aged 6 to 12, to explore possible meanings of these urban pathways in relation to their daily experience, access and appropriation of their city neighbourhood.
Supported by: TRADERS Office for Public Play Trage Wegen zZMOGH Flemish Government’s department of Culture, Youth, Sports and Media (department of youth) Pastory VZW Jong
Description of project: Trage Wegen (translation for ‘slow paths’) is a non-profit organisation based in Ghent. Their mission is to support the existence, maintenance and development of slow paths in Flanders. Such urban paths, trails, alleyways and back roads, supporting and prescribing slow types of mobility are not only enjoyable places to be but they also have a special appeal for the city’s youngest citizens. They are unintended or inaccessible for car users and therefore constitute an essential public network fo... more
Type of work: A participatory design project, consisting of a series of workshops that generated artefacts, group discussions, dialogues with policy makers and a parade by various child group in different neighbourhoods of the city of Ghent, BE.
Description of work included: Gangmakers & Koplopers, workshops (1) A series of workshops (Optochtbouwers, Dialogue Shapers, Kunstenfabriek, Kunstenspeelplaats, Trage wegen stapstenen) organised by the three partners: Trage wegen, zZmogh and Office for Public Play.
— Trage Wegen organised a series of urban walks wherein children, together with invited artists, explored their local slow paths. The children expressed their experiences through various sounds recording; movement and wool weaving; and 2D stop motion movie making.
— Kunstenfabriek: zZmogh used walking and art making to trigger children’s ‘free’ expression on slow paths matters. zZmogh’s workshops were coordinated by artists trained in different art disciplines. They supported the children’s ideas into art works by offering techniques and inspiration from art history and contemporary art.
— Kunstenspeelplaats: zZmogh also set up a series of explorations in children’s own streets (which were temporary car-free as part of the ‘play street’ program of the city of Ghent). The children expressed their ideas through building with a big-sized wooden meccano.
— Dialogue Shapers: Office for Public Play worked with participatory design and the concept of ‘play’ to help children develop critical awareness about their rights, position and situation and to support exchange with related actors such as their parents and local policy makers. Furthermore, the children were invited to hack the predefined workshop structures into a co-designed workshop structure.
— Optochtbouwers: Trage Wegen invited artist and choreographer Liesbeth Swings to develop the child parade (Optocht) together with a fixed group of children on a regular base.
Optocht, walking do-exhibition (2) The Gangmakers & Koplopers / Pace-setters & Front-runners pilot year was completed with a parade celebrating children’s relations and ideas on slow paths. Through the ‘Optochtbouwers’ participatory design process, the children co-designed a score for an ‘actions-tour’. The audience was invited to interact with the slow paths by performing the score during the actions-tour. By doing so the audience (adults and children) did not only create the final shape of the parade but also experienced a multitude of meanings, experiences and ideas about how the children themselves experience slow paths in their urban daily life. Movie:
Children… Blazing a Trail for Public Space. Children's participation in the production of urban pathways, presentation on conference (3) This lecture reflected on the process and shifts that occurred druing the first pilot year and concluded by presenting the vision and strategy for how to continue the project over the next three years. The lecture was part of the Child in the City Conference at KASK in Ghent BE.
Archive for Public Play. Excerpt 20161016, poster (4) Ten rights for a child friendly city and a list of other quotes, generated by the children during the Dialogue Shapers workshop series, were collected an published in a poster. The poster was distributed to the children and the big public about three months after the workshop series took place during the child parade, another activity within the Gangmakers & Koplopers / Pace-setters & Front-runners project.
Gangmakers & Koplopers / Pace-setters & Front-runners, website (5)
Link to web site:
Appears in Collections:Artistic Works from Faculty of Fine, Applied and Performing Arts / Konstnärliga arbeten från Konstnärliga fakulteten
Artistic Works / Konstnärliga arbeten Högskolan för design och konsthantverk (jul 2012-)



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