DesignAction.bdg 2013 was over about three months ago. It was our first attempt to conduct a colossal design thinking workshop-conference in order to find innovative solutions for urban problems; in this case, within the issues of urban mobility. Among our motivations to conduct that event was inadequate infrastructure and public service of Bandung, due to insufficient years of governance at that time.
We consider “design thinking” as among the methods that we could apply to come up with solutions that don’t require complicated bureaucracy, gigantic infrastructure, and massive financing. These are the kind of solutions that are feasible in a short-term, yet effective, although some might be temporary. We did a workshop-conference; we practiced the “fun theory” and we did have fun indeed. A productive kind of fun.
It’s 2014 now and we have a new leader for our beloved city. Our mayor for 2013-2018 is a visionary, progressive person; not to mention that he is the former chair of Bandung Creative City Forum (2008-2012), an organization that has been providing examples and conducting city-scale experiments, in order to show the previous government how a city and its creative potentials could excel.
Within the new mayor’s first 100 days period in office (September-December 2013), most citizens have been benefiting from improvements of public facilities and services in Bandung. The mayor also stated that 2014 is the year for strengthening infrastructure and disciplines. His vision for Bandung is seemingly simple, but quite apt: a livable, lovable city.
Now that the government has a similar line of thinking to ours, what’s next? What could the next DesignAction.bdg be about? It was too “easy” before: to fix a badly-run city. But now that the city seems to be in good hands, we are facing a different challenge. Therefore, in this phase of transition from old to new Bandung, DesignAction.bdg will be very interesting.
Starting a few weeks back, we at BCCF gathered again to find the answer to that “What’s Next?” question. Whatever we do, it is still based on our affection for Bandung and our intention to make it more pleasant to live in. There are lots of issues going around; we even picked one for Helarfest, our other main program. We consider it better if the results of DesignAction.bdg this time could be realized within three months or so.
We also consider the municipal programs, improving public facilities and services, and relating them to their impacts to society. How would people react? How would people respond to those improved product and services? What does it mean to live in a maintained city, with accessible public spaces and facilities with good conditions? Are Bandung citizens ready to accept all these improvements; do they have suitable mindsets and behaviors, in order to sustain these pleasant facilities? A bigger question for us would be; what does it mean to be an urban citizen?
Based on these questions, and more and more discussions, which I’m sure will happen a lot more times, we decided that the theme for our next DesignAction.bdg is iden[c]ity. We’d like to encourage our fellow citizens to define who they are, related to their urban habitat. It might seem abstract at this phase, but we have a lot of keywords that can be translated into programs, pre-events, workshops, and so on. Watch our sites http://www.dabdg.bccf-bdg.com/ http://www.bccf-bdg.com and, hopefully, we could spill more in the coming weeks!