Greetings from The Test Site and year 2019 in a nutshell
In 2019, The Test-Site decided to review its progress thus far in a workshop with all active members. In addition to all the positive experiences and projects created by the network, it was concluded that a major challenge we are facing now is communications and structure of the community. As a result, the initiative underwent an internal restructuring to focus more on the community aspect of the network. It was decided to assign members to specific roles and develop a new facilitation and communications group known as ‘The Glue’. This decision was taken to promote peer-learning and the community spirit of the site.
We have successfully run two new projects in 2019: The Bees and The Footbath. The Bees project is an attempt to better understand the role of bees in biodiversity and find solutions to tackle the problem of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in urban areas. The Footbath project was done to create an opportunity to build a multifunctional gathering space within The Test-Site.
With the great support from Ewa Skowron at Mind Your Own Beesness, we have successfully nurtured two full boxes of bee hives and produced 70 jars of The Test-Site honey. Additionally, the Footbath project has won the second prize at SDGs Design International Awards 2019 for creating social inclusion which brings the participants the feeling of being a member of a diverse society in a relaxing environment.
In addition to the new projects, there has been a significant improvement on the overall shape of The Test-Site. We had a chance to host the UWAS Innovative Approach to Circular Economy course where students built a rocket stove out of left-over construction materials. Moreover, we have hosted a number of events coming from in and outside of the school including The Test Site side-events of the CS Kick-off day, Aalto Day-One, Helsinki Design Week, Roihuvuoren Hanami, and more.
New members of our network have already been working on new projects for the upcoming summer and semester. The goal of The Test-Site for this year is to boost the synergies between existing projects, creating a more friendly environment to the public, a place to communicate, and introduce The Test-Site to a wider audience.