Sep 28 |
SWIFT is a bird’s eye view on change, unintended consequences, displacement, adaptation and resiliency.
DodoLab is an art- and design-based program led by Lisa Hirmer and Andrew Hunter that researches, engages and responds to contemporary community challenges, with a particular focus on the natural world, social systems, built environment and cities in transition. They employ creative public interventions that are truly collaborative, that evolve out of dialogue and critical reflection, and that strive for tangible and meaningful outcomes. DodoLab is interested in the barriers to adaptation and change, and in engaging the public in public. The expanding human presence fuelled by European colonization of the Americas caused the rapid decline of the chimney swift’s natural habitat. It was luck and chance, mixed with a certain irony, that created the opportunity for a new home for this species in the chimneys of homes and factories. Habitat transformation is in the works again, along with human-induced changes to the environment. Across Southern Ontario, chimneys have been knocked down (no longer needed and often a safety hazard due to their state of decay) or capped (for conservation reasons), and so the swift finds itself at another crossroads, displaced and homeless.
As part of 1mile2, DodoLab will work with individuals and groups in Guelph to develop a combination of design/build strategies and creative interventions to attempt to address the plight of the chimney swift and to explore what we can learn through a community-based and interspecies dialogue. DodoLab wants to explore what can be done to assist chimney swifts who migrate to 1mile2 to adapt to current changes in their environment and, by extension, to explore wider issues about adaptation, change and displacement in the community.
DodoLab will launch the first phase of its SWIFT project this October with a series of interventions in the core of Guelph using printed material, shareables and public action. The goal of this phase is to creatively raise public awareness about the plight of the endangered Chimney Swift and to begin to explore parallel ideas and narratives about the challenges of adapting to change in the broader community. This phase of DodoLab’s work will be the basis of a community-based design/build workshop program in the spring of 2012. Stay tuned for details of where to find DodoLab and how you can connect with them in October.