Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Brainstorm Session #1: Programming our mobile, pop-up collection process

Last night, we had the first of our two brainstorming sessions to gather ideas around reaching out to the community with programming efforts and informal, pop-up collection events for our upcoming re-use service.

At the heart of the project (currently searching for a name, so hang in there) is the desire to prototype a local system of services, activities and events to circulate pre-loved clothing and get them into new new hopeful hands. Along the way, we will gather stories from the community and explore new and unexpected ways to re-use and re-purpose the materials that make it into the mix.

On a functional level, we’re prototyping an informal yet practical way to keep everyday materials in play and out of the landfill. And on an emotional or social level, we’re creating ways to connect to one another through personal stories and interactions that come with wearing and exchanging clothing.

For any public effort we want to ensure that we're able to:
Encourage and enable people to share the stories of their clothing
Expose people to new ways of re-purposing or configuring clothing
Allow people to leave with something if they like ie. provide hands on, tactile interaction with donations
Create a way for people to stay in the loop after they’ve donated or participated ie. bring them into the fold
Give people a sense of the big picture and how their efforts make an impact ie. understand their impact and effort

Over the course of this 4-6 month project, we will showcase the growing collection of clothing by offering different ways that people could re-purpose or re-configure items into new outfits or new realities. We want to inspire people with possibilities. Imagine: What once was a skirt is now an ottoman cover. What once was a pair of men's pants is now fitted for a woman. What once was three sweaters is now one new sweater (think: pre-loved). What once was a pile of rags is now a tapestry of the city (think Tejo Remy). As we hold workshops, we'll also invite community members to dive into the collection pile and create their own one-of-a-kind ideas that will be showcased in our storefront window. Using the materials, they will be invited to ammend, arrange, concoct and configure the clothes in any way they see fit.

One of the more exciting things that came out of last night's workshop was to forgo a set storefront and instead move about the city using abandoned and existing store fronts as our showcase spaces. This way, we can start to build relationships with the owners and area while creating a roving treasure hunt where clues about the city pop up wherever they might.

That said, we're looking for both creators and public facing spaces that will help support this idea. Interested? Or know someone who is? Let us know.

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