A while ago I was invited to a night of brainstorming, the only thing I knew before that it was about an unknown heritage with eight others at an unique location.
The n8makers gathered on Friday, November 8th at 11am on Oisterwijk station. Blindfolded and excited they drove into the night, on our way to the unknown..
After a wild ride, the n8makers arrived at an abandoned construction site. With only a flashlight and eachother, they explored the dark area and finally arrived at a large factory. After a short history lesson of an heritage expert, the n8makers learned that it used to be the biggest leather tannery in Europe.
Then it was time for some teambuilding, I found out that there were n8makers with all kinds of talents, there were students carpenters, students of architecture, engineering, graphic design and then there was me myself and I from International Lifestyle Studies.
I think it was a brilliant idea from the organization of the n8makers to put such different students together to think about the innovation of heritage, we formed an unique combination.
The n8makers started the night with some handicraft, teams were put together and the eight letters of the n8makers arose. After that it was time to put the brains to work, while drinking liters red bull and eating energybars the n8makers tried to squeeze as many ideas as they could out off their sleepy heads. The n8makers got the instruction to find as much as possible sollutions for the redevelopment of the “Leerlokaal” a place where youth and craft should come together.
The fundamental question:
How can we ensure that the leatherlocal is a place where young people (16-24 years old) like to come to meet, to create, to learn from each other and to experiment with technique and craft?
In teams of two, the n8makers were asked to think out of the box to find solutions for this question. I worked together with carpenter Joep, a super fun and informative experience because Joep had a totally different view than me, together we came on innovative ideas.
At the end of the night three main ideas emerged: The idea factory, Workhouse, and the idea of me and Joep: Old versus New. The philosophy behind our idea is that young and old can learn with each other from eachother in the leatherlocal. Older people have knowledge of the craft process and can pass it on to the younger generation, the young generation is aware of new technology and can pass this on to the elderly.
When the sun came up and the birds began to whistle, all the letters had been fully written by the n8makers. Every creative cell in their bodies was drained and it was time for an well deserved breakfast with the counciler of Oisterwijk, who was very curious about what the n8makers had done all night.
(excuse for the bad quality picture, it was early in the morning for the photographer too…)
For me this was an once in a lifetime experience, working together on such a cool project, at a crazy time, with unknown but awesome people was innovative and surprising. It was a challenge to stay up 24/7 (and be productive) some people asked me after; how did you hold on till 8am?! The answer is energy and motivation (okay not totally true, also a lot of coffee and redbull) At some the point you just don’t feel tired anymore because everyone is super excited and working towards the goal, I got really motivated out of it and the night flew by!
So what’s next? Ideas are put together and worked out by organization of the n8makers. One thing is certain; the n8makers have taken the first step to make this historical place even more historic, what happened this night may contribute to a bright future of heritage..
To be continued… Follow on twitter: @n8makers