Room on a Sunken Ship
During summer 2016 we made a pilot version of the project in an ex-industrial building in Dals Långed, and called it ‘Mytheriet’. We are currently working on transforming Mytheriet into a permanent, child-oriented community center, with firm roots in craft as a defining element of the cultural identity of Dals Långed.
The primary activity conducted in the pilot is taking children on a journey of discovering Elmer’s story: a fictional account of events taking place in Dalsland at various times in the past. The story is unveiled through three distinctive environments, with a narrator accompanying the participating children: Elmer's room, Room on a Sunken Ship and Shipyard.
Elmer’s room is a curious museum-like archive, where visitors get to know the story and establish the basis for interpreting the discoveries that await for them along the journey.
An unexpected turn in narration takes visitors to a Room on a Sunken Ship, where movement, sounds, lights and dripping water lets them experience and explore a fantasy dream-like world of long ago;
Finally the visitors reach a Shipyard, a play and making-space where the imaginative input is harvested in terms of active involvement of children: making contraptions, co-creating a playground and reenacting their own stories and fantasies.
By attempting to connect making skills with imaginative storytelling in children, we attempted to lay basis for successful problem-solving in the adulthood. Research is showing that making skills in early childhood links to capacity to mentally solve problems in the adult life. Immersive environment (where kids actively participate, or role-play) is enhancing learning possibilities, and many contemporary educators see the role of imagination as being central to ability to interpret knowledge. So the equation that we’re proposing summarizes as following:
The site for the pilot
The pilot project is housed in a disused industrial building called Långeds Mekaniska, in the Långbron area of Dals Långed. The building is owned by Bengtsfors kommun, which has been very supportive about the project. The location is right next to Dalslands kanal, near the locks.
The project’s primary target group is families with children, both local and tourist. We see children as collaborators and active prticipants in creation and evolution of the project. With that in mind, we want the Shipyard to become a sort of community room for local children: a place where they can come to play and create anytime, whether it goes for reenacting their own stories, constructing various kinds of mechanical contraptions with skilled supervisors, or making an adventure playground.
Benefits for Dalsland:
The project is supported by Mötesplats Steneby,
HDK school of design and crafts, University of Gothenburg,