La Station, Écoletopie, Nice, 2024

La Station, artist run space, Nice

01 March - 11 May 2024



In 2022, the Centre Pompidou Metz invited smarin to design a primary school classroom, in partnership with the Ministry of Education for the exhibition "l'Art d'apprendre, une école des créateurs." Three primary school classes were able to experience this educational space for two semesters.




In 2023, the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, the Department of National Education, Youth and Sports of the Principality of Monaco, with the support of the Prince Albert II Foundation, invited the smarin studio to present the educational experience at Saint Charles School. A fourth-grade class lived in Ecoletopie for the school year.



ECOLETOPIE Chapter 3

In 2024, the Station, Artist Run Space invites smarin to continue its explorations.
The aim here will be to experience producing the furniture-system and tool-objects through self-construction and using recycled materials found on-site.
The principles already experimented with will be pushed and deepened.





ECOLETOPIE
, is a pedagogical experimentation space offering new practices.
The proposal works on developing critical thinking by engaging students in their environment and their learning program, where freedom of expression and comfort of choice exist.
The awareness of the collective blossoms simultaneously with the individual experience.
Students are encouraged to exercise and develop biomechanical skills; collective coordination to build the common space, play practices as a sensory experimentation, to engage in a form of aesthetic, sensitive interaction, without the goal of creating or producing.


Ecoletopie is not only a physical territory, a place for exploring new behaviors, but it also opens the doors to common cognitive spaces.


THE OBJECT MAKES THE WORLD


The group will need to coordinate to set the common space in motion


Écoletopie is largely composed of "the geometric life".
It is a polytypological and reversible furniture construction system: lightweight, durable, prioritizing comfort.
This arrangement solution without nails or screws produces highly structural elements like partitions, desks, or sofas: a set of blocks of pure materials, of studied sizes and densities, and handmade as part of a healthy production.
The whole forms the nomenclature of a utopian habitat hypothesis, whose geometry is capable of flexibility..
We will exercise the group's ability to coordinate to set the space in motion and produce a situation satisfactory for all.
Beyond that, perceive complexity: awaken to a better understanding of how the world is built, through the objects we use.
The material sheets: history, properties, qualities, impacts of materials. It will be a question of wanting to know, evaluating before deciding, before accepting.

deconstruct and freely build
self-construct the arrangement needs defined by the class:
who makes the decision? who tidies up? who defines the plan?
The object as a support for social experimentation:
The object makes the world



DURING THE PROJECT AT THE STATION

smarin will conduct workshops aimed at producing on-site, using recovered materials found in the nearby perimeter, the “geometric life” furniture.
the exercise aims to
  • correspond to resilient economies.
  • be part of the school structure's approach.
  • be almost carbon-neutral.
  • the selected materials will still be chosen for their qualities and non-toxicity.


THERAPEUTIC AND MECHANIC

The sedentary lifestyle creates hyper-extended sitting situations that prove toxic in the long run.
The smarin studio revisits two fundamental actions whose exercise is regenerative.
Somatic awareness
It is about feeling in one's body what is acting.
The movements we repeat, the habits have a significant long-term impact.
Ensuring to have the right gestures, to hear the body's language, helps develop confidence in one's capacity for growth and fulfillment.

Seated position: sitting too long has severe consequences on overall health. Sedentary lifestyle develops a particularly uncomfortable form of passivity. We have equipped the class with our schaises which are elastic, bouncy, and have 4 stable legs.
Posture in class is a vast part of the group's language. As a class, we have a shared vocabulary, and we hope to transform as much as possible the energy of agitation into moments of collective emulation.
Breathing: a simple technique and a powerful tool, managing anger, pain, and developing concentration and regeneration skills.



NEGENTROPY

Ecoletopie contains a game, to be practiced regularly, as a free space for sensual exploration of shapes, materials, and colors.
It is an activity without purpose aimed at developing sensitivity.
A daily time, a few minutes, will be dedicated to exercising, using pieces of materials, unique shapes, and colors.
It will be about developing a game, an aesthetic practice, inventing its own rules, developing sensitivity.
Alternative to all-digital, this time is supposed to allow a very interesting mental state in terms of health benefits: sometimes called "Flow" by neuroscientists.
It releases a mental as well as cellular order.

The game consists of sheets and a thousand pieces of materials, shapes, and unique colors. It is practiced in silence, as a free assembly and provokes a time of concentration.
It allows deepening the notions of measurement, density, fragility, scale, balance, signs.
Aesthetic interactions allow exploring other modes of transmitting information, beyond verbal language.
Instruction sheets for days when inspiration is lacking, with inspiring definitions:
time, beauty, nuances, success, relationship, cosmology…

  • Autotelic: complete immersion in an activity without other objectives. The process is the reward.
  • Negentropy: Variation of a system towards an increasing degree of organization despite entropy, which represents disorder and chaos. An essential characteristic of living beings and the universe as ordered structures.


DURING THE PROJECT AT THE STATION


The sign system BAba (sign game allowing writing) will be deployed and will be the subject of games between residents and voluntary participants.
The games will be documented and will be the subject of new instruction sheets for the game.