To reach someone else is most important for any development. We usually never operate alone. In the Nordic Network that is named Cirrus and I have directed for over 6 years we have that aim as fundamental for designers. Institutions, teachers and above all students. The students are the people that will take over and look out for our environment and life. A project named REACH was selected to focus on those that are distanced in the Nordic region so that they can meet up and compare notes. Something that has actually been difficult in the presticious Nordic design world. Usually only the select few that have been approved are asked to come along and tell their opinions. This is something that one knows from national design promotions and international meetings. For example only a small number of the same Icelandic designers are invited to promotion exhibitions and events by the state, and I have come to know the same in the other countries I have lived, for example in Norway. The foreign promotion departments and promotion systems is composed of a small number of friends that select each other for foreign activity and promotion. And especially those that are younger and experimental are not invited as part of the national promotion of the design activity. Reach is an effort to work opposite to this.

Reach was the beginning of an activity, where opposite partner students met to discuss goals and ideas for common strategies. The workshop looked at what is common and what are the differences.

Here is a video from the course. that preceded the Reach where the students conversed and experimented with alternative design activity. Here is also an earlier blog about our activity.

There has been a story told that there are geographical power locations for creative innovation: Copenhagen, Helsinki, Stockholm etc. The project goal was to seek for what is the perspective from further afar in the region?

A workshop was held in the Iceland which is a Cirrus member academy where students from the edges of Cirrus: Iceland, Greenland, Lithuania and Latvia met up for dialogue about the region, how it reaches from edge to edge, find common grounds and differences without the dominance of the central larger design power hosues in the Nordic region.

After this event the students have started planning their own collective meeting with less dominance of us in the older generation of design schools, where the up todate knowledge and potential of design is opened in opposition to the traditional design programs. The plan is that this event takes place early 2013 in the Baltic region. Hopefully the member schools and administration will support this effort that comes from the students themselves and not from the top level administrators.

Here is a simple photo album from the event that took place in Reykjavik this summer.