News - September 2, 2009

Developing a park with game design

VHL students at Summerschool: Thinking through the identity of a park in the Betuwe, with input from artists and designers.

Potting plants during the summerschool
'On the first day a teacher said we'd have to trade plants for toilet paper and food', says student Dennis Mayr. 'We were afraid we'd ended up some place far from civilization where we'd have to resort to eating flowers.  But it wasn't that bad in the end.' Mayr is one of the twenty students who took part in the Lingezegen Summerschool. The students, a mix of Dutch and international, spent ten days studying the identity of Lingezegen park in the Betuwe. They were supervised by teachers from the fields of game design, dance, landscape architecture and graphic design.
Mark van Vilsteren was in the dance group. 'I didn't know what to expect, or whether I would have to dance', says the third year student of Garden and landscape architecture. In the end he researched sensory experience of the landscape through objects that stimulate awareness of smells and sounds. Or of sensation, such as walking through dead leaves or twigs.
Students working with game design made a sculpture out of angles and cubes. They then projected animations and photos of Lingezegen park onto it. 'This was totally new for me. I really want to go on with this in Germany later', says Mayr. He is spending half a year in Velp, doing Landscape architecture on an Erasmus scholarship.
Both Mayr and Van Vilsteren found it interesting to look at the landscape from several perspectives. VHL teacher of design Ad Koolen considered the Summerschool a great success. The closing presentation on 31 August was attended by forty people, including staff from Gelderland province, and councillors. So the student projects could have an influence on future policy for the park.