Summer university held for disadvantaged children by MOME and the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta
Co-organised by the Social Design Hub of the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Innovation Center (MOME IC) and the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta (HCSOM), the one-week summer university taught children from Zalakomár participating in the Jelenlét (‘Presence’) Program about the creative processes of furniture design, stop motion animation and media design. The 25 children, aged 12 to 17, were involved in both the design and the execution part of the activities, and developed the projects together through the exploration of local issues. Divided into three groups, they worked on three different projects under the direction of students and teachers from MOME and the Hochschule Luzern (HSLU) in Switzerland.
In addition to helping the children catch up on their education, the collaboration was also aimed at enabling MOME students to gain an understanding of the Charity Service’s work, and create their own artworks taking into consideration the perspectives of disadvantaged communities. “It is very important to help our students become responsible artists with a practical, empirical understanding of the world surrounding them. (...) Design can be socially sensitive and the means to addressing social issues”, said architect Bori Fehér DLA, programme lead, lead researcher of the MOME IC Social Design Hub.
Two structures were completed at the workshops: a community space, functioning as a swing, a pergola, and a mobile charging station using solar and wind energy, under the supervision of media designer and MOME teacher Antal Bodóczky, and a retreat nook for quiet conversations on the yard of the Jelenlét House under the direction of object designer and researcher of the MOME IC Social Design Hub Janka Csernák. In addition, a stop motion animation video was shot at the local barn under the guidance of animation director and MOME teacher Dániel Huszár and animation designer Maja Gehrig, featuring drawings and performances by the children and using the latest technology.
The strategic partnership between MOME and the HCSOM established in 2021 is designed to advance the availability of the social design and design thinking toolkit to disadvantaged youth in an easily adaptable form, thereby improving their quality of life and, over the long term, employment rates in the participating cities and towns. The summer university forms part of a several years long fieldwork-based design research project seeking to explore how the toolset of design and art could benefit the development of the creative competences of disadvantaged children.