ZIN in dialogue with Brussels' North area

2 June 2023
Celebration of the creative output on ZIN's construction site fence

On Wednesday, May 31, students of the Sint-Lukas Academy festively unveiled the result of their collaboration with Befimmo and the non-profit association The City is our Playground: the creative interpretation of part of the ZIN project’s construction site fence. Throughout the participatory project, the students translated their vision of the North area into a work of art. Their canvas? The ZIN’s construction site palisade!

End 2022, the three parties started their collaboration. Together, they sought a way to engage in dialogue with Brussels’ North area. With the principle of ‘making city’, ZIN wants to be open to the neighbourhood and be included in the existing urban ecosystem. While The City is our Playground wants to promote community integration in the city through creative participatory activities. Together, they found in Sint-Lukas Academy a partner for this participatory project: a curriculum that aims to connect with the North area and motivated students.


The dialogue during the process

In the first phase of the participatory process, the students themselves engaged with the theme of the North area. On a walk through the neighbourhood, they photographed the features they associated with the area and later modelled their favourite building in clay. In a second phase, from April 2023, the students elaborated their ideas and visions of the North area into a collage through three creative workshops. During the first workshop, they were introduced to Befimmo and started working with visual material they had collected. The second workshop focused on shapes and lines from the neighbourhood, drawing contours with red paint pens. Finally, at the last workshop, the students wrote a personal letter addressed to the North area. They integrated the most significant words and phrases from those letters into the final collage.


The festive inauguration

The result of this creative process, a collage of visuals, words and outlines, was finally inaugurated on the ZIN construction site’s palisade and festively celebrated with a vernissage on May 31. Students, parents, teachers and other interested parties were invited to visit a mini-exhibition about the process and together admired the final result on the site. A festive moment that stimulated reflection on the artwork, the process and the students' vision of the North area.