Our concept aims to give a voice to the local artisans, designers and craftspeople of Minsk, particularly in the midst of an international takeover during Minsk Design Week. We hope to provide a literal platform for the marginalised voices of local craft, and let both the public and international designers learn from the craftspeople of Belarus in an open and indigenous way.

We take inspiration from Indigenous Knowledge and education methods, forming a 1/3 circular amphitheatre that allows people to sit within (on low seats), or stand around (an outer podium/ lectern). Indigenous education involves: oral traditions (such as listening, watching, imitating), group work, apprenticeship, and active participation in experiential methods. Our proposed structure can facilitate a mixture of these methods for local craftspeople to host talks and workshops.

"Think of a man under a tree, talking to a few people about a realisation he had- a teacher. He did not know he was a teacher, and those who listened to him did not consider themselves pupils or students. This is how it began."
This image is the cornerstone of our concept. We will use bent plywood to mirror the rings inside of a tree trunk, suggests the long history of skill, knowledge and craft of Belarussian artisans. Whilst most of the plywood will be hidden within our framework, only seen from the rear, the top of the podium/ lectern will be left unobscured allowing the 'rings' to be visible. To further this analogy, we suggest placing our structure with an existing tree at its very centre.
Seán Conlan-Smith
Ally Brook
This Irish and English duo celebrate vernacular, native, and hands on approaches to design through their research and practice. They are both experienced project coordinators, having built pavilions across Europe, and are two co-creators of the DSGN (Design Student Global Network) platform - a student-led NGO providing opportunities for universal education through immersive community learning and lasting design solutions. Their work was shortlisted for the UNESCO 'Cities for our Future' award 2018
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