Producer & Consumer
October 17 - 25
There exist few examples where small communities have managed to distance themselves from the downsides of industrial production. These exceptional communities offer rejuvenated forms of collective production while producing highly competitive products for a variety of customers. Although a community producing food and other goods is not a particularly new phenomenon, such small-scale environments seem to offer refreshing conditions for people to re-engage with the origins of their consumed goods. In this seminar week trip we re-investigated this relationship between producer/consumer and village/countryside from a spatial perspective.
The Italian village of San Patrignano in the Emilia-Romagna province is a unique community that is in a constant state of internal transformation and adaptation. The high degree of self-sufficiency is at the same time part of its existence and nationwide success. Originally founded in 1978 to provide secluded spaces for drug-rehabilitation, San Patrignano today consists of around 1600 residents. While overcoming their former drug-addiction the residents live and work together in a small hillside enclave, isolated from inner-city temptations. Part of their rehabilitation therapy is to spend time learning to produce and further advance the production of food, furniture and other goods. These unique products are then consumed and sold locally or beyond its borders.
The seminar week trip allowed students to visit different sites on the way towards the Emilia-Romagna province relating to the topic of rural/urban communities of the past and present. Students spent time engaging with the rehabilitation community in San Patrignano to further understand their way of living and producing local goods in a self-sufficient environment. Daytrips to the surrounding countryside and the coast of the Adriatic Sea will enriched the overall travelling experience.