Pablo Calderón Salazar studied product design in Bogotá and social design in Eindhoven. At the moment, he’s working on a doctorate at LUCA School of Arts C-Mine, on participatory plans with public space.
In his social design practice, he’s inspired by alternatives for capitalism, by dialogue and discourse, and the marketplace as a symbolic battleground. Within De Andere Markt (The Other Market) he tries, together with four other researchers, to think by way of the living lab methodology, in an indirect and positive way, about the future of employment in Genk. The project is currently busy making an inventory of the talent that’s been found. The clusters of talents, skills and interests which can be put together this way, may later lead to projects which would valorise them. De Andere Markt proposes in particular a way of working for this in which, in the long term, various projects and initiatives could be linked.
“The city of Genk gave me a fixed location for two years, and I’m hoping that they will extend it after that. We use the living lab methodology, which means that we take research outside the walls of the institutions and implant it in a neighbourhood. That way, users are actively involved, and you try and be as open as possible to the setting up of programmes. Given all that has happened with, for example, Ford, the topic of jobs was an obvious choice in Genk. It’s a real issue here.”
“Economy revolves in itself not around the necessities, but rather around the talent on offer. It’s important to know what people can do, if you want to help them find a job. I went out and asked people: what are you good at? The project is an inventory of talent found. The intention is not to actually help people find a job; maybe no-one will find a job directly through this project. But it’s important to think about work, and give new insights into what you’re actually capable of.”