Disconnected Youth

Disconnected Youth of Winterslag

June 9, 2014 - Disconnected Youth

Welcome to our public design project about the Disconnected Youth of Winterslag.


The project focusses on the multicultural Youth of Winterslag that has problems to find their own identity and connect with Winterslag and the C-Mine. The youth participates directly in the project. We use the fact that young people want to show themselves and tell their own story. By telling their own story and participating in the project, that happens around C-Mine/Winterslag, they create a connection with the area. They can tell their story with pictures, words, drawings and many other mediums: they will be creative. Their input will deliver the content for an art exhibition. If you’re interested follow the whole story of the project.


The Youth of Winterslag

The youth of Winterslag is a multicultural youth which has nothing to do in their City. They have problems to connect with the C-Mine, which don’t offers activities that are adapted to them. The C-Mine is (supposed to be) a centrum where Art, Culture, Design and the History of the old mine of Winterslag comes together. But the C-Mine is not attractive for the youth. The youth is also not strongly connected to their homeland, the result:

They have difficulties to find their own identity and connect with C-Mine/Winterslag.


With this situation in mind we’ve started to create the proposal. To develop the final proposal there was a constant iterative process of explaining the status of the proposal to the tutors, the other students and extern professionals. The whole documentation of the process is explained in this video:


Moodboard & Problem Map

To show the starting point of the project, here is the final problem map and the final moodboard.

Problem Map                  Moodboard


The Proposal

With the experiences of the different coaching, brainstorm and prototyping sessions we’ve created the following proposal for the project.


01. Portraits

The first stage of the proposal are the portraits. The portraits are showing different youngsters of Winterslag,  who are already attending the project, in their own environment. The portraits are also showing a quote of the youngsters about their relation to Winterslag.

Portrait 01  202_portrait


02. Wall-journals 

The portraits become part of the public space as wall-journals. A wall-journal is the giant-poster version for the cover story of a newspaper. A wall-journal shows the portrait and quote of a youngster and also his personal story about Winterslag. The wall-journals are located at different public spots in Winterslag. The goal of the wall-journals is to create attention about the problem and topic of the project. They’re also containing a QR-code to get information about the project.

Walljournal 01   Wall-journal


Walljournal 02    Wall-journal


Beside the single wall-journals there are some bigger installations: the wall-stations. The wall-stations have the goal to trigger the people to take part in the project. A wall-station is made up of 3 wall-journals. One of the wall journals shows an silhouette instead of a portrait. The personal quote is replaced by ‘This could be you!’. Young people want to pose and show themselves. The trigger plays with this behavior. There’s an explanation how they can participate in the project in place of the personal story. To participate they can take a form and a toolkit from the wall-station. They also can post the filled in forms in the postboxes at the wall-stations. The wall-stations become a public place of communication and interaction.



03. Share your story!

The youngsters can share their own story by taking the form and toolkit from the wall-stations and following the instructions on the form: First they have to fill out the questions on the frontpage of the form. Then they have the opportunity to share their own story with the toolkit. They are completely free to chose how they tell their story. They can using the map, stickers, icons and country flags from the toolkit and also can use the hashtag #youthwts in combination with their unique form number.  For example they can upload pictures to Instagram. When they have filled in the form, they have to put it in the letterbox at a wall-station.

Form           Toolkit


Their personal stories and pictures will become new wall-journals, which also will be hang up at public spots in Winterslag.

Portrait  203_portrait  303(2)_walljournal  303_walljournal

304_walljournal  306_walljournal


04. Exhibition

The exhibition at C-Mine brings everything together: the portraits, the wall-journals and at last but not least the youth and the C-Mine. At the day of the exhibition many of them make their first experience with the C-Mine and they will create a connection with the C-Mine.




05. Book

Another part of the exhibition will be the book ‘The Youth of Winterslag’. The book contains all the different input that the youngsters have created: portraits, quotes, drawings, stories and many more. The book will be relevant in cases of remembering the project in the long-term. The book will be handed out at different places of interests: restaurants, bars, waiting rooms and other spots.


So the book, and also the project, will become a contemporary document.


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