10-08-2018

Manifesta 12 Education Hub, ENORME Studio

ENORME Studio,

Palermo,

Manifesta 12,

The Spanish architects from ENORME Studio, together with the Design and Fine Arts students from the University of Palermo worked on the transformation of an old bus that used to connect the centre of Palermo with Mondello beach into a mobile hub that supports Manifesta 12 initiatives linked to the training programme throughout the city.



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Manifesta 12 Education Hub, ENORME Studio The Spanish architects from ENORME Studio, together with the Design and Fine Arts students from the University of Palermo worked on the transformation of an old bus that used to connect the centre of Palermo with Mondello beach into a mobile hub that supports Manifesta 12 initiatives linked to the training programme throughout the city.


Manifesta is the only travelling biennial of contemporary art and culture and is celebrating its 12th edition in Palermo. Called “The Planetary Garden. Cultivating Coexistence”, it explores the meaning of “coexistence” through the unique lens of Palermo - a crossroads of three continents in the heart of the Mediterranean. The young, eclectic designers from ENORME Studio also worked within this biennial. Our readers are familiar with this firm due to the many participated projects that they have been involved in around the world, and because they were the winners of the 2015 Next Landmark international contest.
Faithful to their vocation to do something with and for the local population, the concept of the Education Hub was based on a travelling educational platform to reach out and engage with the different communities in the Palermo suburbs for the whole duration of Manifesta 12. What better vehicle for this than an old bus that started out its life as a form of transport and urban connection?
So the Madrid-based architects worked with a group of students from the University of Palermo (Laboratorio di Disegno Industriale - industrial design workshop - 3 led by Professor Viviana Trapani, Department of Architecture) and the Fine Arts Academy (Graphic Design Course led by Professor Cinzia Ferrara) to convert an old bus into something more than just a motor vehicle. 
This city bus has become an educational hub that travels around Palermo and takes Manifesta 12 out and about to establish an active connection with the outskirts of Palermo through site-specific interventions. These include shows, workshops, community events and meetings, open-air films, special bus tours and bus-sharing, in addition to digital learning projects, just to list a few.
The vehicle needed some attention and modifications to adapt it to its new mission as this hub. A kind of outer skin that makes this old bus stand out from the other buses. When it stops, this skin turns into a roof or tent to accommodate all the activities proposed by the Education Hub. In turn, the reflective surface of this skin makes it blend in with its surroundings and appear to disappear.
The bus interiors were turned into a “toolbox” to store everything required to run the workshops and the various activities proposed, from chairs and tables to gardening tools and even cooking utensils. The toolbox can also be unfolded to open up a mobile overhang that provides shade and acts as a perfect gathering place. Lastly, the Education Hub bus even accommodates the so-called garden or paradise, with fruit stickers designed by Fallen Fruit all over the back representing an artificial garden, which people travelling around the neighbourhoods of Palermo can enjoy. This creates a place of exchange and fun during the bus trip that shares the art and culture promoted by Manifesta 12, also outside the usual institutions and within everyone's reach. 
An inspiration of Mexican origin as it was also successfully adopted in Tijuana by friends of ENORME Studio, the Mexican architecture studio Urbánika together with Alejandro Morales. ”Proyectos Impala” (link) was the refurbishment of a truck trailer to convert it into a mobile cultural hub according to the motto:  if the mountain won't come to Muhammad then Muhammad must get on the road and take culture out to the people.

Christiane Bürklein

Education Hub by ENORME Studio
in collaboration with the University and the Fine Arts Academy of Palermo and the AMAT public transport company. Education Hub is generously supported by DGAAP, the Contemporary Art and Architecture Department of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism.
Manifesta 12
from 16 June to 04 November 2018
Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Images: Courtesy of Enorme Studio, photographer Felice Migliorini
Find out more: http://m12.manifesta.org/

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