In Rotterdam, the home town of Smogware, in all four wind directions of the city ‘the dust collectors’ collectively harvested the dust. A wide range of people were reached by cooperating with various organisations. Rotterdam functioned as a case study , so an approach for other cities could be developed.
In the north a workshop took place in collaboration with the two residents’ organisations (InHillegersberg and 110-Morgen), originated from the concern of inhabitants about air pollution. The Schiebroek and Hillegersberg districts are sandwiched between ‘Rotterdam – The Hague Airport’ and two highways and a future third highway – for which trees have already been cut down. News program on national television ‘EenVandaag’ has dedicated a broadcast (in Dutch) to this harvest expedition. Enthusiasm and even some fanaticism increased looking for black spots, settled pollution to harvest. The participants often protest against this pollution. They want to get rid of this! Except this afternoon…
In the east of Rotterdam, a small group gathered to collect the dust at the Cube Houses (a Rotterdam icon). Participants started in the Central Library, ‘the living room of the city’ they walked towards the cube houses to collect the dust. A small group makes conversations all the more intimate and the follow-up became even greater … one of the participants suggested organising this activity for all first-year students of the program where he worked as a sustainability teacher. (See Amsterdam)
In the south a small group of dust collectors started the ‘harvest’ expedition from community center towards the ‘Maastunnel’ a motorway artery right through the city. Despite the low turnout of locals, during the preparations and meetings local people were looking at the Smogware set with amazement, however it seemed to difficult to participate in the workshop itself. Too dirty maybe? Via two radio reports (by Radio Rijnmond, Chris Natuurlijk and Nooit meer slapen’ VPRO , both in Dutch) the workshop nevertheless reached a larger audience.
In the west of Rotterdam three workshops took place, the first one in collaboration with ‘The New Institute ‘. In this two hour workshop ‘from Dust to Design’ participants were involved in the whole process as they could glaze a porcelain sample with the dust they harvested themselves. After firing it in the kiln they received it as a tangible encouragement.
Second workshop ‘Niet lullen maar poetsen’ (Rotterdam expression for ‘don’t blab on, just clean’) was during a congress on city making, where participants were invited -as a break in between all the talking – to harvest the air pollution at one of the most polluted locations in Rotterdam. The harvest of the day was more then 80 grams.
Third workshop that took place in the west was in collaboration with a FabLab ‘Bouwkeet’, where primary school pupils followed ceramic classes. Armed with cleaning tools they harvested dust from a nearby subway station, with which they learned how to make their own Smogware cup. Telling the story to their parents the children became ambassadors of the project.