Interview with Paul and Daniel from ZZZ
INTERVIEWER: How did you create the idea for your project?
Daniel: It started in 2006 with the idea to meet people. After University, I wondered what I could do for other people, perhaps, and I created an announcement on the internet, calling for people. About 30 people responded. My business partner today, Oliver, was one of the people who came and we started planning. We started planning in the city, and now we go through the districts every month with about 150 people. This was how we started. In 2007, we started the national living art experience, sproutbau. Our mission is to connect people with temporary use projects, particularly intercultural.
Paul: We get people to meet each other, and look where their projects meet… If there are some similarities. This creates collaborations. No matter if there are similarities or differences.
Daniel: This project was the first international temporary use project, we started to think about how we live and work. We wanted to combine living and working spaces. We are like an NGO as we began off of no money. INT: Then where do you get supplies?
Daniel: We didn’t need supplies, because they didn’t need to build. They got an abandoned house up for demolishing. They got it for one free month so they could do the project there.
INT: What do you think of our school’s mission “education a force for peace and sustainability in the Middle East.”? Do you believe sustainability can really be achieved through education?
Paul: for one, sustainability is a mindset. If you think about it, you will act in a sustainable way. You can learn to be sustainable, but you have to like the idea of it.
Daniel: it’s a kind of way how you want to live, think about your own situation. What we are eating, what we are doing.
INT: Pertaining to terms learned in our Environmental Systems and Societies course, which environmental philosophy would you classify yourselves under: deep ecologist, soft ecologist, environmental manager, cornucopian?
Paul: I’m definitely not a deep ecologist. Soft ecologist might be it. I love to travel. When I get the opportunity to recycle or up-cycle, I will do it.
Daniel: there is a demographic change in Europe. We want to use only the abandoned space, and the people who are creative need to translate to the city to spread these recycling beliefs. Real estate markets just want to bring in money, but we want to bring people’s ideas and make these livable: we want to bring these ideas together, recycle while also thinking about what we need. I’m addicted to the mission statement, sustainability can be achieved through education. It’s about DOING, not just talking! Let’s start some projects!!!
INT: In your opinion, what can we do here at EMIS to be more sustainable?
Daniel: You are the first ones to start this school. You can do something… you must communicate with the directors and teachers in thinking bigger about what the problems are here, what we can do better. Peace and sustainability, quite strong words. But it fits the people of the school. You are not here if you are not thinking about these things. We see a difference between the living and studying parts. You’ve built here a network, these are the soft skills of sustainability. To meet each other, build relationships here, and exchange ideas. You are very young, it’s nice to be here and you use your time.
Paul: We were at a conference just before we flew to Tel Aviv. We met some international crazy guys, and one of them had a suit on that was a normal suit on the front and a normal suit on the back (the back looked like the front). The front was yesterday, and the back said tomorrow. He said in Europe people say the future is in the front, and the past is in the back. In India, they say the past is in front of them because they can already look at it, and the future is in the back because they haven’t seen it yet. Some say it’s better to look ahead at the future, especially in terms of environmental issues. But you might also have to look at the past and see what went wrong. And that’s basically what you have to do about the issues you still have here on the campus, like what can you do better, like turning off the lights or managing your waste water, recycling, compost, stuff like that.
Written by Hannah Cook
Edited by Tom Sagiv