The Metamorphosis of the Insectarium

Montreal’s four nature and science institutions, the Biodome, the Insectarium, the Botanical Gardens and the Planetarium, are collectively known as Space for Life. The largest natural science museum complex in Canada, Space for Life is committed to protecting biodiversity and to citizen participation.

Metamorphosis is the Insectarium’s ambitious renewal project that aims to offer visitors sensorial experiences and novel encounters that deepen the human/insect relationship.  The Insectarium invited percolab to develop a co-design process that would lead to a pre-concept for its Metamorphosis. Sessions were structured around five themes (biomimicry , senses/embodiment, scale/spaces, time/cycles, visitor/actor) and engaged participants (both internal and external to the Insectarium) to arrive at an inspirational vision for the new Insectarium.

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Codesigning a 21st century Citizen Space

Client: Communautique

The Church of Saint-Marc is located in the Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie neighbourhood of Montreal and like many aging Catholic churches in this city it is at a cross-roads as to its future.  Having been put up for sale by the parish, two community organisations (Communautique and Compagnons de Montréal) wanted to explore possibility of transforming the church site into a collectively-managed community space. A process of citizen co-design was organised to answer the question:

How could the Saint-Marc site be transformed into an inspiring, inclusive and thrivable space open to and for citizens, the neighbourhood and the city?

percolab’s team was invited to set up a residency in the church to explore these questions with citizens. We opened the site to the public for three intensive weeks over a period of a few months. We organized a series of participatory activities that invited and encouraged  citizens and project partners to explore the site, reflect together, and dream of the possibilities. The fledgling ideas were prototyped on site and the concrete challenges involved with repurposing a heritage site were workshopped by participants.

While the future of St-Marc is still uncertain (the parish put a moratorium on the sale of the church) a solid proposal for a social innovation project has emerged.

Le processus a abouti à une présentation publique d’une proposition ébauchant un projet innovant  dans lequel s’inscrit le moteur puissant du co-design citoyen. L’essentiel de la démarche a été capturé (textes et vidéos) sur le site web du projet : http://www.imaginonsstmarc.org [FR].

La résidence co-créative [FR] est une approche co-développée par le laboratoire vivant Mandalab (Communautique), percolab et Grisvert. Elle constitue un outil de vitalité qui permet aux organisations d’imaginer, de repenser et de concevoir leurs produits, leurs programmes et leurs services par le biais de l’immersion d’une équipe de résidents multidisciplinaires dans le milieu d’accueil pour accompagner et soutenir les usagers, parties prenantes à part entière, dans un processus de co-design.

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