Keeping in touch with HAWK's partner university in Vancouver during pandemic times was the motivation for the BCIT-HAWK Design Jam. After the successful BCIT-HAWK International Workshop in October and November 2020, everyone quickly agreed that they would like to set up a joint format again in the summer semester of 2021. After the very intensive two-week workshop, it should be a bit more relaxed and take up different topics in a loose sequence.
In joint preparatory rounds, which started in January 2021, the title Design Jam was created, which suggests the desired openness. It was important that the students and teachers of both universities and the two fields of study architecture and interior design or interior architecture should be actively and reciprocally involved in the sense of a jam. For this reason, the two universities each organized their own formats. In the end, a program was created that took place in the period from February to April 2021.
It came in handy that BCIT's architecture department, in cooperation with the University of British Columbia, the Centre of Advanced Wood Processing, the University of Northern British Columbia and the University of Waterloo, was planning a symposium on the topic of "Future of Prefabrication". This also set the "jam day." The symposium ran every Friday evening over the course of four weeks. Sixteen renowned speakers highlighted all facets of prefabrication of wood buildings, from the design process and technical solutions to the presentation of manufacturing processes. Afterwards, there was the opportunity to join in the discussion, especially on February 26, when the speakers were specifically available to answer questions from BCIT and HAWK students.
For the second block, which was prepared by lecturers Pia Danner and Thomas Kauertz from the architecture course and Prof. Günter Weber, coordinator of the interior design competence field at the HAWK Faculty of Design, Leilani Farha could be won for a lecture followed by a workshop.
How did it come about? The BCIT-HAWK International Workshops, which took place in October and November 2020, focused, among other things, on films related to construction. "Push" was discussed particularly intensively by most students. The flick deals with the basic right to housing and shows examples around the world. So the idea was born to invite the main protagonist Leilani Farha. She did research for this film in her work as UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to adequate housing. After the intensive lecture on the topic "Push and what has changed since then" there was a workshop on questions from Leilani Farha. In mixed Canadian-German groups, students discussed their questions and theses in plenary with Leilani Farha.
In the third and last block, the gaze - from a Canadian and German perspective - wandered into the distance. Students from BCIT's Interior Design program took the group on a virtual excursion to Japan. Arranged according to themes that constitute important elements of Japanese culture, they created short video films that aptly combined lifestyle, customs, culinary arts and architecture. In the workshop that followed, the Canadian-German groups explored and presented analogies in Western culture. This engagement with Japan was so enticing that everyone was ready to get on the next plane to the Land of the Rising Sun immediately.
The BCIT-HAWK International Design Jam was accompanied by all students with great commitment and led to many fruitful encounters, teaching content and discussions. Hence came the desire to document this extraordinary event in these special times, combined with the motivation to offer such international online formats also in times after Corona.