It can be frustrating when the nightclub bouncers don’t let you in, especially if you’ve been waiting in line for hours. But might this also be good for something? In the Embassy Lab New Cohort we are developing new perspectives in view of the disruptive behaviour and criminalisation of young people in the Doornakkers district in Eindhoven. In the Embassy of Safety we provide an interim update on our research process. We like to involve you as a Dutch Design Week visitor in our research. And we are curious: when were you denied entry?
In the Doornakkers district in Eindhoven, officers recognise that they are mainly concerned with enforcement and know too little about the experiences of young people. In the Night Club Academy we are learning by doing. In September, this led to a moment of discomfort: it was evening, on a square in the middle of the district, municipal officials stood in among a crowd of young people, surrounded by the sounds of mopeds, laughter and screams. The young people kept to themselves and the officials experienced what it is like not to be admitted. Little information was ‘gathered’. Had the night been a failure? In the Night Club Academy, a night like this is very fruitful. We learned that the process of being granted access is in itself worth examining. Which patterns emerge, and what unexpected expertise can be brought into play? How and why do young people protect their worlds from outside intrusions? Who is given access and why? The design team applies these fresh perspectives to examine the problems revolving around this new cohort of young people.
In the Night Club Academy, four teams of officers, youth workers and designers from different neighbourhoods across the Netherlands develop new perspectives and approaches to create safer and nicer neighbourhoods. We experiment in creating spaces — often in the evening and night — to help break the perpetuation of existing habits and subsequent problems.