Putting Theory into the Practice with Erasmus For Young Entrepreneurs
Right now one of the program’s Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs participants Ignas Kazlauskas is working together with his host entrepreneurs Heather Ring and Thomas Kendall at Wayward’s company in London. Ignas’ stay is already in a full swing, therefore, he agreed to share his freshest impressions and insights about the work at Wayward’s which is a London-based landscape, art and architecture practice — an award-winning collective of designers, artists and urban growers.
When passion has grown into the work you love
Before the Erasmus project, I was studying documentary film making for my bachelor. However, my studies turned out differently than expected and the film became a device to explore my passions, rather than an activity which I identified my future with. Yet exactly through the film, I was able to recognize my love for design and development of urban space. From then I shifted my interest toward urbanism and variety of interesting fields within it. I got interested in adaptive reuse of urban spaces, participation in city making, regeneration and cultural infrastructure. I started dreaming about a practice operating on various platforms in a mix of art, design, architecture and city planning. Providing space and facilities to enable communities to transform their urban environment, it would also produce interesting events, campaigns, urban strategies and participatory art across various scales. Problem was that I had little understanding of how these processes actually work. Therefore this chance to participate in the Erasmus program will help me to put theory into practice and teach me a huge variety of skills to actually make a difference in the world.
Finding the right people
When I finally came to London, we’ve met with Tom and Heather, to get to know each other and discuss the various projects that Wayward runs. These amazingly open and warm people introduced me to a great collaborative and creative co-production project which reveals the currently under-utilised potential opportunities of a landscaped in the heart of Sheffield’s Cultural Industries Quarter. They even invited me to collaborate on a design brief. I was asked to go through the documents, advising on the commissioning of additional research and collating information into a written report which can be used to lobby funders and stakeholders.
Let’s do some work!
I was also introduced to the community engagement project in Barking, where huge development is taking place and Wayward is working with local people through the inclusive urban process. This includes various action research methods like modelling, surveys, education about urban gardening. I joined Thomas on their community engagement workshop in Barking. We spent a day co-working and creating with the kids and adults of the neighbourhood. Using various means such as modelling, surveying and drawing we tried to find out what kind of public spaces and infrastructure local people hopes for.
And yes, they opened up to these projects completely and involved me from the start. Not to mention the whole bit of other crazy activities they do. For example, they also run Plants exchange, during which they collect various plants and flowers from horticulture shows and give them away to different schools and communities. A wonderful initiative, to provide people with greenery, that otherwise would be thrown away.
An idea not unlike the plant shelter in Kaunas!
Big city life
Of course, I had some time to experience the culturally diverse and interesting environment in London. My favourite, of course, well-known brutalist heaven, the Barbican art centre. Not to mention the amazing cultural scene of Camden, which I’m living at. This is surely one of the most interesting and awarding experiences I had.
On the same subject, see also : A life-changing experience, or in other words — “Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs”.
Ignas stay in London is not over yet, so stay tuned for more!
To be continued…
Did you like this story? Hop over to Saulė Siliūnaitė’s recall of her experience with “Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs” — here.
And if you are now wondering how to catch a chance to participate in “Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs” — learn more here!
Or maybe you are already a successful entrepreneur who is willing to share your entrepreneurship wisdom? Become a host and collaborate with entrepreneurs all around Europe!
Have any questions? Contact European Social Entrepreneurship and Innovative Studies Institute — the best team is waiting to help you find the right host! :)