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The future of everyday living
EU2016 arts & design programme

‘I am a better communicator than a designer’

British artist Ben Smart contributes to urban ecology

Designer Ben Smart has an architectural design background and is interested in Urban Living and Planning. He left Reading, London, to see how he can help integrate urban ecology into urban design and living. The first period of his stay he was busy finding contacts: ecologists and urban planners around the city of Amsterdam. The municipality of Amsterdam invited him to contribute to one of their overarching urban ecology projects. ‘I am maybe a better communicator than I am a designer’, Smart says. ‘But the combination of the two especially can be very useful.’ He is very impressed by the involvement of government and political parties in private ecological urban projects. ‘In the UK there’s a such a huge gap between private enterprises and the government. For me, it is very helpful to see how it is done here and try to figure out how we can change the situation back home.’ Meanwhile, he still has some work to do in Amsterdam. At the municipality, he will contribute to a ten-year project about the co-existence of animals and plants in the city.

You can contribute to the project on Saturday the 21st of June as he hosts an event at De School in Amsterdam:


The final project is showcased at FabCity on 25-26 June. You can find the announcement here.