T.I.S.I. It’s your turn!

T.I.S.I. abbreviation, which means temporary interventions for sustainable impact. At the same time, the meaning in Bulgarian is “You are” and it is a message to everyone who desires to take part in a generally shared vision of the place where he lives, loves, develops and creates history. Who is “You are” in the message of your projects as a team of architects and designers with respect to the urban change? And if we can tell the individual, who is the action of a sustainable change, what will the sequel be for “It is your turn…”?

Chavdara: It’s your turn to be engaged in the urban space, because the conditions and changes depend on you too. They really depend.

Nevena: You’re on the move, you can change the environment. It depends on all of us together. We act locally, but we think globally. Even with temporary interventions to show our perceptions for the city, we can make the environment more comfortable, more enjoyable, more beautiful.

What is your personal conviction that in this message you will be successful in a tendency to more apathy and less responsible activity?

Nevena: In the T.I.S.I. project the goal and the challenge coincide. The idea is to fight the loss of attitude towards the environment where we live. We probably do not always realize it, but the environment has an impact – either directly or not so visibly – on the way we live every day. We can change the environment, but the opposite is also possible – the environment changes us. The perceptions of life are quite different when we walk in a calm and beautiful external atmosphere surrounding us instead of creating uncertainty and tension.

Chavdara: Since the first project we have made as Re-animatori – “Re-animate the Square” with stage “Coffrage” – and then with the architectural plein-air “Get captured by Talyana“, a micro-community of young people and professionals has begun to be formed who are interested and willing to work for the urban environment. And while there are still a lot of issues separating them, people with an attitude to the urban space, which Europe has known for years, are increasing here as well. Part of this change goes through the projects we create and T.I.S.I. is only one of them.

Who are your audience in T.I.S.I.?

Chavdara: We do not divide it into young and old generation; professional, administrative and civil. Our audience is wide, because everyone leaves an imprint on the city. The architect leaves a trail with the way he designs, i.e. works. The administrator creates an environment with the regulations and control for their compliance, i.e. the way he works. The business changes the city with the style it keeps or leaves on the sidewalk, and the citizens leave traces through their attitude to the garbage, the place of the cars outside the traffic, the view of the shared urban spaces around the home where they leave. We all work for this city with the responsibilities that are given to us in our different public roles. But the civic role is the one we can actively realize. The urban space is a shared responsibility and this is a key message in all of our projects so far.

Nevena: Today everyone is turning to his personal interest, to his private property. Hence the familiar apathy to the shared, to the common. There are many tendencies that offer the feeling for a shared creation of a place and it evolves in the context of the city or a given area. This is an urban model that is not alien to Europe. Different communities, through modern research approaches and artistic provocations, are paying public attention to topics about the development of the city with an idea to increase the sensitivity and the desire of the society to be informed. We think globally and act locally. We analyze a territory in the details of the environment it creates. We investigate and we see opinions and emotions versus created policies. We propose, as a solution, temporary interventions, the purpose of which, through interactivity and messages at “eye level”, is to provoke the civil interventions in their actual commitment.

Temporary intervention with sustainable impact? What does it mean in the language of the average resident in an urban neighborhood?

Chavdara: Why is it important to have such interventions as a temporary solution to a particular urban problems – it is an issue that will be a part of the debate planned in the calendar of the T.I.S.I. project. Because there are things people can’t imagine. We architects and planners are formed to imagine and design our vision on the space. If it is easy for me to see an area cleared of cars and to design its new urban function visually, it is more difficult for the average person.

Nevena: Temporary interventions are a temporary solution that in a short period tests public attitudes – both positive and negative. And the reporting of both poles – of approval and criticism with their arguments – can be the beginning of better planning. Interventions are a temporary solution aimed at the dialogue on the necessity for change, and the conversation itself, with the involvement of more stakeholders, creates long-term sustainable projects for the city. And this is not an illusion, it works in many countries around the world. And if it is a practice there with regard to urban spaces, this approach is in some sense an innovation for Varna.

How can the temporary intervention give an answer to the question whether a square or a garden should be created?

Chavdara: A green installation may be built or conditions for recreation and relaxation may be created, also there could be conditions for skateboarding. Then we will compare the reactions, because a space may have different functions, and if we explore the attitudes of society towards them, we will be able to take a well-planned solution. A solution that will not require corrections. The problem is not that the temporary interventions are unclear to the people. They understand them. The problem is that urban rules are quite general and easy to manipulate. If society does not set its framework, there are conditions for the project to respond more to economical and less to public interests. Therefore, there are legitimate projects which, however, remain without public legitimacy, i.e. acceptance.

The purpose of T.I.S.I.?

Nevena: To propose a new urban model in which a maximum number of stakeholders to be involved.

Chavdara: And this new model is not in conflict, it builds and develops the legal framework. The goal is instead of achieving the minimum, to strive for the maximum.

The expected results?

Chavdara: In the long run, to change the attitudes for work with urban space. We rely also on the result in short term – if we as a team analyze and bring out the problems in the territory, which is now being studied by T.I.S.I., if necessary to refine it in places, the municipality to take up and to change the given spaces in a direction, inferred from the survey and the mindset of people to the temporary intervention. This would be a sustainable impact of this intervention and one of the successes of the project.

The challenge to the TI.SI.?

Nevena: To provoke the citizens of Varna in their active position so as to identify themselves with the environment they inhabit.

Chavdara: To convince more people in You’re the City!