Divers locatios, 2008-...

Camping is defined as getting away from an urban area, and enjoying nature, spending one or more nights in a location. (1) In that sense the phrase urban camping contradicts itself. Urban camping is currently revealed in informal examples such as parents camping in front of a school to enroll their kids and rockfans camping in front of a store to buy the newest records. A new interest in the city has sparked a rise in low-budget traveling requiring a rethinking of urban sleeping accommodations. Existing low budget hotels but also contemporary youth hostels are a poor answer to this general demand for cheap lodging in the city. IEA wants to setup an experimental process of research and design. The Urban Camping Site at the Design Center defines spaces to camp overnight in the Antwerp city center providing safety, shelter, social contact, recreation and extraordinary vistas on city life. Local and international travelers are welcomed to stay at the DC/UC for an 'escape' into city life to discover her inhabitants. DC/UC is part of a larger global investigation, repurposing existing territories for camping and designing shelters tailored to the urban environment. The design center is utilized as a site of dialog with the design community to create tents and shelters specific to the urban condition. It becomes a base camp for expanding networks of urban camps.

Photos: Filip Dujardin