Gulliver is a survival station for homeless people in Cologne. This centre was unique in Cologne as it was operated by former homeless people and there were no social workers involved.
This project began as an intensive research project which involved detailed interviews, paper questionnaires, observations and a lot of time spent within the Gulliver Survival Station so that people became more familiar with us.
One of the main observations about the Gulliver station was that there were a number of people that gathered in and around the station during the day. However, there were no specific things to do in the space. Amongst some of the visitors and staff there were some highly skilled buskers and musicians. Therefore, our hope was to provide an opportunity for the visitors to get involved in something productive and to make use of the different levels of skills that many of the visitors may have.
The outcome of our service proposal was the Musik Box; A collection of tools to aid in the organisation of a collaborative music event within Gulliver. This "Musik Box" consisted of a set of cards in printed and digital form which contained a visual time plan of the process and people involved in organsising a music event. This tool highlighted people that could take part in various sections of the planning and further support materials such as simple advertisement layouts, a time-plan, a sponsor list and musician contacts.
The Musik Box tool was completed with the organisation of our first music event in January 2006. This event was a percussion jam session with instruments loaned from a local drum shop: who stated that they would be happy to pursue this venture as a future partnership with the centre. It was a successful event, for which we organised the advertisements, organisation, instrument sponsors and musicians.
Gulliver - Research and Development
At the outset of the project there were many different groups that carried out research on the homeless situation in Cologne. My group was responsible for the interviews of the Gulliver ‘users’ group. Initially, we conducted a series of intensive interviews with the people that visited the survival centre for the homeless, before completing further questionnaires and surveys. These gave a real insight into the lives of the people who visited Gulliver and lives of homeless people within Cologne.
We experienced some harrowing, funny and heartwarming stories and discovered many outlooks on life and during this time I felt like I really connected with many of the users of Gulliver. These were then used to produce user profiles and personas to work from. The press team collated the material collected from all the research groups through interviews; this was placed into a book that was published in April 2006.
View the finished book in PDF format(In german language only)
Timeframe: 3 months, Year 2006/07
Prof. Birgit Mager
Musik Box Collaboration: Jessica Stihl, Angelo Becker
Köln International school of Design, KISD, Cologne, Germany
Music Event: Gulliver Uberlebenstaion fur die obachlosen