Although sustainability is the magic word these days, we cannot yet speak of a sustainability revolution. Sustainable innovation still seems to be synonymous with complexity. Establishing sustainability and durability requires producers to make substantial investments, both in time and money, and is based on an innovative and flexible relationship with the user. In times of crisis, however, producers often simply cannot afford to take risks.

It is for this reason that opportunities now lie in bottom-up initiatives. Thanks to their organic structure and smaller scale, such initiatives are more flexible than those in large-scale industries. When the quality of life within an area and the participation of a community are of paramount importance, a social agenda can provide a social impulse that can lead to economic yield.

REcentre presents several best practices from home and abroad, and compares these to eight projects from Maastricht and the region. The common factor is that it is not the industry that assumes the role of initiator, but individuals and communities that tend to give the impetus for sustainable change. For REcentre this led to the decision to emphasize the importance of social innovation as an agent for sustainability in the exhibition Re-Action!

The exhibition was designed by Maurer United. The core of the design is a 40 meters long fence constructed of low-budget beams. On this fence all the best practises were presented on leaflets – graphic design by Experimental Jetset. Behind the fence a double bench is following the same path as the fense itself. The course of the fence results into different ‘double-benched’ social spaces on the backside, like a film projection chill-out and a reading corner. Also, a greenhouse and a time-bank shop display were placed at the exhibition, altogether showing the best current examples of ‘Sustainability through Social Innovation’.

The Re-Action! Exhibition by REcentre at NAiM/Bureau Europa will be running from the 17th of July 2011 until the 2nd of October 2011; tuesday-sunday (11am – 5pm). The inauguration party (midissage) of Re-Action! will take place on Sunday the 18th of September 2011 at 3 PM.