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Relaxing at Maria`s
A kiosk for collective thinking, ideas for reclaiming the uses and environment of an urban garden

A hidden garden in Mönchengladbach, in the west of Germany, is where the Relaxing at Maria's project created a community kiosk where visitors were asked about the place's problems and where ideas were collected for solving them.

The charm of this garden, with its hundred-year-old trees and neo-classical pavilion, offers an oasis of peace in the middle of a bustling urban setting. Some of the neighbourhood’s residents know the space and use it for their daily walks, relaxing… even consuming drugs (hidden nooks and crannies make this possible). Unfortunately, the neo-classical pavilion has become dilapidated on account of this use.

Relaxing at Maria's came about from a need for getting in touch with the various types of people accessing the garden. It was for this purpose that a temporary kiosk was constructed at the abandoned pavilion which would act as an ideas laboratory and research station on the needs of the garden and its community.

Visitors to the garden were invited, over a period of three months, to think of new ideas collectively for turning this space in a communal asset. Workshops were held collectively, to continue building the community and resolving local problems.