Founder, Aardschap Foundation
Melle Smets (1975) studied OK5/ Art and Public Space at the ArtEz Academy in Arnhem. Within this tradition of turning spatial design into an art form, Smets designs prototypes for public space to trigger a new view on our habitat, and spark a broad participation in shaping our shared space. Melle Smets is active as a researcher, artist and critic, specialized in creating new meeting places in public space. In doing so, he starts from existing social structures and local customs. In his view, these relationships with the living environment provoke questions of identity, ownership and community. He goes on to research and answer those questions in search for the foundation of a well-functioning society. Action Research is his method. Through ‘looking hard’, developing an alternative view of the environment and thereby converting ideas into action. To achieve this, he collaborates with artists, designers, scientists, companies and governments.