The context

Design4DCity is a Valletta 2018 Foundation initiative led by the Valletta Design Cluster and the Meeting Points Program of the Valletta 2018 Foundation. Design4DCity’s objective coincides with Valletta 2018’s mission to achieve quality liveable standards in Malta’s urban environments by using the opportunities of Valletta 2018 European Capital of Culture to enhance the well-being of Maltese society in general and the quality of life of its residents in particular.

Design4DCity engages with community actors ranging from individual residents, band clubs, sports organisations, civil society groups to local councils and other public authorities. It focuses on areas of intervention where public space, community interaction and social issues intersect. In doing so, it looks at the diverse ways we use public space and take common ownership of it through micro-interventions and seasonal activities. Design4DCity is based on the philosophy of commoning and co-creation, while the guiding concepts are liveability, well-being and sustainability.

The Valletta 2018 Foundation is also the official Maltese partner in Creative Europe’s project Orfeo & Majnun. This is an interdisciplinary, participatory music-theatre project which links two myths coming from different cultures: on the one hand, the Greek story of Orpheus and Eurydice and, on the other hand, the Middle Eastern legend of Leyla and Majnun. The thematic core of Orfeo & Majnun deals with the feelings of love, loss and longing.

Orfeo and Majnun encompasses an artistic intervention within a very localized urban environment, under the title of Mobile Lab. The Mobile Lab shall create a space where the artist and the local community come together to explore how residents’ past and present lives in the urban environment come together and are linked to the themes of love, loss and longing, particularly through their experience of demographic changes and transformation of the urban environment itself.


The Open Call for Participants

The Valletta 2018 Foundation invites students enrolled in tertiary education courses (any discipline) to submit a project proposal for a mobile lab to be run in Birzebbuġa in the months of July and August 2018; the mobile lab shall serve as a platform for interaction with residents and is expected to be thematically linked to stories, myths or narratives on love, loss and longing.

The Mobile Lab will be a channel to stimulate people:

  • To explore personal experience in connection with their locality, community, public space, public memory and legacy;
  • To link a personal and emotional side of their life to public space and tangible experiences;
  • To benefit and grow from the sharing of each other’s experiences;
  • To get closer to the community and public space by creating something new and innovative.

The proposal for the Mobile Lab must integrate a process of documentation (in any medium) as a core element, which shall be used by the Valletta 2018 Foundation during the 2018 edition of the Design4DCity international workshop. The produced documentation will have to have a component which can be communicated via digital means. The selected participant will be assigned an international artistic mentor to provide guidance during the implementation of the project.
Candidates are requested to send in their CV, a letter of intent and the project proposal following these dates:

Launch of call: Tuesday 20th March, noon

Closing date: Friday 6th April, noon

Release of results: Friday 20th April (by email)

Applications are to be sent to [email protected].


Proposals will be assessed on the following criteria:

– strength, originality and effectiveness of concept to engage with the identified thematic issues;

– effectiveness of proposed interventions to connect with the locality, its residents and local urban narratives and concerns;

– effectiveness of use of provided financial resources and any proposed additional tapping of financial and non-financial resources;

– strength of concept for the documentation of the process as a means of capturing and communicating the project and its outcomes.


The identified participant will enter into an agreement with the Valletta 2018 Foundation that will define the terms of the artist’s engagement on the Mobile Lab project.

The selected artist will be provided with an allocation of €1,000, consisting of €250 as the artist fee and €750 to cover production and documentation costs.


For any additional information relating to the Mobile Lab project, please contact Mr Andrea Stegani on [email protected] or on 21242018.

Orfeo & Majnun is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

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