LAB 8 MEDIEVAL ABBEY GARDENS

Skien lacks a historical memory of Gimsøy abbey and the nuns who established Skien as one of first cities in Norway. There are no ruins of the abbey and medieval gardens. Gathering researchers from a range of disciplines, we examined the relationship between historical memories and feminist theologies. We decided to explore cultural concepts for the island - to reawaken the sustainable values from the Middle Ages and interpret them in a modern context.

We held a mini-seminar for 30 people from public institutions on 8 March 2019 (womens day). Religious researcher Nanna Løkka led an appeal to our feministic heritage while Riksantikvaren presented development perspectives. Botanist (“Klosterplanter” author Per Arvid Åsen) examined living artifacts such as seeds and plants on site. Subsequently, our group experienced a breakthrough scenario involving user communities in in collectively creating new contents and applications in our outdoor areas.


The medieval lab resulted in a conceptual leap, and Urban Space Lab AS applied for an EPA project on Bio Art with Pałac Schoena Muzeum w Sosnowcu in Poland. We hope to experience live scenarios with a large number of users in the future.