The starting point of the research project "Material Flows Rural*City" is the observation that social transformations, if understood spatially, are related either to "the city" or to "the countryside". This dichotomy seems unsuitable for ensuring the success of transformation processes, as it systematically ignores groups of actors and socio-spatial interdependencies between city and rural areas.
Understanding the impact of these transformation experiments in their surroundings is of central importance for the success and diffusion of such innovations from the niche to the mainstream. In order to grasp this impact structure, the new approach of the transformative cell will be used by the project partners and further developed on the basis of case studies.
The approach requires the analysis of material flows, networks and cascades that are linked to concrete fields of action. In this way, groups of actors relevant to transformation and their potential for action and change can be identified. At the same time, they are embedded in concrete spatial relationships between urban and rural areas.
The model of the transformative cell is mirrored and tested by four real laboratories (social experiments), which are actively supervised by different project partners during the project. The selected transformation projects are intended to overcome the urban-rural dichotomy in various fields of action. The project activities are continuously accompanied by the project partners and reflect them through scientific-artistic research and intervention formats, such as a documentary film, which accompanies some of the real laboratories throughout the project period. Among other things, they identify obstacles that stand in the way of the dissemination of transformation.