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This newspaper describes the ideas and methods of the urban megastructure Human Layer for the London City. The Human Layer is developed by the Finland based architecture office C-Laboratory to contribute for the British Architecture FoundationÂŤs Greetings From London urban planning exhibition. The Human Layer London is a network of

strategies aiming to reinforce primary human values within the context of themodern city as a human living environment. Without moving anything from the city or adding anything heavy but overlapping a new layer of small scale interventions tuning the urban psyche towards kindness and other values of real reality values that can not be speculated by

economical or political means or otherwise. Values that are total. The Human Layer is a democratic free offering from the city to the citizens activating the urban subconscious towards softer more democratic human living.

Wisdom p01

There used to be a time in the Medieval Prague when there was free beer offered in the street corners. It was the right of the Prague citizen to drink beer for free. This was a democratic offering from the city. The Human Layer offers the modern man a possibility of taking himself a thousand years back to realize that the things are the same.


SHEET METAL

RE-BAR FOREST

TREE

I-BEAM

CORRIGATED STEEL

CRUSHED BOTTLES

CRUSHED CONCRETE 80M

STONES GRAVEL ASPHALT AND FIREPLACE

CRUSHED WINDOW SHIELDS

MEADOW WHEAT

50M

OIL CRUSHED RUBBER I-BEAM

3

SAND

CRUSHED BOTTLES

CRUSHED BRICK RUNNING TRACK

AKROPOLIS / CASAGRANDE LABORATORY / 2004

The Agropolis including the swinging temple, running track, wheat fields, a forest of iron rods as well as an oil pool.

Leena Torim, architect, Soomaa I just came back from Paris. Paris is a human city indeed. Let's take Jardin de Luxembourg, where the pancake seller was very helpful and made jokes with us. Human beings can do all kinds of things in Paris: play, run, read books, take a nap, feed ducks (or pigeons)... A human place is also the smokesauna in Soomaa (small place in south-western Estonia), where you can get very clean and fresh, 'a new human being' as they say. The building is very small - humanscale. And local human beings are very friendly. People of different nations get different feelings Japanese shout for joy like little children, but Paris girls can interprete an invitation to sauna in a wrong way and won't ever forgive you. They are left without a hot smoke-sauna in a shore of a cold river in a cosy summer evening. It is a miracle-working elixire to both the human body and human spirit.

The Human Cocoon is a one man sleeping shelter that can be attached to a fa•ade of any existing building, between two light poles, under a bridge, on a roof or into an abandoned building. The shelter will offer public privacy inside the city. The shelters are raised one floor above the street level and accessed by a ladder that can be lifted up to the shelter, when it is occupied. The steel construction offers protection against the weather and violence. There is a small stove inside the shelter for warming up and cooking food, burning leftover wood, cardboard or paper. The cocoons are providing a shelter for an urban metamorphosis by getting a decent sleep.

The modern metro polis needs the possibility of post industrial meditation. Many cities must be attacked with nature, including human nature. Architecture needs an archaic pilgrimage, religious anger in terms of human ecology. City must be a compost, otherwise it is working for destruction. The hectic rythm of life and dominance of economics reflects in the cityscape badly causing bad environments, ecological problems and the illusion of stress. The illusion of stress is the atmosphere in which pollution and prostitution is created. This atmosphere is closed and paranoic as in malaria. The atmosphere of temporarity is giving the cause not to think of future. Horizon is in no social value. Instead of design we need psychoanalysis.

led wood collected into the spots. Collection point of yesterdays bread, vegetables and other donated food. Urban picnic area with cover from the weather.

A unit for the homeless, travellers and other urban nomads to have a decent shower, maybe a shave, washing clothes and making food on public kitchens. Heating up the water and cooking the food with recyc-

The narrow plan of the dignity unit fits into parking lots, useless alleyways, rooftops etc.

STEEL SQUARE TUBE FRAME

1800

EAT

BATH

STOVE

LAUNDRY

DRYING CLOTHES

STEEL SQUARE TUBE FRAME

EAT

BATH

STOVE

LAUNDRY

1800

CANVAS METAL WIRE

2000

3000

EAT

BATH

STOVE

LAUNDRY

WELDING COURTAIN

DIGNITY UNIT / HUMAN LAYER_LONDON / C-LABORATORY / 2004

DRYING CLOTHES

DRYING CLOTHES

PLANET EARTH ? No mysteries here. Everything is very simple and still we are more simple to ignore the simple truth. Now the time is somehow unique, since we have finally gained the tools to destroy this all - or at least ourselves. Degeneration is happening. Nature will win. The big question is, if the human nature will still be part of the nature. HUMAN BEING ? It is fascinating how we are turning into space ships operating in a vacuum. I miss the Middle Ages. Luckily among us is still people having the tools to bring us back there. We could try the dictatorship of sensitivity for a while. Not hippie, but fascist way. LONDON ? Great place. If London takes the Human Layer, it can change the world. London is the world. CIRCUS ? The presence of accident of possibility of accident is one of the driving forces of humanity and circus displays this in a pure way. This presence is lacking in architecture and urban planning in general having the design replacing reality. In the end architects, artists and humanists should be the ones sensitive enough to feel the real realities of human life and show the horizon, but they are too serious. Circus is not serious in academic ways. I believe circus has a chance. I live in a circus. My family is a circus family. My work is commedia dell architettura. COUNTRYSIDE ? Clean country living: vodka and incest. The city is degenerating the countryside aswell. CUBE ? Cube is good. I like the paradox of total control - like in Zen garden or with the cube. It gives the important possibility of making mistakes and losing control. GREEN ? Red is better. And black. White is good too. No other colours. BATHROOM ? Interesting phenomena. People are very happy pissing on trees and urinating on streets. Bathroom is quite a narsistic setting, nothing wrong with that. The dignity unit. NECKLACE ? I am too weak to wear any jewelery myself, yet, but the time may come. Necklace brings into my mind violent and pornographic atmospheres. GARBAGE / CARROT ? Garbage is as vital as bread. When in our work we find solutions for recycling material we are safe. This must be scaled up to a total megastructure of recycling, there is no other way. War is nothing, pollution is inhuman, disgustingly unnatural and stupid. In the garbage can be found the future of human kind. City must be a compost. PANTOMIME ? Commedia Dell Arte is the king of drama. And the marionets. Straight interface to dream world and subconscious. I think the politicians should only act pantomime way. This way all the nations would be one and wise. ESTLAND ? Estonia is a very fine country. You have still the dramatics of fastly growing and active creature. This kind of atmosphere is very important for all the world. Soon you will start degenerating too. Be clever to attack now. CREATIVITY ? Every man has creativity and every man is very clever to understand art. For this reason the dictatorship of sensitivity can happen. You canÂŤt learn creativity just learn to accept it and not to corrupt your initial feeling. ETERNITY ?All the human life must be in close connection with eternity. One must be able to take the liberty to go one thousand years back to realize the things are the same. Future is the big question, how long will the eternity last for us.


humanlayer

LONDON JUNE 2004

Architectonic installation for the 3rd Biennale of MontrĂŠal, Canada, 2002. 6 x 6 x 6 metres cubic steel frame supporting walls of chain in the heart of MontrĂŠal IT-area in the Old City. Inside the structure is a white gravel floor in the middle of which 4 benches and a fireplace out of stone. People enter to gather around the fire and return to their offices with the smell of smoke in their clothes. Authors Casagrande & Rintala.

HARRY PYE, Gallerist, London. The most human place I can think of is... the Eagle's nest cafe in Lee Green, South London. I meet a friend in the upstairs of this cafe a couple of times a week, and we just sit there chatting. The girls who work there are French, they are very shy, sensitive and attractive. I ask them to bring me up different drinks, they usually forget to charge us. From the window you see lots of children going to the park and lots of old people going to the pub. Most of the people in Lee Green are amusing in some way, often they have a strange way of walking or choose bad clothes. There's an old guy called "Tough" who used to be a boxer that comes and talks to us sometimes. He's always looking for someone to bore about how he used to know the Kray Brothers, or how he beat up a young mugger. The eagle's nest food is very basic, they bring it to you on gigantic plates. The cafe is very spacious, very white, very clean. Only two of the windows open, there are no blinds or curtains. I feel very safe there, very relaxed. It's a good place to sit and watch the world go by.

that has been planned come true. Let them believe. And let them have a laugh at their passions. Because what they call passion actually is not some emotional energy but just the friction between their souls and the outside world. And most important: let them believe in themselves. Let them be helpless like children, because weakness is a great thing and strength is nothing.

When a man is just born, he is weak and flexible, when he dies he is hard and insensitive. When a tree is growing, it is tender and pliant, but when it is dry and hard, it dies. Hardness and strength are death’s companions. Pliancy and weakness are expressions of the freshness of being. Because what has hardened will never win. from Andrei Tarkowski's Stalker (1979, Mosfilm).

05 I 03

human city is a concoction of different social, natural, energetic etc. rhythms and places. these combine into patterns that define our personal surroundings in any given city. thus every person may have a city of her/his own that more or less suits to his/her liking. my city is a result of my active choices. yours may be the result of your personal preferences. what exactly have i chosen to be included in my city in every city or what these choices are based upon is rather irrelevant. though in my case a certain degree of responsibility seems to be important in composing it. to illustrate: recently i invited a dearly loved person to join me in a town that i knew was an uncharted and even slightly hostile territory in her perception. the routes and places i took her to activated her negative prejudice in a very unexpected way. she did not feel good. a little bit of empathy would have changed my personal city. i hope this will be the case in the future and that it is already so with a lot of people every day. empathy, being sensitive towards those around me, may rearrange a lot of personal patterns. this may well result in changes of the physical world: open sea views, flying carpets as public transport, a restored wooden door of your old kindergarten. tim kolk, tarttu, 22 may 2004


humanlayer

At Home in the City Angela Nkya, Iowa State University, USA Despite the efforts to provide affordable housing, the number of people who are homeless continues to increase. The problem has now crossed the boundaries of dense urban areas and reached small communities such as Ames. When I started to research the homelessness I was surprised to learn that some of the homeless people who live on streets have the choice of living in a shelter, but choose to live on streets instead. Homelessness as a choice of living presents the greatest challenge to the problem. How can you design or provide a home to someone who does not want it? As long as it remains a choice of living for some, we will never be able to eradicate the problem of people living on the streets. But is there anything we can do to assist those who choose to live on streets? And how can we as Architects, justify being involved or not being involved with the homeless? To some extent I agree with what the Professor of Urban Planning Peter Marcuse says in his article, "Criticism or Cooptation Can Architects reveal the sources of Homelessness?" where he states, "Homelessness is not a design problem. Yet to the extent it has been considered by architects, by schools of architecture, by the Architectural profession... Indeed, it is desirable that architects should help address the present crisis of homeless... we can enlighten ourselves and others about homeless as we try to detail housing for them. We can show them that their needs are essentially ours." (i) Homelessness is at the core an economic problem. However homelessness as a choice presents new avenues for designers to rethink the idea of a house. Can we and how do we meet the housing needs of a homeless man on the street? There are various reasons for the homeless to reject the shelter services that are being offered. Some enjoy the challenge of living by day, others do not want to live "under" someone else's "rules" or codes of behaviour and expectation. Whichever the reason,

shelter is one of the basic human needs and still continues to be whether one chooses to live in the house or on the streets. Those who choose to live on streets need protection from weather, security and privacy that housing can provide as much as the people who live in houses do. They already have a way of obtaining these that differs from the people who live in houses. They have places such as soup kitchens where they go for food, places they go to shower, and places to sleep. Rather than having all these under one roof, the homeless obtain these from different places in the city. In essence, the homeless live in the city in the same way as one lives in a house. Their home is the city. During my study of homelessness I had an opportunity to converse with two homeless men who chose to live in the city. The first man I met at the men's homeless shelter. He is a seasonal worker in Ames and came to the shelter to shower and do laundry but not to spend the night or eat. He willingly agreed to stay for dinner and socialize when invited, but rejected the offer to freely spend the night at the shelter. The second man, on the other hand, does not want to live in shelter because he can not have much privacy at the shelter and he does not want to be dependent on anyone. He makes his living waking up early in the morning to collect cans and use the little income he gets from that to support himself. He lived in a forested area, concealed from the public where he made a small tent and spent most of his day time reading. He had lived there since June but his home was exposed during fall and he did not live there longer after that. One lesson that I took from studying the homeless is that the homeless patterns differ from one place to another. In Ames you are most likely to find people who work and not pan handling as you see in other places. In addition to that, Ames is only a temporary stop for the homeless not a destination. Most of the people who are live on the streets in Ames are

here for just a short period of time - about six months. For example the first man was a seasonal worker while the other had been in Ames for five months and was planning to leave soon. This means some of the homeless projects done in other parts might not work in Ames. Any homeless project needs to specifically respond to the nature of the homeless people in that area. While homelessness is a new problem in our society, the homeless nomadic lifestyle predates urban settlements. The homeless are the modern day nomads moving from one city to another in search of favorable conditions and jobs. This is especially true in Ames. The second man could have moved to another place in Ames where he is well concealed from the public or to the southern states where it is much warmer. In the same way the seasonal worker migrates from one city to another to work. But even though the homeless live in cities, cities, being a result of established settlements, do not cater for the nomadic lifestyle. Cities have a hierarchy of spaces that range from private to public and have rules and regulations that control how one occupies and behaves in these spaces. For example, private behaviors such as sleeping are only allowed in the private spaces and hardly on the public spaces. Our houses reflect this hierarchical arrangement of spaces by having rooms that are designed for specific purposes, - a dining room, living room and bathroom. What makes a person homeless in the city is the lack of private spaces. They can only use the city's public spaces. This hierarchy of spaces therefore alienates the nomads from the city. The British Architect and Lecturer Robert Kronenburg, supports this idea by arguing that, for a person to create a home in a place, they have to have the freedom to arrange the space in a way that they like. In his essay, "Modern Architecture and Flexible Dwelling" he says, "when I travel I bundle my possessions into compact containers... when I arrive at my destination a part of settling in is that I open my possessions out into the room I occupy... when we

arrive somewhere different we "create" a new home by endowing it with our presence in the form of the interior landscape of our possession. But it is not just the variety and familiarity of these possessions that define our identity in this adopted space, but the way we distribute them..." (ii) He gives an example of a perfect holiday house as the one in which the temporary owners have the freedom to move the furniture and change things around to make the place more at home. Flexibility and objects that can be adapted to serve different functions have always been the characteristics and elements of the nomadic lifestyle. Based on his argument, for a homeless man to be at home in the city the public elements of the city will have to be adaptable and the set of rules and regulations loosened to allow for some of the private behaviors such as sleeping. In other words, the way to provide a home to someone who lives on the streets is by the creation of flexible spaces. This is good news to both the designers and the city residents because it frees us from the expense of creating new spaces for the single purpose of serving the homeless. Instead of creating a new building, which raises the questions of where it is to be located and who will fund its construction we can simply use the existing elements such as bus shelters and make them adaptable for sleeping at certain hours. The bus shelters in Ames are used during the day and remain unused after midnight. We could design them in such a way that they can transformed to a sleeping compartment from midnight to 6 am. Buildings such as transit bus depots, which Ames does not have at the moment, can serve dual functions by providing services such as public bathrooms, telephones and lockers to both the travelers and the homeless. We can not fully address the issue of homelessness without looking at the causes for homelessness. Family breakup is the number one reason for homelessness in Iowa followed by domestic violence (iii). But urban redevelopment ranks high among the causes for

LONDON JUNE 2004

homelessness nationwide.(iv) Urban renewal projects have left some of the urban poor homeless. These projects involve a wide range of professionals - Architects, urban planners, developers, and city officials. Urban redevelopment may not be the cause homelessness in Iowa but it impacts us all due to the nomadic lifestyle of the homeless. The homeless men I met in Ames were from San Francisco, Kansas and other parts of the country. We are therefore not isolated from the consequences of what happens in other places. Homelessness is not a poor design problem in terms of aesthetics and functionality of the architecture of the built environment, but is in part poor design in term of failure to address the impact of the built environment on the society. That is what makes homelessness an architectural problem. The profession of Architecture is as much about aesthetics and functionality as it is about social implication. Homelessness is in a certain way a reflection of how the built environment is becoming more and more geared towards the rich and the elite and is ignoring the urban poor. It is therefore not only desirable that architects should help address the problem of homelessness, it's our duty. Homelessness has become one of the new elements of the urban environment and it's our duty as designers to raise its awareness to the society. It is our duty too to suggest ways in which the homeless can be helped. Homelessness is an economic problem and there will always be the poor amongst us, but we should not ignore them. We need to look at alternative ways of providing housing to those who can not afford to live in a house. In the city, the nomad is at the mercy of the resident because the city is the resident's territory. The resident is the taxpayer and the one who supports and maintains the city. An Architect may be able to provide adaptable bus shelters, or design public bathrooms but the one who approves of whether the project gets to be executed are the city official, representing the community. The client then is not the homeless but the resi-

I 05

dent. This makes the resident responsible for the homeless. We are the owners of the city and based on that we all have a choice to make when it comes to homelessness. We can either ignore them, reject them, or accept them. However, as the number of homeless people continues to increase in our community and nationwide the problem becomes more difficult to ignore. Rejecting them by pushing them away will not address the problem. Furthermore it can be argued that we can not push the homeless away from us for the majority of the ones we have in Ames are from other places. We should accept their lifestyle and provide the environment that suits both our lifestyle and theirs. There are opportunities to provide housing for the homeless people on streets but these can only be accomplished by a joint effort between Architects, the community and different professions. It is our responsibility as Architects to help the homeless because we have the training to design, among other things homes for people. Our services need not to be only traditional homes to those who can afford but non traditional and to those who can not afford normal houses. (i) "Criticism or Cooptation: Can Architects Reveal the Sources of Homelessness?", Peter Marcuse, Crit, Spring 1988, p. 33 (ii) "Modern Architecture and flexible dwelling," Robert Kronenburg, in "Living in Motion - Design and Architecture for flexible dwelling" edited by Mathias Schwartz-Clauss and Alexander von Vegesack, 2002, Weil am Rhein : Vitra Design Museum (iii) "Iowa Homeless Population: 1999 Estimates and Profile. A Report Prepared for the State of Iowa by the University of Iowa in Cooperation with the Iowa Department of Education and Other State Agencies." http://planning.urban.uiowa.edu/homel ess/draft3.htm (iv) Arlene Zarembka, "The Urban Housing Crisis", 1990, Greenwood Press Inc, Westport Connecticut Special thanks to the homeless men who provided me with a wealth of insight on being homeless and to the staff and temporary residents of the Ames Emergency Room project. Angela Nkya is the Winner of the Berkeley Prize 2004.


is an illegal village inside Taipei City, Taiwan. The population is mainly elderly Kuomingtang veterans that are continuing old Chinese village living in the middle of the hectic city. The life is very much down to earth and based on basic human values. The city wanted to bulldoze down the village and plant a park to the site. I was comissioned by the Taipei City Goverment Department of Cultural Affairs to realize and architectonic or landscape installation for the city. I chose Treasure Hill to work with and started to implant and reinforce values in the village that I feel the modern city is missing. Treasure Hill turned into an urban laboratory of sustainable living and ecological rehabilitation. The values found in Treasure Hill will be brought to Taipei as the megastructure of Organic Layer_Taipei in future. I worked in Treasure Hill with altogether 200 students from different universities, mainly Tamkang University and National Taiwanese University. After realizing the fragments of Organic Layer_Taipei in Treasure Hill the values were brought to the city center in a parade of Trojan Horses.

Homo conclusus Tommy Plummer We live in a society that established itself on community and developed through science. While the foundation of community is a pure one, the advancement of science has gradually removed itself from such a pure gesture. The notion of purity has been warped and now society has adopted science over community. We have forgotten our natural roots. Speculation is replaced by fact, supported by undisputable evidence. Ignorance is bliss, but bliss seems unimportant in modern society. Nature is naturally and effortlessly beautiful (it has had the practice and paid for its mistakes). Humans have negated the process of natural selection and the Darwinian principle of survival of the fittest through the evolution of tools, weapons, religious doctrine and science, thus replacing it with technology, and the philosophies of dominance and servitude (renouncing our equality to our fellow inhabitants of the earth). Humans have taken the process of evolution into their own hands and made it redundant in its own species. They have dispatched of a vital process and the replacement will be weighed and found wanting. It is my ,and i짜m sure many others짜, opinion, however, that before technology kills man it will make humans and humanity impotent, physically and philosophically. Humans are the only animals who have anything more than a stick as a tool or weapon. Certain things have been granted us by our own permission. Such as the ability for conflict on a multiplicitous level - one man can extinguish an entire population with his index finger. Such as the ability to cut down the producers of our life-breath, the trees, faster than they will grow. The removal of interactions with nature and instinctive behaviour is the process and the increase of allergies, disease, depression and suicide has been the cost. Medicine won't save us, it's most prominent facet, genetics allows us to meddle with evolution which has been perfecting it`s art for hundreds of millions of years. Genetics cannot compete with this, and now medicine is facing an evolutionary regression whereby the genome can be manipulated for human benefit. No longer are we homo sapiens, we gave up the right to such a dignified name when we embraced these multiplicitous technologies. We may, I suggest, more accurately call ourselves homo conclusus. Humankind is going nowhere but to its own extinction and we짜re going to drag as many other species as we possibly can, with us. Society does not work without humanity, without humanity society is ugly.

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A STUDY for an urban strategy for sustainable living in Taipei City, Taiwan by changing the illegal settlement of Treasure Hill into an urban laboratory of testing different solution of sustainable urban life. Composting of organic community waste, grey water vegetation filtering, vegetable gardens, shelter for playing mah-jong and ping-pong, fireplace, complex system of stairways, terraces and bridges activating the vertically built village, occupation of houses for student living units. Changing the illegal village for a part of permanent piece of environmental art.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

FINLAND GERMANY NETHERLANDS IRELAND ITALY GREECE FRANCE AUSTRIA BELGIUM SWEDEN ENGLAND

POPULATION 5 200 000 82 357 000 16 150 000 3 920 000 5 748 000 10 970 000 60 144 000 8 116 000 1 031 800 8 880 000 58 789 194

1

4 11 2 7

3 5 6

OVERNIGHT TOURISTS 2 826 17 969 99 095 6 746 39 799 14 180 77 012 18 611 6 724 2 894 6 957

HOMELESS 9 660 41 000 3 200 5 500 17 000 1 700 55 000 70 000 20 000 12 600 9 680

Urban planning is an obvious answer for the anguishes suffered in society as a result of the disconnection from nature. Removing of preconceived ideas of the city superstructure - in essence removing city from city, breaking it down to multiple individual communities and the family unit and building it up in the form of the prime factor of that community, the family unit and the home, rather than a homogenised mass of inhumane walking brains, is the cornerstone of the human layer. It's the instinct of animals to establish a territory, and many root themselves further by building shelter for warmth, protection etc.. So why not extend the basic home unit so that it encapsulates many such individual units. Making the city a house, forming the city in the mould of a home. You can eat here, sleep there, relax in the CityZen garden here, store things there. But all this is sensed on the level of community, shared experience and rehabilitated culture. A common goal is thus realised, humanity develops. So the human layer provides a zone not just for the individual, or a group made up of plural individuals, but one where humanity is reintroduced in its basic, pure, and undistorted form; reintroduced by small gestures of kindness provided by community. Urban metamorphosis. Everything functions on some level, whether mechanically, emotionally, or to serve the senses. The human layer restores humanity to society. The human layer works and so it is beautiful. The writer Tommy Plummer is a biologist who joined C-Laboratory in Tallinn on his way back home from a bicycle trip from England to Moscow.


humanlayer

LONDON JUNE 2004

I 05


Time again for a Revolution. Class struggle and imperialism still exist. Soviet Union went down. The Big Oil is here. Before, the men were killed by death, now they fade away. The enemy is grey. Chemical warfare, World War 1 style. More silent, but more massive. The final solution. Who can afford not to pollute their own land, they buy the pollution to go abroad. China is a good place to pollute. The goods come back home in time. People can still die in masses the Mao style to fuel the industry. Metropolis, Moloch, money to the few. Locked behind the Himalayas and the Gobi. Nobody knows. They all know the money of course. So the three headed dragon eats it all away. USA, China, Russia. Russia barely surviving to the others. But China and US, yes the mad twins. One has to obey, China doesnÕt need to, but the others. Russia survives somehow. Capitalism is gone, industrialism is gone, now the Nazis.

Pollutionsraum. They even took away the 80Õs. Now itÕs just grey. Straight forwarded war. Good time to occupy the moon. Who will win Ð China or USA? If China produces and US consumes, China will win. But the US is in China already and the Chinese have been in US forever. Is it the fusion then Ð the Pacific King Kong thing? China and America being one? Now you can go, where people are one? Maybe Africa will survive, because it is so god damn poor and not interesting. The diamond deal will fade away some day anyway and then itÕs just the shit huts again. Osama Bin Laden in Sudan bottling water and thinking of chewing gums, cooking up some explosives and feeling eunuch, because he knows he canÕt win. Maybe he can win in Africa? Good people around him. Muammar Gaddafi, the Jews. They need him. The rest donÕt give a shit. It only makes us stronger if he blows up things in Mid-

West. And he knows it. Poor bastard. Europe, who the hell knows. We can consume all right. Maybe it will go just fine.Yes, but the new world order. The pollution will sort out the population problem in Asia. No more war needed, or maybe they have some wars. China has land enough, I guess places to breathe too. And the one son policy bringing up the chosen generation of bullies who have had it all. And will. The masses, they will carry the familyÕs only son back to the forbidden city, the Club of the Sons. Taiwan being quite healthy in the neighbour, but can unfortunately drown in its own shit. Anyway being the laboratory of the ChinaAmerican new way. WhatÕs all this about the new way? No more mocking on China. And where is the money? Give it to us. We need it to save you from yourself. And the Russians. Behind their cold as always. Waiting

Urban Hypnopaedia

Mr. Cycly Man

"And that, that is the secret of happiness and virtue liking what you've got to do. All conditioning aims at that: making people like their inescapable social destiny"

Exploring an innate nomadic tendency, and in need of distancing myself from the pressures of home and the rat race, I set out on a cycle trip from my home in the UK to Red Square in Moscow. The distancing was important, there is a need to remove oneself from a problem to look at it objectively. Like looking at a picture an inch from your face, you need to step back in order to see the bigger picture, so you can explore the details in the context of the picture.

Now I feel more installation for the third contented and I think I Yokohama Triennial of Contemporary Art 2001 in have resolved my Yokohama, Japan, which was problems, if only by curated by Fumio Nanjo. displacing them from my A hangar built for 72 balsa mind with a void, like a birds which carry 5 seeds and vacuum of conscious messages in test tubes inside thought. No doubt when I them. The birds are sent to the return the bubble will height of 10 kilometres with burst, I will be reminded of VAISALA - meteorological all the reasons for leaving the UK. Although I was alone I didn`t feel lonely, and despite much adversity I never got very stressed or gave up. To me, now, these seem like constructs of my old life.

I made every effort to consciously think about, and work through my problems at home, but mile after mile, and long hours of endless stretches of monotonous road were not conducive to such rational reminiscences. Instead I found myself, from a very early stage, thinking of absolutely nothing. I would look at a road sign indicating where to turn at a crossroad and, a hundred yards on, entirely forget where i was going. I was like a robot, my legs pedalling without complaint, and my brain empty.

Rather than the trip ending in glorious festivities, I found myself visiting the British Embassy due to visa problems, and subsequently sleeping on the streets of Moscow in the rain and near freezing temperatures. Not prepared to spend further nights sleeping rough, I left for Latvia the following day, reducing my stay in Russia by nearly two weeks.

Bird Cage Yokohama An Architectonic

Trojan Rocking Horse The Trojan Rocking Horse is a mailbox for recording urban subconscious. The citizens are encouraged to leave their comments about their living environment, their dreams and their deepest wishes into the Trojan Horses placed around London. Every third month the Trojan Rocking Horses will be opened by C-LAB and the recorded data will be examined. C-LAB will react to the information by means of urban planning, architecture or environmental art or free mixtures of the mentioned disciplines. The Trojan Rocking Horses are aiming to find a straight interface between the citizens and urban planning. "The mediator between the head and the hands must be the heart." Fritz Lang, Metropolis.

Liking what you've got to do. Necessity is the key to happiness and virtue. The luxuries and excesses are superfluous and unnecessary burdens of society, unless it is to become an unhappy, greedy one. Hypnopaedia, not through the spoken word, and not while asleep. In the living, breathing environment that surrounds us. Change the environment and the attitudes will change. Urban planning is hypnopaedia. Framing nature in a particular way so as to affect attitude and philosophy. Emotion and attitude is the glue that welds community. Urban planning, architecture, humanism and art are the producers of the glue. The better the glue the stronger the bond in the community.

for the shit to hit the fan and then relax big time and flourish. Maybe they will buy America Ð the ChinaAmerican Czar. Fucking hell. He is the chosen one.

balloons. After the burst of the balloon the birds will glide long distances according to the turbulences and winds landing around Japan and to the Pacific Ocean. The finder of the bird is asked to take responsibility of planting and taking care of the seeds and to send information to Casagrande & Rintala. The building was made out of concrete ironing steel bars and hemp rope.


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A floating transparent sauna in Hardangerfjord, Norway.

Constructed in 2002 for the community of Rosendal, Norway, the sauna in the Hardangerfjord serves as a democratic centerpoint of the village.

One comes to the public sauna with a rowing boat, takes off the clothes and enters the bath. The floor is open to the sea, making it possible to have a dip inside

the sauna. The walls are semi-transparent and pulsating according to the steam raising up from the water thrown to the hot stones.

Urban Accupuncture There was a time in the Medieval Prague when there was free beer in the street corners. It was the right for a Prague citizen to get his free beer. This was a democratic offering from the city. We can add these kinds of democratic offerings to all existing cities without removing anything or basically building anything like urban accupuncture. Add a new layer to the existing urban context, a Human Layer and heal the body.

Like the attic is the memory and subconscious of the house we need to build up urban public attics to reinforce the common psyche and give the urban subconscious platforms to take form. The urban attics are

stress and artificial time offering a possibility to meet human time. Attics are a place to store things. The objects on attic have fine qualities of meaning and story. Walk about in

Swimming in the river Thames may result in a near-to-death experience if you believe local authorities. Prevailing strong currents impose the risk of drowning to the pleased swimmer, sharp objects like broken glass and metal pieces on the ground, a piranha here and there once in a while, and - of course - the quality of the water harming your respira-

tory tract, eyes, and ears. But did you know that until 1972, the City of London was putting up a beach close to London Tower, refreshing the sand every year? Actually, you will find more spots than you can think of to take a dip close to your city. Places where you might go for a swim as proposed by the River and Lakes Swimming Association (RALSA):

* * * * *

Tooting Bec Lido the Serpentine Highgate ponds Frensham Great Pond Clifton Hampden Duxford, difficult to find, down a private-looking pea-gravel path beside a tiny thatched cottage. * Hurley Meadows caravan park, no need to have a caravan! * Rushey Weir Pool loads of picnic space.

other peoples heads. The attic space is not fixed to the present moment but floats in time being a space where memories and subconscious can be met mixing architecture and poetry. On this level every human being can be touched. A personal story might get evoked inside every one entering the attic this is human architecture

and this we must bring to city. These structures are not at ground level, they are above it. It is necessary to climb up a set of stairs or a ladder in order to access them. Like emotional memories are stored upstairs in the brain. Memory is rarely, if ever, perfect, the objects on the attic might get changed

by the time becoming distorted and it is no longer what was the truth then. It is the truth now of a memory that you had which has been manipulated by every second of your life experience. The story is alive in us. We need to scale this up into urban planning with the same human accidental quality of truth.

It has been observed that Mandala Temples of Tibet shed energy that remarkably improves the harvest within the radius of 20 km. The current project puts 9 Mandala Temples in the centre of London along the river Thames within 34 km. The project takes notice of the historical formation of the London city centre.The temples will be located in the areas between the bridges more along the southern shore. A chain of yantras will be brought into being to interfere in the life rhythm of the central London with positive energy. The Mandala Temples on

river Thames are quite small: they should fit in a cube of 12x12x12 m. The ground plan of each temple has an image of a certain mandala. 3-dimensional mandala becomes the instrument of God. The shape of current buildings have been derived from cubes, cones and cylinders. In the centre of the easternmost temple stands the statue of Buddha, the holy statues of the other temples are situated on the edges of the plan. The central space of the temples is empty: it is appointed for the monks to make the mandalas. These spaces are lighted by little cupolas.

The making of the mandala takes place once a year and it lasts for 7 days. After that the colourful sand is wiped together and thrown into the river Thames. In other days of the year the temples are freely opened to meditators and prayers. The mantras of the meditators and the yantras of the linear temples bring forth an enormously powerful wave of positive energy that covers the whole London with a medicative veil. London gets rid of anxiety, fears, desires, cars, beggars, whores, drunkards, drug addicts, ugly buildings, rotten tomatoes, sad cats and finally himself.


A morning. Alone. A rock… a point in space. the history of the world at this point. Listen to the wisest thing in the world; the Rock. The sea… dark, furious… unpredictable… my mother and my death. respect… silence… angriness… furor… and peace. The wind, whispering stories in my head… tales coming frome so far… dreams from them. carry my thoughts… The Triskell… The three celtic elements... earth… water… air… and me. Nothing more. Nothing less. Nature… true… me… human, a boy, a man… peace… furor. life. The truth. A morning. Alone together. Philippe Gelard I miss her.

THE ETERNAL GARDENS

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MBC UNIT 2 GAS CONDITIONING HEATING PLANT

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CONVEYOR BELT UP CONVEYOR BELT DOWN

PROCESS DECK

Fermentation Cemetery see page 18 for details

Christian Edlinger, ark.yo. Weimar/Jollas Helsinki! *Underground stations with the smell of fresh pancakes and cinnamon rolls *Castles collected and put align to form streets *Bricolage cafés in orange tents *The scent of burnt birch wood in the air *Views leading outside *Whole night buss sings "In excelsis deo" 2 a.m. *Street musicians, fried potatoes and masses of people in the streets at 3 a.m. , -15°C *Summer sun *The gloriouos amount of silent joy in the people *Spring comes late, but then!

“We don’t advertise. We just give the money!”


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BOOK SHELVE BENCH

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FIREPLACE BARGE / POST INDUSTRIAL FLEET / C-LAB / 2004 LENGTH 35,5 M / BREDTH 9 M / SIDE HIGHT 2,5 M

RECYCLED BOOKS BARGE / POST INDUSTRIAL FLEET / C-LAB / 2004 LENGTH 35,5 M / BREDTH 9 M / SIDE HIGHT 2,5 M

CINEMA PARK BARGE / POST INDUSTRIAL FLEET / C-LAB / 2004 LENGTH 35,5 M / BREDTH 9 M / SIDE HIGHT 2,5 M


COR-TEN STEEL

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One man pissing tree constructed by framing one tree with walls.

The gardens will act as physical symbols or fragments of sustainable urban living. When the modern man loses his connection to the nature, he will die. All the parks, fields, gardens, parasites and occupation of houses and post industrial facilities are sitespecific projects and working in different scales in close co-operation with the population of the place. - Vegetable gardens and fields of biologically cleaned and composted organic waste produced by

the city. Changing the London roofscape into fields for sheep and cow. Vegetable gardens for citizens. - Framed pieces of nature imported to the city. Walls high enough to block off the surrounding city and noise. One can see just the nature and the sky. - Community gardens on the roofs and courtyards of housing blocks as centrepoints of the communityÕs waste separation and recycling. - Anarchist gardens on abandoned or sleeping urban sites and buildings.

Dominating the nomadÕs land with nature. - Parasite gardens attached to the existing buildings on scaffoldings and hanging platforms. - One man toilet parks constructed by framing one tree with walls. - Industrial Zen gardens of aesthetically controlled and recycled industrial waste for post industrial meditation. Parks in different scales constructed by cultivating urban waste combined with vegetation. Swings hanging in the parks. One man swing park. 12 man swing park and so forth.

1. BRITISH... 2. GENTLEMAN SITTING IN THE RICKSHAW NEXT TO SIR RICHARD RODGERS (SEE COLLAGE ON PAGE 17) 3. LONDON AND VILNIUS BASED ART GALLERY 4. JUN'ICHIRO TANIZAKI’S ESSAY-BOOK ABOUT SPACE 5. RECENT NORWEGIAN MOVIE (VERY HUMAN!) 6. ITALIAN WRITER WHO PERFORMED AND PUBLISHED A CD WITH ‘AIR’ 7. AKIRA KUROSAWA’S MOVIE SHOT IN SIBERIA 8. ESTONIAN COMPOSER 9. ENGLISHMEN ALWAYS TALK ABOUT...

FIND THE SOLUTION ON PAGE 22!!!

Many people would shrink away at the suggestion that they are standing on a parkland of composted hu-man waste, or that they should urinate against a tree, or sign their body over to the MBC unit when they die. One of the aims of the Kyoto Protocol is to control harmful emissions and waste at a global level, most notably from heavy industry. It is a protocol signed and controlled by a governing body, and there is no small amount of hypocrisy from those people who criticice those governments for not adhering to it, and do nothing about it on a personal level. The Kyoto Protocol can be brought down from the governments to the individual, and from industry to the human body. Each individual becomes

responsible for recycling their own waste products, both in life and death - a corpse is still full of energy, which can be exploited and harvested in the Fermentation cemetry. Everyone would take care of themselves and the result is a society of individuals with some selfpreservation. Furthermore, in looking after self, each individual contributes to a larger system of energy efficiency. Humans are the perfect source of renewable energy. The days will be gone, of seeing mothers holding their young children while urine runs down their legs and trickles into a drain, or drunken louts urinating against a wall in full view of passers-by. The children can stand proud against a tree and relieve themselves. The louts can retain

Attic-like compositions for recycling of goods out of use like books, magazines, childrens toys and clothes, table wear, furniture etc. The architecture will protect the items against the weather and create a cosy and controlled attic-like atmosphere. The platforms can be connected with open workshops to repair

things like furniture. Vertical attics of construction scaffoldings attached to existing buildings containing items that people are bringing to be recycled. Some of the platforms can be just simple stands for a collection of one kind of items, like books.

some dignity. Open sewers and sewerage plants will be a thing of the past, and graveyards full of bodies, so saturated with preser-vatives that decomposition is prolonged, will be nothing but a nostalgic memory. The human layer turns previously unacceptable practices on their head, making such activities not only acceptable, but also the responsibility of every individual. The sustainable city is not a fiction or even needs that much planning to be done. The perfect sustainable city has already been. China had cities with a million people thousands of year ago. Cities with no artificial material and with total waste recycling. Very densely built big cities. We forget this. Now is time to forget the forgetting.


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LO NDINIUM How are you , Londinium? U are fine Magnificently smart A nd multicultural New and old L ondinium – city of contrasts A nonymous Y et specific E xtravagant, but common Radical, but conservative So smart O h Londinium U are Nice, but shabby Dignified Still anarchical G eneral and concrete O xford Street and Deptford O h Londinium – city of contrasts Dobrõi Utro August Künnapu


300 X 300 MM STEEL SQUARE PIPE

The Zero City is a basic strategy for low cost and down-to-earth urban zero ground living - cave man style!

The citizens of Obihiro town in Hokkaido, Japan were complaining that their city is boring. We were invited to run a workshop for the city planners and town architects. We told them to bring their children with them to a gym.

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The basic Zero City platforms:

In the gym we told the children that now you are the

1. Concrete Cave Man Platform Concrete frame 6 floors high shelve-like platform for standard 3 metres wide, 3 high and 5,3 long living units with a fire stove. Bottom floor for general activities including sauna, laundry, workshops and storage for fire wood. Roof top garden recycling composted organic waste. Toilets on the garden deck

ing street. Sometimes they made spontaneous villages or streets Ă? church gossiping with the grocery store. Obihiro Walking Street Workshop by Casagrande & Rintala Demeter 2002 Obihiro, Hokkaido, Japan

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-tion Center is a strategy of recycling industrial buildings and ships out of duty and abandoned commercial and residential buildings for alternative Tolstoyan communities for the modern man in his urban crisis.

city, plumbing and internet. 5. Fermentation Cemetery The last stop for the urban ecologist. Mechanical Biological Composting units for fermenting biological waste including human bodies. When you throw a man into the MBC -unit (Mechanical Biological Cleaning Unit) he gets composted, or actually fermented totally in two weeks. The unit is hermetically sealed so the whole process is anaerobic and computer controlled - so that the fermenting conditions for the anaerobic bacterias are perfect - the moist level, the heat and the pressure. From a 100 kg man you get 30 kg of top soil, the best. The rest is mostly water - biologically cleaned fresh water. The process also produces gases that can be collected into a gas conditioning plant that then feeds the electrical gene-rator. 25 % of the electr-icity produced is enough to keep the whole process ongoing. The rest you can sell back to the city.

The PURC provides the necessary dicipline in order to achieve the Tolstoyan extacy of clean community living. "Without his uniforms man is just a common ape."

The living units can be warmed with, and food cooked on, the personal fire stove by burning waste wood collected to the Zero City -units. The individual caveÂŤs front facade is completely open. Privacy level and room temperature can be controlled with a welding courtain hanging on the opening. On top of the open concrete frame facade is attached a net like layer of concrete reinforcing bars protecting the inhabitants from falling and securing privacy.

3. Instant Village Ad-hoc urban structures recycling sea containers out of use. Fire place attached to the containers that can be piled for high rise stuctures. Construction site scaffoldings providing the necessary storage, gardening and movement infrastructure. Community containers for washing, laundry, compost, sauna and workshop activities.

The Concrete Cave Man Platfrom provides the basic needs for a more archaic way of sustainable urban living.

4. Plug-in Sophisto Hive Steel made scaffolding as a vertical building platform for self made housing units. The scaffolding offers plug-ins for electri-

2. Post Urban Rehabilitation Center The Post Urban Rehabilita-

TOILET

architects and your mothers and fathers are just labourforce. You will tell them how to do a good house and they will do exactly as they are told. The only criteria was that the child could fit into the card board house. In the end we took the children in their houses to the streets of Obihiro as a walk-

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Post Urban Rehabilitation Therapy (P.U.R.T.) is set to change the face of escapism as the evolutionarily regressive treatment takes man back to his natural roots - caveman style! The vast increase in regressive approaches and therapies as a means to correct recent and harmful progression is fast be-

coming a popular vision for the future, not just within the Philosophy Treatment industry, it has also been adopted by urban planners and town councils. Since its introduction, P.U.R.T. has overwhelmed its competition pushing the previously popular "Thinkabout" into the number two slot. The popularity of the "Thinkabout" has been

diminishing in recent years and the developers of P.U.R.T. have answered the call of people disillusioned by the stresses of modern society. Much like the "Thinkabout" P.U.R.T. has its basis in the instinctive natures of society. The Philosophy Treatment industry, however, is now looking beyond oral cultures such as Aboriginal society (afterall, the name Thinkabout was derived from the Walkabout) for answers,

early homo sapiens philosophy and finding answers in caveman society. P.U.R.T. is designed to remove one from the afflictions caused by modern society, its politics, pressures, and the drive for materialistic possession and return him, for the duration of the therapy, to the environment of the cave. Here the experience is that of our ancestors just the need for necessity. Shelter, protection, basic

food and water are the pleasures. The Pressures of materialism are replaced by the pleasures of necessity. The recently noted popularity of the treatment has caused the costs to skyrocket and, despite the expense, the result is a philosophical overhaul and a mental renaissance. The paradox is that financially and mentally it is necessary to die a little - to dispose of ones central philosophies built up on

the foundations of a modern society ruled by money and capitalist economic policy and adopt a philosophy of necessity rather than greed. The irony is that by relinquishing such finances, in order to pay for P.U.R.T., the healing is in itself the cost. The man behind P.U.R.T., afflicted by the stresses caused by his new found wealth, was himself re-ceiving treatment, and was thus unavailable for comment. tp


Land(e)scape Three abandoned barnhouses were mounted on wooden shanks in the height of 10 meters in order to give them a slow, majestic walk. Desolate, longing after their farmers, the barns had cut their primeval union with the soil and were swaying towards the cities of the south. The story ended on a dark night of October when the barns were set on fire by the choreography of dancer Reijo Kela during a traditional slaughter carnival. The work was commenting the desertation process of Finnish countryside.

- Architectonic landscape installation realized in Savonlinna, Finland in 1999.

Glasgow, Scotland/ Emerging Architecture in R.I.B.A. Architecture Gallery, London UK / Time of Wood, Fiskars, Finland / Centro Wilfredo Lam, Museum of contemporary art, Havanna, Cuba / Instituto Superior Politecnico Jose Antonio Echevarria, Havanna, Cuba / New Trends of Architecture in Europe and Japan 2001, Hillside Forum, Tokyo, Japan / Novas Tendencias da Arquitectura na Europa e Japao 2001, Espaco 2001, Porto, Portugal, 2001 / New Trends of Architecture in Europe and Japan, Berlage Institute, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 2001 / La Biennale Dell´Arte Contemporanea, Firenze, Italy, 2001 / Urban Flashes 2, Taipei, Taiwan, 2002 - Authors: Casagrande & Rintala

- Architectural Review´s Emerging Architecture 1999 award. - Exhibited in: La Biennale di Venezia 7. Mostra Internazionale di Architettura, Venice, Italy / Emerging Architecture in McIntosh Lighthouse,

- Working team: Marco Casagrande, Sami Rintala, J-P Heikkinen, Aki Vepsäläinen, Heikki Leikola, Tuomas Makkonen, Pontus Soramäki. - Photos: Jussi Tiainen (daytime), Heikki Leikola (burning barns).

For more details see: Architectural Review 12/ 99, www.labiennale.org.

- Video filming: Sami Rintala, Editing: Antti Antinoja - Dance and choreography: Reijo Kela - Web release: Antti Antinoja, Neon Zion Ltd. - Kindly sponsored by: Central Union of Forestry and Agriculture MTK, Pekkaniska Oy, UPM Kymmene, AVEK, Finnish Fund of Art Exchance FRAME, Ministry of Education / Finland, Uudenmaan Taidetoimikunta, Neon Zion Ltd.


Land(e)scape Three abandoned barnhouses were mounted on wooden shanks in the height of 10 meters in order to give them a slow, majestic walk. Desolate, longing after their farmers, the barns had cut their primeval union with the soil and were swaying towards the cities of the south. The story ended on a dark night of October when the barns were set on fire by the choreography of dancer Reijo Kela during a traditional slaughter carnival. The work was commenting the desertation process of Finnish countryside.

- Architectonic landscape installation realized in Savonlinna, Finland in 1999.

Glasgow, Scotland/ Emerging Architecture in R.I.B.A. Architecture Gallery, London UK / Time of Wood, Fiskars, Finland / Centro Wilfredo Lam, Museum of contemporary art, Havanna, Cuba / Instituto Superior Politecnico Jose Antonio Echevarria, Havanna, Cuba / New Trends of Architecture in Europe and Japan 2001, Hillside Forum, Tokyo, Japan / Novas Tendencias da Arquitectura na Europa e Japao 2001, Espaco 2001, Porto, Portugal, 2001 / New Trends of Architecture in Europe and Japan, Berlage Institute, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 2001 / La Biennale Dell´Arte Contemporanea, Firenze, Italy, 2001 / Urban Flashes 2, Taipei, Taiwan, 2002 - Authors: Casagrande & Rintala

- Architectural Review´s Emerging Architecture 1999 award. - Exhibited in: La Biennale di Venezia 7. Mostra Internazionale di Architettura, Venice, Italy / Emerging Architecture in McIntosh Lighthouse,

- Working team: Marco Casagrande, Sami Rintala, J-P Heikkinen, Aki Vepsäläinen, Heikki Leikola, Tuomas Makkonen, Pontus Soramäki. - Photos: Jussi Tiainen (daytime), Heikki Leikola (burning barns).

For more details see: Architectural Review 12/ 99, www.labiennale.org.

- Video filming: Sami Rintala, Editing: Antti Antinoja - Dance and choreography: Reijo Kela - Web release: Antti Antinoja, Neon Zion Ltd. - Kindly sponsored by: Central Union of Forestry and Agriculture MTK, Pekkaniska Oy, UPM Kymmene, AVEK, Finnish Fund of Art Exchance FRAME, Ministry of Education / Finland, Uudenmaan Taidetoimikunta, Neon Zion Ltd.


Douglas Mansur

by Maria Cecilia Loschiavo, University of San Paulo, Brazil

Looking at these informal habitats provide us with a sense of how homeless communities adapted themselves to the life on the streets as well as how do they adapt to the built environment of each city, generating thus a diverse adaptive strategy to deal with the problem of shelter.

Ken Straiton

Maria Cecilia Loschiavo

Homeless adaptive culture in each of these cities has its own specific political,

Informal habitats in Tokyo

Talking about humanization means talking about to be human, which represents engage in relationships with otherness in a certain space. What role does architecture play in the humanization of our cities? How a humane architecture could encompass homelessness? How a humane architecture could design for the entire civil society? The literature available today about homelessness has discussed important aspects of the issue across a wide spectrum, but there has been very little research on homelessness and architecture and design. Such work is urgently needed. It is important to understand the material aspects of the homeless’ culture: the informal habitat created by the homeless and its impact on the urban environment of global cities, such as San Paulo, Los Angeles and Tokyo, among others. Although large numbers of highly visible homeless, with their spontaneous living arrangements, have long been associated with Third World cities, in the latter part of the past century some of these cardboard and plastic cities began to appear in the

social and cultural components. But in each locale the material culture of the homeless reveals their creativity, ingenuity and spontaneous design. On the top of it all, homeless’ adaptive behavior indicates that it is central to look at them not only as victims, but also as active agents that are able to create and construct their makeshift habitat by reusing whatever discarded materials and products available. These cardboard and plastic cities are constructed from the trash of our technological and industrialized culture and they touch upon our daily life. Facing the experience of diving vertiginously into the shadows, into the depth of the material that allows the construction of a fragile habitat, moved by the need of shelter, homeless people have transformed the concept and the dynamics of the city. Within the cardboard and plastic cities it is possible to observe a series of practices related to the homeless’ culture and presence: 1) the cultures of unemployment: nomadism, bricolages, and resistance in global cities, 2) the divided city: the formal structure of the city and the informal habitat, spontaneous design and everyday

life on the streets of San Paulo, Los Angeles and Tokyo; 3) the meaning for society of construction of the home on the street, and the streets as home, and the reactions against the use of public space for the construction of the informal habitat, including a huge array of exclusionary practices, even the use of police forces; 4) the final complementary line of analysis is an extension of the discussion about the of products and materials in the homeless material culture. The use of salvaged materials to build their habitats allows them to express their creativity and ingenuity, as well as generating income through recycling. The data of my research was the result of ethnographic journeys to the homeless squats of São Paulo, Los Angeles and Tokyo. Photographs of the informal habitats taken in these three cities are juxtaposed, to create a visual dialogue, to present a comparative interpretation of the material culture and identity of the homeless. The cities of paper and plastic constitute a dramatic heritage of the twentieth century; it is one of the pressing questions that now face architects, urban planners, politicians and the civil society. How to formulate an architecture that could encompass homelessness? It is not an exaggeration to say that one of the very first aspect to be considered is to stress the high importance of situate architects’ work and experience in political terms, committed to the larger society and interested in developing alternative visions and practices to shelter the destitute. Another aspect is to recognize that we are in urgent need of shifting the architectural education paradigm towards a transformative education, where everyone feels a democratic responsibility to contribute to change the situation of the un-housed. Finally, it is important to

Homeless crib in San Paulo Maria Cecilia Loschiavo

world’s major cities, exposing to the public the miserable status of huge numbers of homeless people in their community and around the world.

The possibility to join the Human Layer London Project came to me unexpectedly, an e-mail from Christian Edlinger, in May 2004, asking if I would like to write an article discussing homelessness in contemporary cities. I accepted, first, because since 1994 I am conducting research about homelessness in global cities, and second, because, in my opinion, it is always time to raise the critical awareness related to the issue, especially considering that the main topic of Casagrande’s Laboratory Project is the humanization of our cities.

Informal cardboard habitat at Broadway, Los Angeles

recognize that the essence of a transformative education is liberty and an architecture that takes seriously liberty could be liberatory, under certain conditions. In a famous interview about Space, Knowledge and Power, talking about architecture as a force of liberation, Michel Foucault’s stressed: “Liberty is a practice. So there may, in fact, always be a certain number of projects whose aim is to modify some constraints, to loosen, or even to break them, but none of these projects can simply by its nature, assure that people will have liberty automatically, that it will be established by the project itself. The liberty of men is never assured by the institutions and laws that are intended to guarantee them. […] Architecture can and does produce positive effects when the liberating intentions of the architect coincide with the real practice of people in the exercise of their freedom”. I am deeply thankful to the homeless communities of Los Angeles, San Paulo

and Tokyo who have welcomed me into their informal habitats, sharing information, encouragement and friendship.



Human