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TAKE IT TO THE STREETS

When I graduated at the School of architecture in Copenhagen I left a place that I thought was happily lost in its on world far away from the very real world that surrounds the school and the students (and the profession as such). It was therefore a relief to read the book Architecture Depends by UK architect Jeremy Till where argues against this isolation of architecture from this real world. (And it made me feel less confused when he told me that he thought that the Copenhagen school was one of the most decadent schools he knew with the students sitting in the well renovated buildings and with easy listening music on the iPod). At the time I finally had my diploma I was disillusioned on behalf of a profession and a vocation that I thought (and still think) has a great potential. Instead I joined Supertanker and worked on a team that was obsessed with the city like myself, but saw the problems to be solved in the way the dialogue on the future of city was polarised and unconstructive.


ARCHITECTURE CAN ‘SPATIALISE’ THE DREAMS, DRIFTS, NEEDS AND INTERESTS THAT FLOWS THROUGH THE CITY. ARCHITECTURE CAN ACT AS A SPATIALISING MOMENT IN THE COLLECTIVE AND CONTINUOUSLY CHANGING OEUVRE, THE CITY

Writing texts like this one marks a return to the architectural and spatial aspects of this dialogue since we have gradually learned that making the discussion about space more spatial also makes it more inclusive and potentially fun. In this way architecture so to say ‘spatialises’ the dreams, drifts, needs and interests that flows through the city. Thus, architecture perceived as a craft or art form in an urban context, can– act as a spatialising moment in the collective and continuously changing oeuvre, the city. One could see this as an urban version of the Master builder in the Bauhütte who sets up a temporary structure in public space and starts to design and build while this is being discussed with the passerby.


These spatial aspects became more clear when Supertanker 4 years ago developed an ambitious project for a housing project in the suburbs of Copenhagen where the problems on the surface was crime, unemployment, etc. that could be called the “Social China Syndrome” since it is so hard to reverse this negative trend. It looks like a certain type of housing stock combined with a failed welfare state model that promotes a “one size fits all” in both a physical and social sense and thereby creates a high degree of passivity. We set out to build a base (workshop/office/common space) in a way that reflected the ideas we had about the 5 year project there. These ideas can be boiled down to slowly discover and map the potentials and problems of the area and to promote small self organised and concrete projects as a result of an including, empowering inspiring and challenging process the especially involving the young people in the neighbourhood.


The potentials of this quite slow process (that meant we had to wait for a real base for more than a year) was many: building up trust with kids that otherwise had lost most of their respect with authorities and making them experience the results of their own work as a central and very visibly part of the neighbourhood. The boys learned a lot of new things but more importantly, the neighbourhood learned that these boys could be a resource if given the right opportunities. By making the process of designing the interior of the circus wagon more concrete (it was design in 1 : 1) the boys were able to use their hands, arms and bodies to measure the size of a table etc. From this Supertanker learned that the methods of urban dialogue became much more inclusive by making the discussion more spatial and less abstract. This would attract the people who couldn't care less about taking part of an otherwise great workshop since they like to get hands on and see action instead of abstraction. This points to the potentials of the architect being a part of this process facilitating the spatial production as an important part of the discussion about urban space.


ACTION INSTEAD OF ABSTRACTION

This demands that the profession gets much closer to the world with real people that walk around with real bodies in a physical space where they dream about a bright future or fear the day of tomorrow. The tendency to reduce this real world into an abstraction that can be turned into beautiful drawings or wonderful models that instead produces a mirage that is very popular with developers (or politicians) who need to make investors or voters believe in something that is still not there. I once went to a reception held by some architects in Zagreb (very successful today) and talked to an urban planner of the older generation who had the theory that urban planners were in fact closest to being artists since they were creating these wonderful plans that could be seen as colourful abstract paintings.


CONSULTANT AND/OR VISIONARY

The way architects normally interact with the world feels old fashioned when they still talk about the architect and client relation and thereby signalling being the obedient and passive part of a hierarchy. In contrast to (or because of) this, architects tend to take the role of the romantic artist with inspiration from a higher power and leading the way with that inspiration. Only the artist creates paintings on the walls might not affect many people in a negative way but for the architect this illusion of a vanguard position becomes much more problematic when he of she influences the socio/spatial conditions for the lives of people living in the city. In a recent article in the Danish daily newspaper the architecture editor for the paper wrote an article on the contested part in the Copenhagen harbour where the 3rd proposal now was on the table (and where Supertanker came into being). Learning from the previous massive resistance the developer had involved local citizens discussing the plans and the journalist concludes: One reduces the risk of forgetting the human factor, but the chance for a visionary project is equally reduced.


COME OUT AND PLAY

In his book, Architecture Depends, Jeremy Till tries to argue for the architects to get closer to the real world that they depend on in spite of the illusion being a visionary vanguard in a perfectly designed mirage. Till writes of a more humble role for the architect creating “low-fi” and everyday architecture and uses the example of Elvis Costello who would listen to a new song on a cheap radio standing on the kitchen table instead of the perfect studio sound system far away from the “real world”. Costello can also be used as an example of a more urban approach to music when he took to the street and played in front of the hotel where CBS records held a conference in order to get their attention. The potentials of the architect actually contributing to the urban oeuvre starts simply by being there and taking architecture to the streets. Don't stay in the kitchen come out and play.


URBAN KEY NOTE SENSING THE CITY

Can we really hear the city and its wealth of stories? Or is it possible that there is a whole range in frequencies that are outside maybe not the human ear but outside the range that is dominated by a view of the city as a mechanical and plannable thing.


What made me stop and think recently was the story about how the languages of elephants were discovered not many years ago. It was not a story about how technology suddenly opened up for new ranges of sound, but technology confirmed the discovery which was made in a more bodily and accidental way. In short the researcher, Katy Payne, one day went to the ZOO and standing next to the elephant house she could sense something both in her ears and body. A sound deeper that the normal range of the human ear was discovered and then confirmed afterwards using sensitive microphones. After this discovery the researchers has been able to get an insight into a whole new world of the elephants talking to each other.


SENSING WHAT YOU KNOW YOU DON'T KNOW BUT ALSO WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW THAT YOU DON'T KNOW

This might be a good image for how to listen to the city using the most diverse sensor that still exists: being there with your eyes, ears, nose, hands etc, and remembering how often one tend to focus on certain things and thereby exclude others. Both being conscious about sensing what you know you don't know but also what you don't know that you don't know. Here the techniques of the situationists come in handy as a way of introducing unplanned encounters by using little games like walking backwards, blindfolded, systematically taking turns left and right. Just like the accidental discovery of the low sounds of the elephants this playful and very personal sensation of the city is necessary to avoid projecting your own established vision of the city onto the city and instead try to be as open and receptive as possible.


IF HOUSES WERE BUILT INDUSTRIALLY, MASS-PRODUCED LIKE CHASSIS....AN AESTHETIC WOULD BE FORMED WITH SURPRISING PRECISION. In recent years advances in technology both in the development of new sensors, wireless communication and computing powers has led to the idea of “Smart Cities” which is driven by the wish to make cites more efficient - using less energy and for example getting an ambulance faster to its destination. These advances can make life easier for us and save energy and money but a presentation some months ago by Carlo Ratti from the SENSEable City lab, MIT, in Boston made me think about some possible problems with this approach. Among other things he talked about these technological advances and used an image of Corbusier standing in front of he's big car (a Voisin - “the perfect machine”) to underline the point that technology shapes our cities and the way we live. I got reminded of my work in the suburbs of Copenhagen where this fascination of the car dominated technology had a very negative consequences.


SMART CITY ?

To my surprise this was meant as a positive thing and Ratti went on to present the possibilities of todays technology by referring to the successful Ferrari race cars where the whole drive is monitored by a vast number of sensors and a team of 20 people watching the data from the sensors during the race. The point of this was to show how it is possible to monitor the city in the same way as the race car and all the advantages this have. It struck me that just like the fascination of the car had disastrous consequences the same could be said about the present technology and the somehow very masculine “need for speed� without knowing exactly what the disasters would be this time.


This way of thinking can be blamed for producing a city (mostly the suburbs where people don't go except if they have to) that is very vulnerable to social meltdowns and its rational and abstract focus makes it harder to correct the mistakes of the past and see the potentials for a more poetic and playful (and stronger) city. To use another analogy it could be compared to making a movie where the engineers that designed the hardware or software also were the ones to decide what the story should be like depending on the capabilities of their technological contribution. This movie probably wouldn't be a box office hit (just like a car that Corbusier designed).Then why did so much of this industrially produced city get build? Many people didn't really have a choice. The process behind the production of the suburbs was a strange dance couple where market driven industrial production went hand in hand with idealists who wanted to produce housing for the “masses.�


THE BEST SENSOR FOR THE RICH SENSORY AND EMOTIONAL DIVERSITY OF THE CITY: OURSELVES AND OUR SENSES.

With riots in London this summer riots in suburbs in Paris and many other places it should seem obvious that we are missing some points about how we work with cities - or maybe we are just ignoring them. How to open up to the possibilities in the city and how to produce a city in a way that empowers and opens for involvement of people in the continuos process of creating the city? As a start just being in public space using the best sensor for the rich sensory and emotional diversity of the city: ourselves and our senses. Taking time to allow more openness and play to experience the unexpected stories and sensations or provoke new ones. Always knowing that the urban keynote is out there and we will probably hear it where or when we least expected it.


THE VAUBAN SHOW

Back in 2006 I wrote a chapter about the self organised neighbourhood in Th端bingen, the French quarter, in a publication on Urban Truffle pigs and Fallows. I was quite positive to the principles of the city selling the land cheap to small co-housing groups that would be responsible for designing and building their own building and that the ground level would always be reserved for public or semipublic functions. Many of them architects offices since the architects ended up being quite proactive in forming these organisations to get the job designing the houses. In many articles this experiment was seen as the answer to the dull and lifeless neighbourhoods that more traditional planning would produce. Yet when I later heard a planner in a big public/private developer talking happily about this model for sustainable neighbourhoods using a similar example in Freiburg as reference I got suspicious and went to see these places.


You get to the Vauban neighbourhood by a tram (off course) and the tram stops forms the “boulevard� of the area. The layout in itself is rather stringent with side streets spreading out on right angels from this boulevard. The buildings facing the boulevard have little shops and cafes and the day I came around this was practical since the weather was rainy and I found refuge at the bakery.


After studying the surprising amount of posters for yoga, self help and organic produce I had a chat with the guy running the bakery. He was rather frank about the place where he both lived and worked. It was good as long as the kids was growing up (being in a safe neighbourhood, close to nature) but once they were old enough he was out of there - the neighbourhood wasn't the real city, it was far too “homogenic� according to him.


After the weather cleared up I could walk around to see the neighbourhood and was struck by the same posters for yoga etc. everywhere. One of the streets were dominated by a television crew that was filming in one of the houses with all the camera equipment and an endless line of support vehicles.


The place really started feel unreal like “the Truman Show”, a movie where an insurance salesman discovers his entire life is actually a TV show. The Vauban show is just with a green twist adding a sustainable lifestyle but with little success of creating a socially diverse neighbourhood in spite of setting out with the goal achieve an “Urban Quality”.


77% OF THE RESIDENTS "LIBERAL UPPER CLASS” (GERMAN AVERAGE IS 17%) 0 (ZERO)% OF THE RESIDENTS “TRADITIONAL WORKING CLASS (GERMAN AVERAGE IS 22%)

A sociological study by Katharina Manderscheid (on the similar neighbourhood in Tübingen) shows that what she calls the “subtle mechanism of exclusion” results in a social “mix” where 77% of the residents belong to what she call a “liberal upper class” (German average is 17%) and 0 (zero)% of the residents come from a “traditional working class” where the average in Germany is 22%.


If the well meaning architects and planners ventured just a bit outside the “Vauban show� they would have found this improvised example of a (more genuine) self organised and political response to the antisocial and unurban dynamics of the Vauban neighbourhood and the rest of the city.


DECONSTRUCTING THE GREEN CITY WHO DOES THE CITY BELONG TO? AGAINST DISPLACEMENT. STOP THE RENTS. A CITY FOR EVERYBODY.

Or used to: Kommando Rhino was evicted this summer (2011) and instead they could listen to the paroles of the big demo (on this day 29th of October) organised by “Recht auf stadt” or “right to the city” is called “Deconstructing the green city” with the following text: Who does the city belong to? Against displacement. Stop the rents. A city for everybody. I am sure the baker I talked to couldn't agree more and his response might not be to join the protest but to vote with his feet and leave the “Vauban Show” making it even less diverse. A gentrified green ghetto is born in the name of sustainability.


AN URBAN NATURE ?


Why is that when people travel to see new cities the typically pick (old) areas that are diverse and rich in both a sensory and emotional sense - (and the mainstream tourism that profit on these places is also the one that gradually destroy that richness). Newly build areas are seldom attractive in a way that would make people go there the but singular buildings (monuments) are - probably the best example is the Sidney opera house by Jørgen Utzon. Is the problem that we build cities today the same way as we build monuments like the opera house?


I think that Jorn Utzon is a true genius when it comes to his more singular or monumental buildings and I often refer to the way he was building and designing in the same mo(ve)ment when he build he's last house on Mallorca. He would notice that certain pillars or walls already build needed to be different and he would ask the builders to move this or rebuild that - always paying the builders a little extra (bottles of wine). For me this is a good example on how the process of building a house becomes much less static and finite and thus allows for change and improvisations.


Utzon was always very close to nature and most of his references go to natural phenomena or more monumental buildings like the Maya temples. But he did build two housing projects in Denmark that refers to more urban situations in Arab villages or the secret city of Beijing. They are praised as an architectural “pearls� but they also point to the problem when such a building project is developed and perceived as one singular and finite piece of architecture.


The problem with the Arab og Chinese references are that they are taken as a snapshot in time and place that overlooks that the area/village has grown over time and would continue to do that if nothing else happens. The spatial character of such spaces are a product of the people living there and gradually transforming these spaces over time. In this sense the space becomes both a physical space that can be measured and photographed but most importantly is an almost living and organic expression of the people how have inhabited that space and in that also pointing to the possible openness for future adaptations. In that sense these “living” structures becomes “natural” in an urban sense and could have been an inspiration for Utzon just as the clouds or the plants were. His own last house on Mallorca show some of that more organic and open process of how buildings can be build.


It is interesting to see how the buildings that Corbusier designed in Pessac outside of Bordeaux gradually got decorated or people compensated for problems in the design such as the flat roofs (also inspired by Arab villages). In both a functional sense and more personal wish to make the houses look more to a personal taste the design of Corbusier was being appropriated in what could be called a “natural” urban process that would be perfectly in accordance to the arab references. Where the buildings of Corbusier being very stringent and based on precise, inflexible proportions, Utzons organic layout of the Kingo houses are closer to the Arab references and could have been appropriated without going against the architecture like in the case of the Pessac buildings. But here the finite “architectural” character and the fact that the buildings were owned by a building associations meant that appropriations were either forbidden or maybe the law abiding Danes were just not up for challenging the design of Utzon, that shortly after the houses were build, became famous by winning the competition for the opera house in Sidney


One place not far from the Kingo houses, some not very law abiding Danes have either build their own houses or appropriated the existing army barracks on Christiania in Copenhagen. This is probably one of the few examples in the world where the above mentioned stream of tourists chose to go to a (partly) newly build area. All houses are build or appropriated over time as a part of a local culture that tries to live less conventional and they are therefore all different. Christiania have just celebrated 40 years of existence and people keep building, renewing, adding on to the existing buildings there. Hopefully that process will keep going and serve as an inspiration for the more mainstream way of life and inspire the way we think of creating a less finite and open - urban - view on how to continuously build the city while we are discussing how it should be. What is more important than the amount of tourists that will visit such a place is that the very concrete/physical expression of the continuous creation of a city points to the fact that it is possible to take part in a way that makes people dream of a better future and inspires to take action.


OPBYGGERNE THE CONSTRUCTORS


One of the things that I could envy my son was an experience some years ago where he and hundreds of other people in Copenhagen started building on a beautiful spot close to Christiania. The initiative was taken by a group of activists who called themselves “Opbyggerne� a play with words that both means those who build up or those who are constructive in a conversation. The action was really joyful, spontaneous and open where everybody was welcome - as a passerby buying a drink or listening to music, or those who would take part in discussions and eat in the improvised street kitchen. But off course the main point was to build something together.


After passing the place one day he decided to go for it with he's friends the following weekend. On the same day they managed to get materials (plywood on Christiania), build a very small tent-like house and sleep there (three boys) for the night. Very basic but so fundamental for the way we could work with a city and let it become a place for concrete and fun creation. Where each building is an expression of the dreams and needs of very different people and these change over time. In this case The tent-like structure became too small for the boys so they started adding on to it and made it possible to sit in the new construction also letting in more light. Now it was possible to have visitors.


“Opbyggerne� had picked an otherwise impossible narrow strip of land along a road that went past Christiania (and a part of the old Copenhagen Ramparts) on one side and on the edge of the canals that surrounds other old army facilities that now are turned into expensive housing (as a stark contrast to Christiania - also being an old army base but with a different and urban life). The lazy ones would build on land either on the road or on the edge of the water. The more ambitious ones would build floating constructions that would inhabit the water. Materials were either found, supplied by sponsors or in the case of my son found on Christiania.


The whole place became a hectic and creative melting pot of desires and the possibility to realise these within a day or a week. At times these desires also worked against each other and heated discussions or more constructive dialogue made this experiment an example on how you can build a city and discuss the way it works in the same movement. It is a way of expressing yourselves in a much more concrete way that is based on action instead of abstraction (talking, writing, drawing etc). The concrete act of building structures as an expression of your desires (and capability of building) makes it possible for people who might not care about sitting down and talk but rather do it - the building then becomes a part of a discussion.


It makes the urban dialogue more inclusive and it makes the sensory and emotional experience of the city much richer. And all of that also adds to the interaction between people helping and inspiring each other, and setting off ideas for other projects and initiatives. This potential for urban innovation has to be seen in the perspective of the beautifully designed public squares of the “Urban Renaissance” and the talk about the chance encounter in these public spaces. In many cases these very controlled and often market dominated spaces (often the success criteria is that there are a lot of people there drinking cafe latte) are the opposite of what “Opbyggerne.” In the urge for beauty, these spaces becomes architectural monuments, unable to be appropriated but predictable and popular with the interests that wants to make money there - not that far from the shopping centre: “a mall without walls.”


The potential for “urban innovation” could be exemplified with the goal of “unplanned collaboration” of Pixar, the computer animated movies studio behind movies like “Finding Nemo” og “Wall-e”. Their first success was created in the typical surroundings of a start up company: run down buildings in an unattractive area that made the rent cheap but maybe more importantly the building(s) were possible to appropriate and if you wanted a hole in the wall thats what you just did. So it had many possibilities for spontaneous and improvised appropriation of that space and when the company needed to get everybody “under one roof” to avoid the fragmentation the came from sitting in many separate localities they build with the goal of “unplanned collaboration.” The result doesn't look fancy from the outside and inside it has the aesthetics of a classic factory building with a large common space as the equivalent of a “public space” that can de changed into what the situation takes - the fun company gathering or building large scale mockups of movie set. More important is probably how they kept the possibility of appropriating the personal workspaces and in that way the personal space becomes an expression of what you like and who you are. To free the full urban potential one have to move from the less ambitious goal of chance encounters to the much more dynamic goal of “unplanned collaboration”.


More important is probably how they kept the possibility of appropriating the personal workspaces and in that way the personal space becomes an expression of what you like and who you are. To free the full urban potential one have to move from the less ambitious goal of chance encounters to the much more dynamic goal of “unplanned collaboration�.


Many cities has embraced the idea of “creativity� as a way of staying on top in the competition with other cities in the new globalised race. The main inspiration for this was the book of Richard Florida that promoted the 3 T´s: Tolerance, Technique and Talent. One of the main references in the book and the following implementation of he's ideas was San Francisco and it is interesting how Pixar probably couldn't have started anywhere else than in that city.


The problem now is that municipalities set up zones for creative industries - like digital games etc both defining what is creative and where it should/could happen. It is almost as uncreative as if the wanted more new companies like Apple to start by building suburban garages and looking for collage dropouts (and orphans) to populate these - just like the movie “Boys from Brazil” where they wanted new little Hitlers to “grow” using some of the same techniques.


The reaction to the miniature “summer of love” next to Christiania that the “Opbyggerne” created was very telling. It was tolerated by the municipality during the summer (apart from some intimidating policing) but when summer was over the area was evicted in a way that didn't leave a single trace of what had happened. They even cleaned the road of graffiti and made the place look more like it used to be than before. Going there was like entering a time machine where it all seemed a bit unreal, knowing was used to be there. Instead “creativity” has been allocated to zones with old industrial buildings or in ghettos where they in one case try to emulate the meatpacking district of New York. The municipality has succeeded to some degree in the sense that entering one of the local bars, where designs and pricing of the drinks are done by famous artists, made you feel like being a part of an episode of “Sex and the City.” What happened here and what is the problem with this particular perception of the “creative” is that the slow and unavoidable gentrifying process in a place like the meatpacking district has been cut down to zero making this creative ghetto to an instantly controlled and gentrified public space that does not have much potential of urban innovation or “unplanned collaboration.” You have to look for somebody else and elsewhere for that. Where you can feel free to start building something together in many different ways.


PLANETE CHARMILLES

Lately in a conversation with a local Geneva architect, we talked about the strange place (which I live in) that includes a shopping centre called “Planete Charmilles” and he thought that this very dense building complex was an example of how a shopping centre could be urban. My first reaction was to reject the idea that any shopping centre could be urban even though it might be less “un-urban” compared to the classic style shopping centre - a box surrounded with parking. The typical shopping centre is one of the strongest forces of (un)urban fragmentation (being mono functional, purely market driven, privatising potentially public space and dominated by the use of the car) Planete Charmilles is different since it is woven into the urban fabric of our area and has entrances to the street. These three entrances do have signs of urban life. Especially the entrance with small corner shops that I pass several times every day is little local microcosm of everyday life. So what makes this place urban?


One of the things that makes the place really stand out is the small improvised (urban) “Memorial� for somebody who died in a traffic accident just at the street crossing outside the entrance to the shopping centre. For years this improvised Memorial has been there with plastic flowers attached to the light pole (many traces of scotch tape shows the time go by) and real flowers are placed there to dry out - just like the grave yard. It looks like people do steal the artificial flowers but there is an unwritten rule: that the last one always stays which makes it look even more miserable and sad. Every year flowers are refreshed.


This “Urban Memorial” marks a stark contrast to the shopping centre with its controlled atmosphere behind the sliding doors just 10 meters away. The sad but also beautiful character could never be part of any “be happy don't worry (but shop)” atmosphere of the shopping centre. Everything that could make potential costumers uncomfortable is avoided just like the physical surroundings are kept at a comfortable level when it comes to temperature, humidity, sounds etc. Nothing in this artificially regulated atmosphere is supposed to challenge you as long as you can pay.This is part of a more subtle mental fragmentation of the city that makes it less urban: There a places for careless (market driven) pleasure and other places for sadness and feeling of loss in spite of everyday life always being a mix of these feelings.


What also makes the entrance to the shopping centre more urban is a more recent phenomenon: behind the sliding doors is a no smoking zone which makes the entrance a popular place for smokers. Where the controlled atmosphere inside the shopping centre is now smoke free (but symbolically rather low on oxygen) it exports this problem into the public (and less controlled) space which makes the entrance a place to hang out for the smoking outcasts (quite urban in that way). The entrance literately becomes a grey zone between public and private space. Like a purgatory you have to pass before you can enter the smoke free and careless atmosphere of the shopping centre.


As a contrast to the memorial to somebody who died or the smokers who might be (challenging death) what really matters in this space is the mornings where I pass by on the way to school with my daughter. The two corner shops on each side of the entrance are truly part of the local fabric both in a functional sense supplying people with bread and sandwiches on one corner and beer and wine on the other but most importantly they are mostly populated with people who enjoy to be part of public space. This means that every morning we are saying good morning, waving, blowing kisses (depending of who is there) and later in the day when time is less precious its time for a little gift from the bakery or a talk about how the Danish team did in football or he's latest trip to the october beer fest in Munich. This makes the passing and stopping for a short talk a pleasure while greeting some of the more stable smokers in the same space. The two corner shops are in a dense position where many people pass by every day to make it “urban”. But in this case the place is only really “urban” when it is the Portuguese guy in the wine and beer shop or the Colombian woman in the bakery are there. Those are the people who enjoy to be part of public space and in the end makes it urban. At other times it is not the same.


WHAT IS URBAN? HOW PEOPLE INHABIT A PLACE AND INTERACT WITH EACH OTHER. HOW PEOPLE ARE ABLE TO INHABIT A PLACE AND MAKE IT PERSONAL

What is urban? Its all about the people and how they inhabit a place and interact with each other. It is about how people are able to inhabit a place and make it personal and it is how people enjoy the urban space in the good company with other people.


Is the shopping centre Planete Charmille more urban than other shopping centres? Not really it might be less “un urban� as mentioned already but being woven into the local fabric in a physical sense makes it easier to see how its not really urban and the entrances are not urban because of the shopping centre except that it creates a critical mass of people either passing to and from the centre or hanging out there to smoke. But that same Critical mass of people is sucked into the mono functional atmosphere of the shopping centre which makes the surrounding neighbourhood equally mono functional with only a few shops and cafes etc they are all inside the sliding doors of the centre.


Often “urban� is seen as the same as an area being dense and thus focusing on the more quantitative aspects, and even though it seem obvious that the urban is also the qualitative (social and cultural) aspects too it is often overlooked or seen as an automatic consequence of the place being dense. These qualitative aspects are things that are not to be planned or controlled like the shopping centre is and they are much more complicated if one look at it from a rational perspective. But on an emotional level its often much simpler: an urban space feels good - not in the predictable way of a shopping centre, but because it is inhabited with real people and has a diverse sensory and emotional richness from the weather that changes to the improvised memorial for somebody who died.


A MORE HOLISTIC AND ORGANIC APPROACH TAKING ARCHITECTURE TO THE STREETS AND ‘SPATIALISE’ THE DREAMS, DRIFTS, NEEDS AND INTERESTS THAT FLOWS THROUGH THE CITY.

I wonder if the qualitative aspects of urban life are overlooked because the controlling perspective of the way an architect shape a building is also applied to urban life. The problem here is maybe not the controlling perspective in it self - we do want buildings that are build properly and doesn't collapse - but the problem might be that the controlling perspective of architects creates a blind spot towards the qualitative aspects. In short there is a need for a more holistic approach where architects work with other professions and especially take the time to go much more local than is the case today.


URBANISTS: LOCALISING AND CONCEPTUALISING ACTIVISM CONCEPTUALLY INFORMED PRACTICE AND PRACTICALLY INFORMED THEORETICAL DISCOURSE COLLABORATION WITH URBAN DEVELOPERS, PLANNERS, POLITICIANS, GRASSROOTS, RESEARCHERS, ARTISTS ETC


URBANITY: THE POTENTIAL OF THE ‘URBAN’ A FUNDAMENTAL CURIOSITY IN THE POTENTIALS OF A DYNAMIC URBANITY ARTICULATING AN EVERYDAY URBANITY WITH CONCRETE BODIES, ‘LIVED’ CULTURES AND STRUCTURES OF THE CITY


SITUATIONS ENCOUNTER: CONTEXTUAL IMMERSION ARENA: COMMON SPACE - COMMON LANGUAGE DIALOGUE: SPATIALIZE THE DISCUSSION ABOUT SPACE PRODUCTION: CONTEXTUALIZED IDEAS AND INITIATIVES


ENCOUNTER: CONTEXTUAL IMMERSION SENSE AND DIVERT THE LOCAL LISTEN AND BUILD TRUST LOCATE VAGUE SPACES AND URBAN POTENTIALS


ARENA: COMMON SPACE - COMMON LANGUAGE MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING AND OPENNESS IN DISCUSSIONS CONCRETE APPROPRIATION OF AN ARENA INAUGURATE COLLECTIVE PROCESSES OF LOCAL CHANGE


DIALOGUE: SPATIALIZE THE DISCUSSION ABOUT SPACE BUILD AND DESIGN IN AND FOR PUBLIC SPACE BE PLAYFUL AND CONCRETE - EASIER TO JOIN AND MORE INCLUSIVE ENGAGE THE PASSERBY - DISCUSSING OR BUILDING


PRODUCTION: CONTEXTUALIZED IDEAS AND INITIATIVES CREATE NEW NETWORKS ACROSS BARRIERS SPAWN LOCAL RESOURCES AND ENRICH THE COMMUNITY CREATE VISIBLE CHANGE IN PUBLIC SPACE


PLACE: HEDEHUSENE POPULATION: 11.434 DISTANCE FROM COPENHAGEN: 31,5 ESTABLISHED: 1847


ON THE ROAD


GRAVEL

DIY CITY

INSULATION

CONCRETE

BRICKS


STATION - CENTER OF TOWN


SOCIAL HOUSING


7000 NEW NEIGHBOURS


CASES: PROCESSES WITH URBAN SITUATIONS DRØMMESPOR - PATH OF DREAMS HEDEMARKEDET - HEATH MARKET URBAN PROCESS DESIGN


DRØMMESPOR - PATH OF DREAMS


ENCOUNTER: SENSE AND DIVERT THE LOCAL


LISTEN AND BUILD TRUST


LOCATE VAGUE SPACES AND URBAN POTENTIALS


ARENA: CONCRETE APPROPRIATION OF AN ARENA


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PRODUCTION: CONTEXTUALIZED IDEAS AND INITIATIVES


CASES: PROCESSES WITH URBAN SITUATIONS DRØMMESPOR - PATH OF DREAMS HEDEMARKEDET - HEATH MARKET URBAN PROCESS DESIGN


ENCOUNTER: CONTEXTUAL IMMERSION


ARENA: COMMON SPACE - COMMON LANGUAGE


DIALOGUE: SPATIALIZE THE DISCUSSION ABOUT SPACE


PRODUCTION: CONTEXTUALIZED IDEAS AND INITIATIVES


ENCOUNTER: CONTEXTUAL IMMERSION?


ARENA: COMMON SPACE - COMMON LANGUAGE


DIALOGUE: SPATIALIZE THE DISCUSSION ABOUT SPACE


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PRODUCTION: CONTEXTUALIZED IDEAS AND INITIATIVES


ARENA: COMMON SPACE - COMMON LANGUAGE


DIALOGUE: SPATIALIZE THE DISCUSSION ABOUT SPACE


PRODUCTION: CONTEXTUALIZED IDEAS AND INITIATIVES


CASES: PROCESSES WITH URBAN SITUATIONS DRØMMESPOR - PATH OF DREAMS HEDEMARKEDET - HEATH MARKET URBAN PROCESS DESIGN


ENCOUNTER: SENSE AND DIVERT THE LOCAL


MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING AND OPENNESS IN DISCUSSIONS


CONCRETE APPROPRIATION OF AN ARENA


ENCOUNTER: SENSE AND DIVERT THE LOCAL


MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING AND OPENNESS IN DISCUSSIONS


DIALOGUE: BUILD AND DESIGN IN AND FOR PUBLIC SPACE


DIALOGUE: BE PLAYFUL AND CONCRETE


DIALOGUE: ENGAGE THE PASSERBY


DIALOGUE: ENGAGE THE PASSERBY


DIALOGUE: BE PLAYFUL AND CONCRETE


SITUATIONS OPENING: CONTEXTUAL IMMERSION ARENA: COMMON SPACE - COMMON LANGUAGE INTERACTION: SPATIALIZE THE DISCUSSION ABOUT SPACE PRODUCTION: CONTEXTUALIZED IDEAS AND INITIATIVES



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