STAGING AND DESIGNING HUMLEBAKKEN THE RED CONNECTION
INTRODUCTION ‚... the city comes alive through movement and its rhythmic structure‛(Hall, 1966:9). Using, Hall’s approach as the main underpinning idea for defining the cityscape and urban life, together with Jensen’s perspective of ‚Staging Mobility‛ defined as ‚a socio-spatio-temporal process designing mobile lifescapes <<from above>> and performed mobile engagements and interactions <<from below>>‛, the report is my attempt to unfold the notion of mobilities with its various theories, concepts and to apply them through redesigning in an urban context.
MOBILITIES “toolbox” The mobilities ‚toolbox‛ was carefully chosen and structured in order to reflect the logical itinerary of defining the theoretical concepts from the framing of the mobility’s urban scenery (‚mobility turn‛, ‚staging mobility‛ and ‚mobilities in situ‛) towards the application in both an analytical and practical way (‚scenography‛ and ‚choreography‛). Structuring the ‚toolbox‛ in this way was a soft method to find and substantiate the ‚top-down‛ and ‚bottom-up‛(Jensen, 2012:31) relationships between ‚staging from above‛ and ‚staging from below‛. Moreover, the relationships are exemplified through ‚mobility affordances‛ from top-down and ‚mobility aesthetics‛ from bottom-up. Following the idea of coagulating all the concepts together under the same umbrella concept, in the end the term of CPC is highlighted.
STAGING MOBILITIES | mobilities in situ MOBILITIES TURN This approach rises the concept of “mobility turn”(Urry 2000a) which was introduced by Urry through the affirmation that ‚a mobility turn is spreading into and transforming the social sciences, transcending the dichotomy between transport research and social research‛. One of the key concerns of Elliott and Urry (2010:15-20) was regarding the specific relation that happens between the ‚moving body and its material environment, which opens up to particular modes of mobility, speeds, trajectories‛. Therefore, in order to debate and clarify this concern, the following statement was illustrated in Staging Mobility as: “mobilities turn is much more than instrumental movements from A to B” (Jensen, 2012:123). The underpinning idea is resumed to the fact that ‚a city is sensed in motion‛ and also raises the subject of ‚motion awareness‛ in the cities assemblages:‚ the qualities which make sensible to the observer, through the visual and kinesthetic senses, his own actual or potential motion‛(Lynch 1960:107).However, the main idea of mobilities is resumed by the Cresswell’s first law that ‚Mobilities = Movement + Power + Meaning‛. STAGING MOBILITY The concept of ‚mobility turn‛ is analytically shaped and applied through “staging mobilities”, which ‚is a dynamic process between <<being staged>> and the <<mobile staging>> of interacting individuals‛ (Jensen, 2012:8). Moreover, as a dynamic process, ‚Staging mobilities‛ involves social, spatial and temporal dimensions. These dimensions are exemplified through the fact that ‚Mobilities are carefully and meticulously designed, planned, and <<staged from above>>. However, they are equally importantly
acted out, performed and lived as people are <<staging themselves from below>>‛ (Jensen, 2012:7). According with this extend, ‚staging from above‛ is actually translated though ‚the river‛, namely planning the mobilities and ‚homogenize the entities as if it was flows of identical entities‛(Jensen, 2012:21). Staging ‚from below‛ – ‚the ballet‛ (Jensen, 2012:21), on the other hand, represent the social interactions (negotiation-in-motion, cooperation-in-motion etc.) and the embodied performances. For a better localization at a spatial level, the mobilities are placed in cities through the term of ‚mobilities in situ” which ‚uncovers the relational and associational character of practices within networks and environments both affording and restricting practices‛ (Jensen, 2012:13). With the purpose of framing more exactly the concept of ‚mobilities in situ‛, I have unwrapped it into two performances as following ‚choreography‛ and ‚scenography‛. The term “Scenography” means in this context more than the representation of objects in perspective, as defined in Oxford Dictionary, where the term is described as the action ‚of creating scenes within a manuscript or a play‛(Jensen, 2012:9). On the other hand, there is the “choreography” (Hall, 1966:193) which refers to embodied acts and is experienced at the ground level through social interactions (negotiation-in-motion, cooperation-in-motion etc.) between different mobile users and their embodied performances. Therefore, the main goal is to coordinate the image of the physical settings ‚mobilities in situ‛ with the “meaning of movement” that is created by the performance between ‚choreography‛ and ‚scenography‛. Going further with the analytical development of this mobility’s aspect defined as the ‚meaning of movement‛, we observe that it is part of the “mobile situationism” (Jensen, 2012:12). In summary, the main focus of situationism is reflected through different ‚scales‛ and ‚explore mobile practices of both instrumental as well as affective and emotional motivation‛. Regarding this framing and focusing on ‚staging from below‛, more important is the way in which all of those aspects are applied in cities and this can happened at the human scale, through a “serial visions”. These are defined as ‚the importance of bodily mobilities to the perception of place and environment‛ (Jensen, 2012:63). Moreover, the exemplification of all these ‚is that although the pedestrian walks through the town at a uniform speed, the scenery of towns is often revealed in a series of jerks or revelations‛ (Cullen, 1996:9).
MOBILITY AFFORDANCES AND AESTHETICS The ‚staging mobilities‛ from both perspectives has sensed the ‚body as the pivotal locus‛(Jensen, 2012:63), which leads by investigation into how systems are connected and influence each other through ‚mobility affordances‛ and ‚mobility aesthetics‛. “Mobility affordances” is a characteristic of mobility which dictates the “top-down” relation between ‚scenography‛ and ‚choreography‛. Actually, it resumes to the body negotiation in mobile practices with the material sites and the technologies, fact that is helpful for opening up the ‚mobile biotope‛(Jensen, 2012:23) to ‚particular modes of mobility, different speeds, trajectories, temporalities etc.‛(Jensen, 2012:129). ‚Mobile affordances‛ is a very specific and material dimension which has as its main realm the intention to create proper conditions regarding ‚the staging from above‛. This is done so in order to enhance the existing mobile system or to attract new mobile situations, which in the end create a big impact on the mobile users’ ‚ballet‛. As in ‚mobility affordances‛, in “mobility aesthetics” the ‚body plays the pivotal role in creating the situational touch points for the creation of cultures and practices related to mobilities‛(Jensen, 2012:128). The difference is that for this point of view the relation between staging ‚from above‛ and ‚from below‛ is made the other way around , from ‚bottom-up‛. This is explained through the fact that ‚the mobile body
produces and re-produces a <<mobile aesthetics>> that creates new subjectivities and new ways of perceiving the world‛. Therefore, the mobile experiences have the ability to afford new aesthetics, which in the end support the idea that the experience in motion is closely related to the way in which new mobile embodied perception creates new systems.
CRITICAL POINT OF CONTACT ‚Critical point of contact‛ (Jensen & Morelli, 2011) is the umbrella concept of the mobility ‘toolbox’, because it has the quality to fold together all the other concepts through the fact that there is a critical point where ‚societies multiple networks and systems interact, overlap, exist in parallel, converge, conflict etc.‛(Jensen & Morelli, 2011:37). CPC as a theoretical framework of urban mobility is in fact a complex congregation defined as an over-layering systems which are linked together through ‚mobility action chains‛ (Fisker, 2011). In our daily life these are perceived as important spots where the ‚negotiation-inmotion‛ and ‚collaboration-in-motion‛ are experienced the most intensively, due to a combination of factors and information involved in changing the mobile users’ behavior. In the ‚network society‛ (Castells, 1996) these contact spots become ‚hot spots‛ (Jensen and Morelli, 2011) and this is happening when a system influences/changes the ‚choreography‛ (Halprin, 1963:9) between the mobile users. Furthermore, this means that by changing a single variable, the overall conditions of ‚the ballet‛- flows and interactions- will be affected as well as the individual way to perform.
STAGING AND DESIGNING STAGING MOBILITY Based on the mobility “toolbox”, the cityscape and the urban life are banded together by the mobile lifescapes (Jensen, 2012:8) with the characteristic movement feature and ‚its rhythmic structure‛ ‛ (Hall 1966:9). This chapter is organized in a way in which to illustrate the projection of the theoretical terms on a real site through the analytical and re-designing processes. The area that I’ve chosen to highlight is situated in Aalborg East along an important road that connects the city center with the eastern part of the city. For this project, the interventions are focused only on a sector of this road, more accurate the part of the road that is contained between the informal road crossing and the both bus stations. Regarding the theoretical term of ‚mobilities in situ‛ this site is located at the interchange point of four important “destinations” (Shields 1997:2): grocery store, public school, culture house and health care center. The main idea of the intervention is to solve an existing issue raised by the discordance between the architectural development, which had taken place in the last years, and the fact that urban mobility and the infrastructure development was left behind. Therefore, over the time, this has produced a lot of negative effects: on the slow traffic safety generated by the lack of mobilities affordances, on the mobile hierarchy which affects all mobile users and regarding the connection between these four destinations, damaged by the translation of this area into a segregated system. The projection of the mobilities ‚toolbox‛ that I’ve presented in the last chapter is taking place from the begging of the site analytical perception. First of all, the tools that accelerate the process of spatial perception are structured into two ‚staging mobility‛ dimensions: ‚from above‛ –‚the scenography‛ and ‚from below‛-‚choreography‛(see the map and the situation diagrams from poster 1). For this part of analytical work and mapping, the main focus was on the ‚choreography‛ of the place, “the ballet” between mobile users in terms of social interactions and also the embodied performances. The main reason for that was generated by the idea that whole process can be softened by analyzing the ‚mobile embodied perception‛ from below through “mobility aesthetics” and use the conclusion from the analysis as a kick start for creating new mobile systems and experiences. The notion of CPC was also used as an analytical tool by pointing the “hot spots” or the nodes that are ‚critical‛, in the sense that they make a difference to either the interacting systems or users embodied performances or interactions. The existing Critical Points of Contact (see the ‚Staging from above‛ map – poster 1) are the startup for re-designing, in terms of the inputs given by the interaction between different systems, and the physical meeting points between the flows. DESIGNING MOBILITY The development of this area starts with illustrating the conclusion from the mappings (problems and potentials) by using them as underpinning information for the main questions addressed in the redesign process. The questions are structured in three categories defined by the following design parameters: safety, mobile hierarchy, connections. Moreover, in terms of ‚mobilities in situ‛ the begging point in
redesigning is determined by the CPCs system, which will be transformed into a system of public spaces, ‚landmarks‛ (Lynch 1960:47) for the area. In the second stage of redesigning, the focus is on answering the first question: How can the mobility affordances be diversify in order to create a “coordination-in-motion”, which will increase the safety between the mobile subjects? The main idea is to manipulate the ‚ballet‛ in order to increase the safety between the mobile users. A way to reach this goal is to switch the “negotiation-in-motion” into “coordination-in-motion”. Thinking ‚from above‛, the interventions will be located on the road, by implementing some slow-down-areas with occasional road crossings, increasing in the same time, through geosemiotics, the drivers’ awareness of pedestrians who want to cross. The second question “How can we change the mobile hierarchy in order to support the pedestrians mobile embodied performances, without disturbing the other mobile users?” is conceived in terms of changing the mobile hierarchy between the mobile users, making a compromise in order to achieve similar rights. Furthermore, if we zoom out this is translated through the new road crossing paths and signage. In terms of ‚mobility turn‛ the re-design should be pedestrian orientated and this is illustrated by creating a red pathway which besides connecting different destinations, it also creates experiences through using different materials for defining diverse types of spaces: public spaces, resting places, multifunctional places, etc. The third question, in terms of connection, is “How can we use the unplanned routes and the informal crossing for creating a “visual series” connection between the main destinations that exist in this area?”. Answering to this question is actually the solution of the most important issue of the existing situation, formulated as the segregation system that took place in the last years. Through my design I wanted to implement, regarding the ‚scenography‛, a complex connection system through a red pathway that is based on the most used routes, while in terms of ‚choreography‛ this “visual series” pathway system has different materials in order to afford different experiences and embodied performances.
CONCLUSION Consequently, the mobility ‚toolbox‛: Staging Mobility, Mobility Affordances & Aesthetics, CPC is described through this essay in order to create a complex underpinning idea for the analytical and redesigning part of the project. Moreover, the structure of the mobility ”toolbox” was carefully done to follow the logical itinerary of defining the theoretical concepts in the way in which there are useful for framing the mobility’s urban scenery. The goal of the re-design, from urban design perspective, is to connect the segregated areas (‚scenography‛), meanwhile from the staging mobility approach the aim is to create a ‚serial visions‛ connection that will raise new affordances for all mobile users as a result of the interactions between ‚scenography‛ and ‚choreography‛. From my point of view, this type of re-design which starts from the ‚choreography‛ between mobile users -in terms of the way they interact with the environment, but also regarding their demands and needs which are expressed through their behaviors (‚mobilities aesthetics‛) – and ends by designing new mobile systems which will afford exactly what the existing situation needed (‚mobilities affordances‛- new experinces).
Castells, M. (1996) The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture, vol. I: The Rise of the Network Society, Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, mentioned in Jensen, Ole B.(2012), Staging Mobilities, Aalborg (non-layout version), pag. 25 Cresswell, T. (2006) On the Move, London: Routledge, p.3, mentioned in Theories of the network city and its technologies, Lecture 1, 2015 Cullen, G. (1996) The Concise Townscape, Oxford: Architectural Press, mentioned in Jensen, Ole B.(2012), Staging Mobilities, Aalborg (non-layout version), pag. 63 Fisker, C. E. (2011) End of the Road?: Loss of (Auto)mobility Among Seniors and Their Altered Mobilities and Networks – A Case Study of a Car-Centred Canadian City and a Danish City, Aalborg University (PhD Thesis), mentioned in Jensen, Ole B.(2012), Staging Mobilities, Aalborg (non-layout version), pag. 13 Hall, E.T. (1966) The Hidden Dimension, New York: Anchor Books Doubleday, mentioned in Jensen, Ole B.(2012), Staging Mobilities, Aalborg (non-layout version), pag. 35 Halprin, L. (1963) Cities, New York: Reinhold Publishing Corporation, mentioned in Jensen, Ole B.(2012), Staging Mobilities, Aalborg (non-layout version), pag. 93 Jensen, Ole B., Morelli, Nicola (2011),Critical Points of Contact – Exploring networked relations in urban mobility and service design, Article in Danish Journal of Geoinformatics and Land Management, Vol.46, No.1, pag.36-49 Jensen, Ole B.(2012), Staging Mobilities, Aalborg (non-layout version) Lynch, K. (1960) The Image of the City, Cambridge Mass.: MIT Press, mentioned in Jensen, Ole B.(2012), Staging Mobilities, Aalborg (non-layout version), pag. 37 Shields, R. (1997) ‘Flow as a New Paradigm’, Space and Culture, 1:1-4, mentioned in Jensen, Ole B.(2012), Staging Mobilities, Aalborg (non-layout version), pag. 19 Urry, J. (2000a) Sociology beyond Societies. Mobilities for the twenty-first Century, London: Routledge, mentioned in Jensen, Ole B.(2012), Staging Mobilities, Aalborg (non-layout version), pag. 19 Urry, J. (2010) ‘Mobile Sociology’, British Journal of Sociology, 2010, 347-366, mentioned in Jensen, Ole B.(2012), Staging Mobilities, Aalborg (non-layout version), pag. 29
STAGI NG ANDDESI GNI NG HUMLEBAKKEN BU S
ENTI TI ES
Behavi or alt er r i t or y
ADULT( mal e/ f emal e)
Communi cat i ng
Mal eadul t20year s
Cooper at i ng
Cul t ur al House
Cul t ur al House
Heal t h car e cent er Gr ocer y st or e
Heal t h car e cent er Gr ocer y st or e
CHI LD( mal e/ f emal e)
I NTERACTI ONS Conf l i ct
BU S 1
Shanghai Hout anPar k| Tur enscape
Ti anj i nBr i dgedGar dens|Tur enscape
‘ Monst erf oot pr i nt s’ |MADAr chi t ect s
Published on Feb 15, 2017
Paper Project, "Theories of the Network City and its Technologies" course by Ole Jensen, Urban Design Master, AAU, Denmark ABSTRACT ‚... th...