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Mad(e) in Mumbai | Urban practice in India

Category: architecture+urbanism+⚐ EN

Mumbai

In 2009 we had the pleasure to lead the final thesis projects of a group of international students taking the Master in Advanced Architecture at the IAAc —Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.

Among them, we met Kalpit Ashar, who developed as final thesis a project in his home city Mumbai, dealing with informality and social processes. I am happy today to introduce you to the work of MAD(E) IN MUMBAI, and the office established by him together with his partner Mayuri Sisodia. In their own words:

Made in Mumbai

Image: The Mumbai Report

The office provides comprehensive design services in the fields of public institutions, high density housing, environmental infrastructure, community design, landscapes and territorial planning. MAD(E) IN MUMBAI takes its shape in the madness of Mumbai city. This crazy patchwork of ideas, experiences and materiality becomes a repository and laboratory for the studio. It is a departure point for its speculation and practice.

Made in Mumbai

Made in Mumbai

Urban repository – Images: Mayuri Sisodia, Jacob Wilson and Ming Deng

They work closely with the chemistry of the city to discover potential fields of operation. The belief of the practice lies in looking beyond the visible for the unseen and for absurdities of things and places.

Together they have won many national and International design competitions which include Flood resilient Housing Design for Gorakhpur, Revitalisation of Banganga Crematorium, and Regional cultural centre for sustainable community by IAHH and Kalanagar traffic junction Urban Design competition by BMW Guggenheim lab.

Made in Mumbai

Aqueous commune, flood resilient habitats in the city of Gorakhpur

For example, Aqueous communes are flood resilient habitats in the city of Gorakhpur, a city in mid-Gangetic belt. They are Community built initiations that accommodate changing rhythms of Rapti river and make them part of everyday life of its inhabitant. They change imagination of water from an enemy to a friend and celebrate it and make peace with it through design. These aqueous communes multiply along the landscape to contribute to its resilience and develop into an intimately stitched neighbourhood.

Other works by Mad(e) in Mumbai

Other works by Mad(e) in Mumbai

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Urban Yoga | Space Potential: The luscious ingredient of architecture

Category: architecture+creativity+research+⚐ EN

Space Potential: Urban Yoga Madrid, photo: Emilio P. Doiztua

Space Potential: Urban Yoga Madrid, photo: Emilio P. Doiztua

Urban Yoga is an architectural experiment, discussing space in relation to human and architecture, if we perceive it with our whole being: with our muscles and bones while moving through space.

Space Potential: Urban Yoga Madrid, photo: Emilio P. Doiztua

Space Potential: Urban Yoga Madrid, photo: Emilio P. Doiztua

Urban Yoga is a new methodology, which I have been developing and discussing. It is a combination of various techniques and fields that I have been, in addition to architecture, professionally involved in for the past ten years. Thus, I have been living, studying and working between three continents: Europe, Australia and USA.

Space Potential: Urban Yoga Madrid, photo: Emilio P. Doiztua

Space Potential: Urban Yoga Madrid, photo: Emilio P. Doiztua

Urban Yoga is challenging the idea to diminish the role of plans in spatial analysis and planning and acclaiming the role of individual’s physical interaction with space through movement. What is more, it is acknowledging the importance of Spatial Sensuousness: information transmitted through senses, intuition, contemplation and reason.

Space Potential: Urban Yoga Madrid, photo: Emilio P. Doiztua

Space Potential: Urban Yoga Madrid, photo: Emilio P. Doiztua

I see the potential of contemporary architecture in focusing more on user’s needs and less on the investor’s demands. In such way architecture will become more sensible towards an individual, who is the locus of perception, experience and interpretation of space. Every spatial intervention affects the way we live, think and function, therefore, architects need to understand their influence on environment and society and take the responsibility for the effects of their actions.

Space Potential: Urban Yoga Madrid, photo: Emilio P. Doiztua

Space Potential: Urban Yoga Madrid, photo: Emilio P. Doiztua

I propose an interdisciplinary and multimedia approach to architectural design and planning, complementing our architectural knowledge and expanding our consciousness with methods and tools from other fields. Also, those that on the first glance have little or no connection to architecture. Actually, these are the ones that I find especially interesting and their potential immensely vast. At this point the idea of Urban Yoga steps in.

Space Potential: Urban Yoga Madrid, photo: Emilio P. Doiztua

Space Potential: Urban Yoga Madrid, photo: Emilio P. Doiztua

With dominance of vision over the other senses and with informatization of society we are facing a lack of sensory experience of the real spaces, a loss of body-to-body relation and a decrease of cultural and intimate relationships to places we inhabit. However, individual’s basic principle is to live in harmony with oneself and with the environment. How to achieve and maintain such state is very well discussed and put into practice in Yoga, a discipline that I have been, in addition to architecture, professionally involved in for the past twelve years. On the other hand, architecture with all its constructive fields constitutes Urban Landscape – city, a natural habitat of a contemporary man. I believe cities will remain only if we take care of the survival of its citizens by building architecture that is designed with individual’s bodily identification and sense of self in mind. The name of the methodological experiment has been offering itself – Urban Yoga.

Space Potential: Urban Yoga Madrid, photo: Emilio P. Doiztua

Space Potential: Urban Yoga Madrid, photo: Emilio P. Doiztua

The medium of Urban Yoga are series of photos, taken in New York City and Madrid, a series featured in this post. More photos are still to be taken in various metropolises around the world, such as Paris that is following next. It will be released in Cacao Magazine, the Paris Rebirth issue.

Space Potential: Urban Yoga Madrid, photo: Emilio P. Doiztua

Space Potential: Urban Yoga Madrid, photo: Emilio P. Doiztua

Urban Yoga is rediscovering the lost Spatial Sensuousness, a situation where city and body are in constant interaction and are thus mutually supplementing and defining each other. I believe that for as long as our bodies will relate to the real space, as the heart relates to organism, cities will remain, citizens will survive, and as for the architecture – it will continue to exist and work as architecture.

Space Potential: Urban Yoga Madrid, photo: Emilio P. Doiztua

Space Potential: Urban Yoga Madrid, photo: Emilio P. Doiztua

More on the methodology of Urban Yoga, its development, observations and findings from metropolis to metropolis will be described in a book on Urban Yoga and Space Potential, The luscious ingredient of architecture that I am preparing.

Space Potential: Urban Yoga Madrid, photo: Emilio P. Doiztua

Space Potential: Urban Yoga Madrid, photo: Emilio P. Doiztua

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Some unpublished photos of Ecopolis Plaza featured in the book “Make_Shift City”

Category: architecture+ecosistema urbano+publications+sustainability+urbanism+⚐ EN

Last year, the Summer already burning over Madrid, a photographer went back to Ecopolis Plaza on an uncertain mission: to capture the life and spirit of the place, three years after the completion of the project.

The reason: the people from Urban Drift, working with the German publisher Jovis, had proposed us to include the project Ecopolis Plaza in their book “Make_Shift City – Renegotiating the Urban Commons” and asked us for some updated photos showing the life of the place. We realized we didn’t have nice, recent pictures of it,  so we called our favourite photographer Emilio P. Doiztúa and invited him to go and register whatever was happening there.

So there went Emilio, armed with some photography gear, and this is what he brought back:  the  images of a grown and lively  Ecopolis Plaza.

Ecópolis Plaza - Ecosistema Urbano - Photo by Emilio P. Doiztúa

Time to go back home!

Ecópolis Plaza - Ecosistema Urbano - Photo by Emilio P. Doiztúa

Relaxing in the shadow. Notice the tall macrophytes in the artificial lagoon.

Ecópolis Plaza - Ecosistema Urbano - Photo by Emilio P. Doiztúa

The slides are a great attraction

Ecópolis Plaza - Ecosistema Urbano - Photo by Emilio P. Doiztúa

Ecópolis Plaza - Ecosistema Urbano - Photo by Emilio P. Doiztúa

Some teenagers hanging around…

Ecópolis Plaza - Ecosistema Urbano - Photo by Emilio P. Doiztúa

… and, well, having some fun in front of the camera.

Ecópolis Plaza - Ecosistema Urbano - Photo by Emilio P. Doiztúa

A not so common point of view of the building

Ecópolis Plaza - Ecosistema Urbano - Photo by Emilio P. Doiztúa

This is probably the first photo published from this side of the building!

Ecópolis Plaza - Ecosistema Urbano - Photo by Emilio P. Doiztúa

Ecópolis Plaza - Ecosistema Urbano - Photo by Emilio P. Doiztúa

Parents and children going to/from the kindergarden

Ecópolis Plaza - Ecosistema Urbano - Photo by Emilio P. Doiztúa

For more pictures of this and more projects, you can get the book “Make_Shift City” here.

Makeshift implies a temporary or expedient substitute for something else, something missing. Make-Shift City extends the term to embrace urban design strategies. “Make-Shift City” implies a condition of insecurity: the inconstant, the imperfect and the indeterminate. It also implies the designing act of shifting or reinterpretation as a form of urban détournement.

In case you happen to be in Berlin in March, you will have the chance to attend the official presentation:

Wednesday, 19 - March 2014 –  19.00
AEDES auf dem Pfefferberg
Christinenstraße 18, 10119 Berlin

Make_Shift City: Renegotiating the Urban Commons
More info on Ecopolis Plaza, including these and more photos

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SPACE POTENTIAL: The luscious ingredient of architecture | Video Method PLES

Category: architecture+creativity+research+⚐ EN

How fatal would architectural discipline consider the idea to diminish the role of plans in spatial analysis and planning and acclaim the role of individual’s physical interaction with space through movement?

With the advent of the moving image, particularly within the new media, the notion of a precise reference image has become both relative and confused.1 Already in 1936 Walter Benjamin declared that since the beginning of the 20th century neither space nor time have been perceived and articulated the way they were from time immemorial.2 How we sense and perceive space is determined not only by our nature, but by historical circumstances as well.3 With the arrival of photography the relationship between reality and its representation was established anew.4 Photography announced the advent of the moving image, which gave rise to the further changes in our perception of space.5

Video Method PLES

Space Potential: Video Method PLES, image: A.H.

The process of globalisation significantly changed the landscape of motion for the contemporary man. We may choose to travel at ever-greater speeds to any place in the world within a blink of the eye or we may choose to stay isolated in our domestic environment, connected to the rest of the world through the latest technologies. The need of the contemporary man to be informed about everything at any time and place is being fully satisfied with the expansion and evolvement of the new media, particularly of the moving image. If there is a medium in every epoch that stands behind the convergence of innovations and perceptual change, thus reflecting and impacting society at large, we can postulate that the moving picture is a visual reference for the contemporary representation of space.6

Video Method PLES

Space Potential: Video Method PLES, image A.H.

With the birth of the ever more rapidly moving man, we experience an extremely complex set of parameters that determine our daily choices and visions and delineate the reference frame to our actions. We are witnessing a situation in which we can see and experience space, urban or/and natural landscape, at different speeds and various times of day, be it through the windshield of a car, the window of an airplane, the screen of a mobile phone, or simply the TV screen showing the mesmerizing alpine grasslands selling us the new taste of chocolate.7 Phenomenon that sets both ourselves as well as our living environment in motion, impacts the relationship between man and his perceptual reality Christophe Girot calls: movism.8

Movism is the new visual theory of landscape in movement, dealing with the fleeting essence of our epoch. It forms a base for my creation of the Video Method PLES, using video as a possible tool for analysing, documenting and presenting Space Potential. The method is discussing interaction between an individual and urban or/and natural landscape, integrating a broad spectrum of viewpoints and stimulus, which can also appear distorted. Moreover, Video Method PLES is focusing on the notion that by moving through space we perceive and experience a variety of parameters, ranging from cultural, spatial and biotic habits all the way down to phonic, tactile, visual and kinetic parameters in the landscape. Due to a strong presence of motion in our day to day experiential reality, Girot claims that individual’s perceptions have become both relative and confused: some environments may appear extremely pleasant when experienced at certain speeds and become most disquieting at others. Considering that movism changed the relationship between individual and space to an extent, where it cannot be separated from our reality, it is utmost necessary to formally and aesthetically consider and integrate it in every design process to come.9

Video Method PLES

Space Potential: Video Method PLES, image A.H.

The moving image can enrich our perception, because camera has the ability of introducing us to the unconscious optics, as does psychoanalysis to unconscious impulses.10 Moreover, it functions as an inclusive approach, blending direct physical experience and intuition with Space Potential research. As for the integration of the moving image into the design process, particularly to the Video Method PLES, I furthermost see it as a medium, which provides information by means of the peripheral, unfocused vision. Peripheral vision, as opposed to the focused vision, does not fixate and is opened for interpretation, moreover it has the capability to elevate our perception of space on a level of an existential experience.11 Peripheral vision is linked to individual’s subconscious perception, manifesting through our multisensory apparatus, reviving the information stored in our subconscious.12 The appropriate condition for perceiving Space Potential with our whole being, transforming it into a complete physical experience is through Spatial Sensuousness. It gathers information transmitted through ours senses, intuition, contemplation and reason, making an individual the locust of perception, experience and interpretation of space.

Video Method PLES

Space Potential: Video Method PLES, image A.H.

The aim of the Video Method PLES is to analyse, document and present the complete spatial experience – Space Potential. It can be verified directly on the field of action, conveying qualities of a given place that are both visible and imperceptible, but nonetheless significant, for example stories, memories and chronology. Video Method PLES combines the scientific, quantitative approach with highly intuitive, experiential and contemplative approach. The name of the method “PLES” is a Slovenian word for “dance”, which symbolizes the interrelationship between the architect and space, produced through a dynamic interaction between the two. Furthermore, PLES is an acrostic of the four phases we follow sequentially: P-rimary, L-atent, E-xperimental and S-ummary.

Video Method PLES

Space Potential: Video Method PLES, image A.H.

P-rimary phase presents the first contact between the architect and space – urban or/and natural landscape, whereby the interaction based on Spatial Sensuousness (information transmitted through senses, intuition, contemplation and reason) is established between the two. During the primary phase the architect is moving through the space, recording audio and visual information, using camera and microphone. The recorded material is not a reference for a clear and focused imagery, but documents the way architect experienced the intertwinement of existential and physical aspect of space. Primary phase represents the initial insight into Space Potential.

Video method PLES

Space potenital: Video method PLES, image: A.H.

L-atent phase evokes architect’s subconscious aspects of spatial experience. It begins when the architect returns to his or her primary environment and starts reviewing audio and visual material. Simultaneously, the architect notes down thoughts and concepts in a form of narrative monologue, which represents one reaction to spatial experience from the first phase.

Video Method PLES

Space Potential: Video Method PLES, image A.H.

E-xperiential: In the third phase, analysis, classification and selection of representative audio and visual clips takes place, as well as the recording of the narrative monologue from the second. This is the most important phase, because the discoveries about Space Potential and the given project are adjusted and unified.

Video Method PLES

Space Potential: Video Method PLES, image A.H.

S-ummary: In the fourth phase the final video is created. It may become both a reference piece and a tool of investigation, nourishing architect’s Spatial Sensuousness, revealing one’s view of space potential of the location. Furthermore, the final video can be a starting point of an architectural intervention into urban/natural landscape, offering the architect a possibility to always return watching it in order to refresh the memory about Space Potential.

Video Method PLES,

Space Potential: Video Method PLES, image A.H.

I postulate that the moving image, video in particular, is a visual reference for the contemporary spatial design. The accessibility and immediacy of moving images that are captured and manipulated in video, bring us closer to sensual and experiential depiction of the fleeting contemporary environment, and above all to movement, which is the perceptual phenomenon and experiential reference of our daily life. At the same time, video is much closer to subjective and intuitive description of any given place than a plan, which is utmost scientific and precise, but succumbs to its two-dimensional limitations.13 At this point I would like to make clear that no matter how subjective, thus relative our observations are they have a direct impact on subsequent design choices for any given place. Architect is allowed to internalize the objective realm, because “the only way to reach the objective representation of reality is by comparing various subjective images”.14

Video Method PLES

Space Potential: Video Method PLES, image A.H.

Video Method PLES is a possible tool for analysing, documenting and presenting Space Potential, because it has the ability to capture and to present qualities of both physical as well as of existential aspect of space.15 It reduces the Euclidean space and gives us an opportunity to operate with the dimension of time, which reveals qualities of Space Potential that are otherwise difficult to capture, such as rhythm, stories, atmosphere, the passing of time and movement.16 Interaction with space with a camera, creating and analysing videos, enables architects and designers to acquire the understanding of the existential aspect of space, perceiving more of Space Potential. This enables architect’s interventions to be in tune with general spatial characteristics in cultural dimensions of the contemporary landscape and the inhabitants of the time being.

 Video Method PLES

Space Potential: Video Method PLES, image: A.H.

I believe that returning to space acknowledging the importance of the moving body and its multisensory perception and their inevitable interrelation with the subconscious way of interpreting space is necessary for identifying utmost of Space Potential. As architects we need to acquire the understanding of Space Potential in order to be able to carry out our spatial interventions wisely and knowledgeably. Considering that introduction to a site and interaction with it has all too often been reduced to systematic and quantitative formulas for analysing the site indirectly, from a distance, ways that do not grasp the potentiality of the reality we leave in. We need to accept and internalize both the conscious and the subconscious means of gathering information about Space Potential and reconcile our senses with the science.17

Video Method PLES

Space Potential: Video Method PLES, image A.H.

The aim of Space Potential Plarform is to trigger thoughts and induce actions, leaving enough space for individual engagement and interpretation of suggested directions. Sensing and perception are inherently subjective, the only correspondence to reality is the one that what we as humans agreed upon. However, I believe we may use architecture as a vehicle to enrich and create experiences and interpretations of space that will be shared among our fellow human beings, sparking further changes in our agreement about Space Potential.

Footnotes:

1. Christophe Girot, Cadrages I. (Zürich: gta Verlag, 2002).
2. Christophe Girot, »Four Trace Concepts in Landscape Architecture«, Recovering Landscape, Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture, James Corner, ur. (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999), 59-67.
3. Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”, Illuminations, Hannah Arendt, ur. (New York: Schocken Books, 1969), 217-252.
4. Ibid, p. 59-67.
5. Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”, Illuminations, Hannah Arendt, ur. (New York: Schocken Books, 1969), 217-252.
6. Christophe Girot, Cadrages I. (Zürich: gta Verlag, 2002).
7. Ibid
8. Ibid, p. 48.
9. Christophe Girot, Cadrages I. (Zürich: gta Verlag, 2002).
10. Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction”, Illuminations, Hannah Arendt, ur. (New York: Schocken Books, 1969), 237.
11. Juhani Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin, Architecture and the Senses. (London: John Wiley & Sons, 2005), 10.
12. Ibid, p. 10.
13. Christophe Girot, Cadrages I. (Zürich: gta Verlag, 2002), 48.
14. Anja Humljan, video project at Aalborg School for Architecture and Design, department for Digital Design, Aalborg University, 2006.
15. Christophe Girot, Cadrages I. (Zürich: gta Verlag, 2002), 51.
16. Ibid, p. 9-52.
17. Christophe Girot, »Four Trace Concepts in Landscape Architecture«, Recovering Landscape, Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture, James Corner, ur. (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999), 59-67.

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SPACE POTENTIAL: The luscious ingredient of architecture | Platform

Category: architecture+creativity+urbanism+⚐ EN

Space Potential is a conceptual platform, responding to questions on space and architecture: what is crucial for architecture today, what needs to be considered in architectural praxis and pursued in the architectural practice, what should we not give up on, so that architecture will continue to exist and work as architecture?

Space Potential is focusing on architecture as a dynamic relation and complex experience between individual and space. It is moving away from defining architecture as solely physical arrangement of objects and shapes towards the experiential reality that emerges on the threshold between objective reality (physical aspect of space) and subjective realm (existential aspect of space), placing an individual into the locus of perception, experience and interpretation of space.

Space potential

Space Potential: dynamic relation and complex experience between individual and space, image: A.H.

We perceive and experience space with all our senses, intuition, contemplation and reason in a complex way while moving through it.1 Physical aspect of space is defined by Euclidean geometry, autonomous forms and function, whereas the existential aspect of space stems from the intertwinement of multi-sensory bodily experience, intuition, memories, stories, archetypes, the passing of time and movement. Human body enriched by its multisensory apparatus is the locus of sensation, whereas the mind with its conscious and subconscious processes is the center of perception, experience and interpretation of space.2 Perception and experience of objective and subjective aspects of space intertwine and form an intense and unique spatial experience, called Space Potential.

Space potential

Space Potential: experience of “being in the word”, image: A.H.

Space Potential is inexhaustible and derives from landscape, which is the essential manifestation of space.3 The notion of landscape as an idyllic representation of aesthetic and soothing natural surroundings with meadows and fields, still has its place in our hearts today, but has little or no connection to the world that we presently experience.4 Contemporary landscapes can be natural as well as urban, or even a combination of both, including landscape manifestations, such as airports, high-ways, railways, technological and industrial parks and so called unmentionable landscapes, with no proper form or name that clutter our urban peripheries.5 Architecture with all its constructive fields constitutes urban landscape – city, a natural habitat of the contemporary man. Individual’s basic principle is to live in harmony with oneself and with the environment. Accordingly, cities will remain only if we take care of the survival of their citizens by building architecture that is designed with individual’s bodily identification and sense of self in mind.

Space potential

Space Potential: senses, specialization of skin tissue, image: A.H.

Space Potential is intensified by Spatial Sensuousness. It sums up information transmitted through senses, intuition, contemplation and reason. Every spatial intervention affects the way we live, think and function, therefore “Architects need to understand their influence on environment and society and take the responsibility for the effects of their actions.”6 Accordingly, architect’s task is to cultivate Spatial Sensuousness, hence it is the appropriate condition for experiencing the physical, as well as the existential aspect of space and thus perceiving a complex Space Potential7 – the intense, inexhaustible and utmost luscious ingredient of space. In architectural planning as well as in the use of architectural space in general one should reveal and consider utmost of space potential.8 The task of architecture is then to grasp Space Potential by perceptible means, creating new space with new Space Potential.9

Space potential

Space Potential: ”the hand wants to see, the eyes want to caress”, image: A.H.

Nonetheless, integrity of Space Potential cannot be revealed and analyzed solely through the general analysis of space, which is based primarily on the analysis of physical aspect of space.10 Ergo, the existential aspect of space remains unexplored and information about the complex quality of space incomplete, revealing only a small part of Space Potential.11 Architecture has become an increasingly interdisciplinary profession, offering fertile ground for us architects to design and create radically diversified languages that are based on a rather intuitive and experiential approaches to articulate our ideas and thus, create wholly unique tools, techniques and methods for analyzing, documenting and presenting Space Potential.

Space potenital

Space Potential: reconciling science with our senses, image: A.H

I have designed and carried out two interdisciplinary concepts in the Space Potential manner – Urban Yoga and Video Method PLES. PLES is the acrostic of the four consecutive phases (P-rimary, L-atent, E-xperimental and S-ummary), as well as a Slovenian word for ‘dance’, which symbolizes the interrelationship between the architect and space, produced through a dynamic interaction, when an individual is flowing through space. Urban Yoga is a series of photos taken in New York City and Madrid and are still to be taken in various metropolises around the world. Urban Yoga is rediscovering the lost Spatial Sensuousness, a situation where city and body are in constant interaction and are thus mutually supplementing and defining each other. Both concepts will be thoroughly presented in the two consecutive posts, as a sequel to this one.

Space potenital

Space Potential: Urban Yoga New York – rediscovering Spatial Sensuousness, photo: Jaka Vinšek

Space Potential is discussing possibilities and characteristics of space if we are engaging in it with our whole being, moving beyond the regular architectural analysis, tools and methods, towards an experience with an existential significance.12 It is then, when less obvious aspects of space open up, revealing new ways of thinking, living and functioning.13 The basic principle of the Space Potential platform stems from the notion that “architecture is the art of reconciliation between ourselves and the world”,14 the experiential process based on our senses and sensory perception of the space around us. Therefore, the architect is allowed to internalize the objective realm, because “the only way to reach the objective representation of reality is by comparing various subjective images”.15

Visual images of Space Potential theory in the post are deliberately left rather abstract, as my aim is to trigger thoughts and induce actions, leaving enough space for individual engagement and interpretation of suggested directions. Namely, sensing and perception are inherently subjective, the only correspondence to reality is the one that what we as humans agreed upon. However, we may use architecture as a vehicle to enrich and create experiences and interpretations of space that will be shared among our fellow human beings, sparking further changes in our agreement about Space Potential.

Footnotes

1. Christophe Girot, »Four Trace Concepts in Landscape Architecture«, Recovering Landscape, Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture, James Corner, ur. (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999), 59-67
2. Alenka Kompare, Mihaela Stražišar, Tomaž Vec, Irena Dogša, Norbert Jaušovec, Janina curk, Psihologija, Spoznanje in dileme. (Ljubljana DZS, 2002).
3. Christophe Girot, »Four Trace Concepts in Landscape Architecture«, Recovering Landscape, Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture, James Corner, ur, (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999), 59-67.
4. Christophe Girot, Cadrages I. (Zürich: gta Verlag, 2002), 48.
5. Ibid, p. 48.
6. Brian Bell in Katie Wakeford, Expanding Architecture. (New York: Metropolisbooks, 2008).
7. Christophe Girot, »Four Trace Concepts in Landscape Architecture«, Recovering Landscape, Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture, James Corner, ur, (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999), 59-67.
8. Ibid, p. 59-67.
9. Hiroshi Nakamura & NAP Co., Tokyo, Japan: http://www.nakam.info/en/
10. Christophe Girot, Cadrages I. (Zürich: gta Verlag, 2002), 50.
11. Christophe Girot, »Four Trace Concepts in Landscape Architecture«, Recovering Landscape, Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture, James Corner, ur. (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999), 59-67.
12. Juhani Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin, Architecture and the Senses (London: John Wiley & Sons, 2005), 10, 11.
13. Christophe Girot, »Four Trace Concepts in Landscape Architecture«, Recovering Landscape, Essays in Contemporary Landscape Architecture, James Corner, ur, (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1999), 59-67.
14. Juhani Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin, Architecture and the Senses (London: John Wiley & Sons, 2005), 72.
15. Janek Musek, Zgodovina psihologije. (Ljubljana: Oddelek za psihologijo Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani, 2003), 5.

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Guidelines to build participatory and inclusive societies

Category: architecture+art+city+creativity+placemaking+research+sustainability+⚐ EN

portada_654x254

In order to achieve the Post-Master called Urban Research Lab Sardinia – Environmental Design at the Università di Sassari (DAP), in partnership with the Dessau Institute of Architecture (DIA) of Anhalt University of Applied Sciences, an article will be published about the project made during the italian period, under the supervision of Ecosistema Urbano: Punto d’incontro.

This is an excerpt of the introduction, including some references and case studies.

The role of the architect

The role of the architect has always been, throughout ancient and modern history, a reference point for the city growth and development. Nowadays, this figure is undergoing a massive transformation, which cannot ignore social aspects. The modern architect helps to integrate production processes within the spaces users live and use in everyday life.

The article aims to present an experiment that was personally led in a very specific local community in Sardinia (Italy) which is affected by logistic, economical and management problems. Through theoretical studies and personal analysis of a variety of existing projects, a detailed process was drafted in order to suggest a strategic action plan.

Western society has scarce resources and the European architect often asks the following question, what can I do now without nothing? In this hard times, it is far more difficult for closed solution to be imposed by a power minority than for specific temporary actions to be applied based on grassroots talks, because sensitivity is high and social groups are highly resistant to accepting any changes which have not come from within their ranks. Ecosistema Urbano (2011). “Negotiating at all level”. A + T 38. 120

fountainhead_654

Strategy & Tactics

The first input to the change came with the drafting of Agenda 21, a voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations with regard to sustainable development. It emphasises that broad public participation in decision making is a fundamental prerequisite for achieving sustainable development. The main goal is trying to involve the local communities in the construction process of the future of the cities. When public space is concerned, there are two ways to run over: strategy and tactics. Both are tools of equal value, but with different typology of method; they are usually known as top-down or bottom-up processes.

Tactics are actions which take place on enemy territory while strategy is always enacted on home ground. Which can lead to an immediate run-of-the-mill sharing out of roles: strategy is an instrument of power, tactics are used by citizens; strategy occupies space, tactics play out in time; strategy is used to control, tactics to protest. De Certeau, M.(1988). The Practice of Everyday Life. University of California Press

Recent developments of these concepts became well known under different name, but in essence they are all the same.

Tactical urbanism. It is defined as small-scale improvements in an effort to effect large-scale, long-term change.
Placemaking. It is the act of enlivening public spaces and places for the betterment of the community and its neighbors.
Participatory design. It is an approach to the assessment, design, and development of technological and organizational systems that places a premium on the active involvement of workplace practitioners (usually potential or current users of the system).

The following scheme represents the stages of the experiment:
Process_654

The Iberian trip

There was the necessity to analyze the theory, exploring some case studies and finding some references. This processes are already very disseminated all over the world, especially in USA and north Europe, where the citizens have a great sense of community and cooperation.

Nevertheless this research focused on the Mediterranean area, in this particular case in the Iberian peninsula, where the lack of organization meets high quality and creativity, typical of the Latin culture. Some of the cases shown here are real established structures, others are spaces under construction and constantly changing. The connecting link is always one of active participation.
iberian trip_654

LXFACTORY – Lisbon

An urban fragment, kept hidden for years, is now returned to the city in the form of LXFactory. A creative island occupied by corporations and professionals of the industry serves also has stage for a diverse set of happenings related to fashion, publicity, communication, fine arts, architecture, music, etc.

lx_factory

El campo de cebada – Madrid

A group of neighbours called Distrito Centro promoted a temporary use of the vacant lof of a former public pool demolished in a district of Madrid, during the time in which the work planned for urban reuse was not to be carried out. The intention is that the space will accommodate all types of proposals/activities/projects (cultural, social, artistic, sport) for the use and enjoyment of the people of the district and all the city.

cebada

Matadero – Madrid

The old slaughterhouse and livestock market, where Matadero Madrid is now located, was built according with the project of the architect Luis Bellido. The site was architecturally transformed.
Matadero Madrid’s mission is to promote creation in all its forms and expressions. With special attention to cross-sectorial propositions, it focuses on three main action areas: training, production and dissemination.

matadero

Fabra i Coats Creation Factory – Barcelona

Fabra i Coats is a multidisciplinary space which will be promoting artistic hybridisation to become a point of reference in artistic research and in the generation of new quality contents, as well as a meeting point for groups, creators and proposals from different spheres and backgrounds.
The goal is to give support to artistic creation and it has workspaces for the performing arts, music, plastic and visual arts, multimedia creation and also for projects related to information and communication technology.

fabra i coats

Sometimes these kind of actions are not supported by a physical space, but by the people that build their spaces through some collective iniziatives, occasionally supported by a politician organization or made by self-funded artistic groups.

Urbact

It is a European exchange and learning programme promoting sustainable urban development. They enable cities to work together to develop solutions to major urban challenges, reaffirming the key role they play in facing increasingly complex societal changes. URBACT spans over 500 cities, 29 countries and 7,000 active participants.

urbact

Collectif ETC

Born in Strasbourg in 2009, this collective gathered energy around a common dynamic questioning of urban space. Through different means and different skills it wants to be a medium for experimentation. They believe that the different users of the city (residents and professionals) can all be involved in its development to a wide range of scales. The purpose and importance of these urban experiments is not only the result but also the process that generates it, as well as the new environment and new behavior it generates.

colletif etc

Boa Mistura

It is an urban art group formed at the end of 2001 in Madrid, Spain. Its members have diversity of perspectives, distinct visions which complement each other, and combine to create something unique and coherent.

boa mistura

Madrid Street Art Project

It is a noprofit association that through the organization of various activities and initiatives (urban Safaris, workshops, lectures, recovery rooms) aims to contribute to these reflections, to encourage citizens to enjoy urban art, contribute to its dissemination and support its creators.

madrid street art project

Conclusions

The final article will aim to give some semi-scientific guidelines to build participatory and inclusive societies. The new frontier of the architect should be to drive local communities in the management of public and private space, involving them in the construction process of the urban renewal. This is when the architect, as a highly knowledgeable technician, plays an essential role to mend the relation between politicians and common people.

02_654

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MetaMap | Pablo de Soto

Category: architecture+city+landscape+MetaMap+new technologies+urbanism+video+⚐ EN

Pablo de Soto is part of the generation who lived and experimented with the creative explosion generated by the web. His studies in architecture have enabled him to look at digital culture through a unique perspective. Keeping as reference, science fiction, situationism, and hacker ethic.

In 2001, he founded hackitectura.net, along with José Pérez de Lama and Sergio Moreno Páez, and a crew of architects, programmers, artists, and activists that participated in projects that dealt with themes of cartography and mapping. I interviewed Pablo de Soto about Sevilla Global, Cartografía Crítica del Estrecho de Gibraltar, and Mapping the Commons (Istanbul and Athens)

Here are a few screenshots of the maps:

Taksim Square, Istanbul

Fener Balat, Istanbul

Brook Crossing, Athens

This post is part of the MetaMap series about mapping. You can follow the conversation on your favourite social network through the #metamap hashtag.

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Bicycle-friendly houses

Category: architecture+mobility+sustainability+urbanism+⚐ EN

Cities, organizations increasingly vast and uncontrolled, crystallize today most social and environmental issues. Intensification is a hot topic as antidote to urban sprawl and overconsumption of the territory, but how to live in the dense city, make it livable and desirable? This paradox between individual aspirations and the need to contain the growth of cities is a challenge for the architecture, the opportunity to imagine new types of habitats, for the collective economy of the soil, but offer a sense of independence and freedom in the use of space, from within and without.

Let’s find a simple example: to reduce private car use, many  cities are trying to promote green transport methods, including cycling, which is highly valued by the local population that exhibits a strong “scientific, sporty and green” image. The cycle path network is growing, but the problem lies at the two ends: What do you do with your bike when you get to your destination?

The bicycle is the most efficient form of transportation ever devised, and it delivers a whole-body workout. Cycling consumes far fewer calories per mile travelled than cars, buses, or even walking. It is sometimes the fastest way to get around a city. Cyclists can zip around traffic jams and don’t have to fight for a parking spot because they can bring the vehicle home… maybe: Many homes aren’t bicycle-friendly, so bikes are either not used or not purchased.

The French architectural studio ‘HERAULT ARNOD architectes’ was faced with that problem in Grenoble, where they designed a sustainable residential house.

Image is made by Herault Arnod architectes | L’IMMEUBLE À VÉLOS |Grenoble 2006-2010

The project ‘Bike building’ has a system which makes possible to take one’s bike to the door of one’s apartment. The lifts are big enough to carry bikes; the corridors are wide and form a panoramic walkway with views over the mountains. People enter their homes as they would a house, from the outside. The architecture of the storage and distribution system is designed for a project situated at the end of the cycle path network. People will be able to reach their front doors on rollerblades, scooters, bicycles, etc., and then store their wheels in a safe place.

‘…This project was conducted as part of an order placed by the architects to 8 City of Architecture and Heritage, on the theme of a “Habitat densified environmentally responsible.” These projects were gathered in one part of the traveling exhibition “Living Green”, which was provided by the police Gauzin-Dominique Müller, and which was presented to the City of Architecture…’ say Chris Younes and Isabel Herault

Since the outskirts of Grenoble are layered with districts of detached houses which generate traffic flows that grow more intense and more extensive each day, it is time to think about urban housing that is more in tune with contemporary aspirations. What does a detached house have that an apartment does not? Amongst other characteristics, we identified the relationship with the exterior, which is more direct and special, the greater privacy, and storage capacity: according to a recent study, 40% of the surface area in detached houses is used to store various objects, food, clothes, tools, bicycles, windsurfers, skis, etc.

‘…>80% of the population would rather live in a detached house than in an apartment block in town. What does a detached house have that an apartment does not? Amongst other characteristics, we identified the relationship with the exterior, which is more direct and special, the greater privacy, and storage capacity: according to a recent study, 40% of the surface area in detached houses is used to store various objects, food, clothes, tools, bicycles, windsurfers, skis, etc….’  say Chris Younes and Isabel Herault

The façade on the street side is made up of several layers which reveal the building’s unusual design, and make a feature of it through the system of outdoor corridors and the individual storage “boxes” placed in front of each apartment: the image is created by usage. People enter their apartments via a private balcony. Located between the walkway and the building’s main structure are the storerooms and bathrooms, which alternate with empty spaces running the whole height of the building. The “storage units” are clad with different coloured corrugated steel sheet, which individualize the apartments and together create an expansive, dynamic and contrasted façade – an unpatented and lively composition.

This project is not the only one example of bike-friendly houses designed by Herault Arnod architectes.

’24 apartments house’ project is located on a new BIA to Green Island, an eclectic neighbourhood of Grenoble composed of villas, workshops and small buildings on the banks of the Isere. It meets the certification BBC with 40% renewable energy, according to the requirements of the specifications of the ZAC. The building was designed to allow residents to live in the city as a house, with a privileged relationship to the outside. The twenty four units are through and have a large terrace facing west continues. Ends of the apartments have a triple orientation. All are served by an outdoor walkway sheltered east side. The building is intended to facilitate the use of bicycles in everyday life: each unit has a storage room, protected by winks perforated (over 50% vacuum), in which residents can store several bikes. The elevator is generously proportioned to allow everyone to borrow his bike.

Image is made by Herault Arnod architectes | 24 APARTEMENTS |Grenoble 2011-2013

The building is very compact, its organization to optimize the stairwell and the elevator are grouped in a separate volume, which they are connected by a walkway. This volume is wrapped in open vegetation: a linear bins, equipped with an automatic watering, home to vines that invade gradually cables and nets stretched between floors.

The other example of bicycle friendly building is the EcoFlats mixed-use apartment building, along North Williams Avenue in Portland with its co-developer, Jean-Pierre Veillet of Siteworks Design Build.

Williams Avenue, once the heart of a thriving African American community, is today well known as a popular bike route as well as a burgeoning retail area of restaurants, cafes and shops.

Image is made by Jean-Pierre Veillet | the Eco-flats |

On the ground floor of the building, for example, is Hopworks Bike Bar.

“Some 3,000 riders a day pass by Mr. Ettinger’s new brewpub,” the New York Times’ Linda Baker writes of Hopworks in a recent feature about the neighborhood and catering to cyclists. “It has racks for 75 bicycles and free locks, to-go entries that fit in bicycle water-bottle cages, and dozens of handmade bicycle frames suspended over the bar areas.”

There are no automobile parking spaces for tenants, but the 18-unit building has storage for 30 bikes.

“Cyclists are a great potential market for businesses that want people traveling at human-scale speed and will stop and buy something,” Roger Geller, the city’s bicycle coordinator, also told Baker.

Eco Flats is one of 15 building projects aiming toward net-zero operations through a pilot program launched in 2009 by Energy Trust of Oregon. Co developed by Doug Shapiro, it was designed to use approximately 60 percent less energy than a building constructed to code stipulations. Veillet says actual savings have been higher, approaching 80 percent. In the ground-floor entry to the apartments via elevator, a flat-screen TV affixed to the upper wall conveys in real-time the amount of energy being used by each unit as well as how much energy is being generated by a rooftop array of solar panels.

If you decided to become bike user, but the house you live in is not bicycle friendly, try to make your home bicycle friendly by yourself. A bicycle doesn’t ask for much. It just needs a safe, dry spot away from thieves and vandals.

By the way, in a humorous note, there is also the opposite way: you can make your bike the main element and attach your house to it, as this man did for the Burning Man festival, or as seen in various creations involving a bike and a tiny home.

RV-Camper bike by Kevin Cyr

RV-Camper bike by Kevin Cyr

For further reading:

‘Bicycle friendly area’ – Design workshop at Auroville- PDF

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MetaMap | Domenico Di Siena about Meipi

Category: architecture+internet+Intervista+MetaMap+new technologies+video+⚐ EN+⚐ IT

As part of the MetaMap series, I interviewed Domenico Di Siena, former curator of this blog, about a project he founded in 2007, Meipi, which is a collaborative space where users can upload information and content around a map.

Meipi.org [...] is being used by communities, advocacy groups, journalists, artistic collectives, and urban planners to geo-tag information around a topic in a specific region. [...]  Meipi is a community of developers, designers, and planners that have built and maintained Meipi.org since 2007. Since the software became open source in 2010, an entire community has contributed with its work and support.

Here you can find some examples of different visualizations of maps currently on the platform:

Multimedia field map of Dowtown Los Angeles

 

Map of “Corralas” in Madrid

Map of small shops in the Salamanca District

credits:

Meip-it Coordinators: Pablo Rey Mazón (Visiting Scientist, Center for Civic Media, MIT) and Alfonso Sánchez Uzábal (Developer and Researcher at Montera34)  Meipi developers, Pablo and Alfonso, both collaborate with the core developers from Meipi.com: Guillermo Álvaro Rey and Jorge Álvaro Rey from Lamboratory, Domenico Di Siena, @urbanohumano, and Francesco Cingoliani, @immaginoteca.

 

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International summer course (update) | Urban design and sustainable architecture

Category: architecture+sustainability+urbanism+⚐ EN

Architecture in Alicante

The international summer course in Alicante we presented a couple of months ago is finally going to happen!

So far, 14 international – from quite diverse places like the US, Ucrania, Lebanon or South Corea – and 8 local students have already registered, and the University of Alicante just extended the registration period over June, so you still have a chance to join!

More Than Green international summer course

Sustainability is not just an environmental issue but, and above all, a social, cultural and economic one. This course about URBAN DESIGN and SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE proposes a complex incursion within the subject of sustainability understood not only as a problem but as an opportunity to meet new approaches to the city in a creative, innovative, playful and unprejudiced way.

Sustainability in an international environment: Experts in sustainability, teaching and design from all around the world meet in Alicante.
Learning by the sea: Meet friends from all around the world and enjoy the Mediterranean culture, a different way of understanding architecture, the city and life.
Challenging yourself: A fresh and playful approach to sustainable design.
Finding your way: We offer a wide variety of thematic contents as well as plenty of activities for your free time.

Faculty

We will be taking part with PLAYstudio – the organizers –, Transsolar and Urban Think Tank. Looking forward to meet you there!

Place and date: University of Alicante, Alicante, Spain. 15-26th July 2013
Learn more: International summer course (by the sea)Versión en español
Official website: summercourse.morethangreen.es

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Design-Analyse-Build | A methodology put to practice

Category: architecture+creativity+sustainability+⚐ EN

I would like to share with you my personal experience  in a ‘Design-Analyse-Build’ way of design.  Some of you might think, that it sounds not so innovative and most of the architects work in that way, that’s probably could be the truth, BUT there are some specific tips that make this experience unique.

In this post I will refer to the workshop that I shared in IED Torino Master SUS with the main coordinators  ARCò and MCArchitects studio, about designing an off-grid sustainable school for Palestine, Gaza_Rafah.

Firstly, I want to meet you with a work plan, that we were followed:

1. Climate analysis of an area
2. Analysis of the state conditions and local features of the area
3. Understanding the type of users and their needs
4. Environmental strategies selection
5. Concept creation
6. Design process
7. Shadow, daylight and glare analysis using Ecotect
8. Model 1:1 scale prototype

The first step was to analyse the climate of the area to understand the possible environmental strategies we can use and make a list of parameters that is better to avoid or conversely exploit during design process. The most tricky stuff was to find the weather data for Palestine, because nowadays all the information about it is classified, due to the war. Finally we had to use  weather data of  Beer Sheeva that located nearby in territory of Egypt.

 

The result of a Climate analysis using  Weather Tool,  Autodesk 2011

During most of the year temperature is above the comfort zone.. The winter is short, but is noticed with a humid winds. The summer period  lasts almost 7 months and accompanied with high temperature of the air and wind.The difference between the highest and lowest temperature during the day is about 10°.With this climate is important to orient building to protect it from the direct sun during summer and to capture it during winter. Also the building should be covered from strong winter wind,but use the summer ones.

The second step was to find out the location of  Rafah city and underline  the main function of that place.  One of the most important thing was to see the actual state of the construction site, that was almost impossible due to the hostilities.

Site location. Palestine. GazaStrip, Rafah

Rafah is situated in the southern part of the GazaStrip in Palestine, at the border with Egypt. According to the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel at Camp in 1982, Rafah was divided into two parts. One part was assigned to Egypt, the other part to the Gaza Strip. Nowadays Rafah is the only point of importance in the country.

The third step was to ‘meet’ the users. In this case we had to try being in their shoes, imagining lifestyle of a kid who was born and had been living all of his life in a war situation, always surrounded with fences and swaying wire in a lack of green safety spaces and entertainments.

The site is located in the central empty area of Rafah. It is surrounded with residential houses and a big warehouse.In the real-time the site is full of  excavated earth, because of the erasion of the previous construction, after the bombing.

From 1948 the population of Palestine live in the war situation.. So the country has problems in many different fields, one of it belongs to children and it is lack of schools and areas for children activities

The fourth step was to choose the environmental strategies to follow to reach the off-grid building. This phase is strongly related to the climate analysis. In this case, is very helpful to see the vernacular architecture of a place to choose the right strategies.

Ekaterina Kozhevnikova and Sara Cicinelli|">Image is made by Ekaterina Kozhevnikova and Sara Cicinelli|

workshop ‘Una scuola sostenibile’ in IED Torino

The fifth step is a sort of summary of all the strategies we chose for the building – concept creation. Concept is the phase right before the design process, so it was important to choose the right orientation, shape, functional zones etc. We were also advice to make a simple symbol or logo that would describe our project in few seconds, that finally could become sort of a brend.

 ‘The Earth is our school, so let’s make the school with earth!’

Image is made by Ekaterina Kozhevnikova and Sara Cicinelli | workshop ‘Una scuola sostenibile’ in IED Torino

One of the most important steps was analysis of the building with Ecotect, Autodesk 2011. For this project we had to make several calculations, such as: solar, shadow, daylight and glare analysis.

Usually  shadow analysis is calculated for the longest and shortest day in the year, such as 21st of December and 21st of June. In this case we also did computings for 21st of march to get proper results and see if the overhangs are useful during al the year.

Solar analysis shows us the amount of sun hours that building surfaces receive during the day. It gives us the idea of facade protection from the direct sun. It also could be very useful to see the best position for the PV panels to let them produce the maximum energy.

Daylight factor analysis is the ratio of internal light level to external light level.A low asks for classrooms a 5% daylight factor. For  art, craft, technological laboratories thatratio is even higher. Daylight can be used to offset the need for artificial lighting and hence reduce dependency and consumption on electricity and the greenhouse gas emitted. Effective daylight distribution must be achieved in a manner that brings visual satisfaction to the occupants.

Glare analysis is a calculation about number of direct sun or reflection coming from a very bright source outside the field of view. The reflection may cause discomfort as well as the additional annoyance of veiling or masking out the information which is being sought within that view.Ecotect Tool, Autodesk 2011">The result of  analysis usingEcotect Tool, Autodesk 2011

The final step was a model in 1:1 scale that we built-in one of the parks in Turin city. It was a great chance to ‘feel’ the construction and understand the weak and strong points of it. In my personal opinion, it was one the best parts of design, when you make the proof to your ideas and drawings, so you can be sure that the techniques you had chosen is stable and can answer to your expectations.

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International summer course (by the sea) | Urban design and sustainable architecture

Category: architecture+sustainability+urbanism+⚐ EN

More Than Green international summer course

The people behind More Than Green have organized a great summer course on July 15-26, 2013 in the mediterranean city of Alicante (Spain), where we will also be taking part together with PLAYstudio, Transsolar and Urban Think Tank.

Sustainability is not just an environmental issue but, and above all, a social, cultural and economic one. This course about URBAN DESIGN and SUSTAINABLE ARCHITECTURE proposes a complex incursion within the subject of sustainability understood not only as a problem but as an opportunity to meet new approaches to the city in a creative, innovative, playful and unprejudiced way.

More Than Green

Contents + Objectives

Architecture in Alicante

Improve your design skills: based on an open criticism of the “only green” approach for the construction of our future sustainable cities, this course offers a much wider, complex and playful perspective at the same time. Students will combine the design of a team project –about an specific case‐ with the supervision of guest experts and their master classes.

Build a knowledge frame –examples of good practices told by guest experts‐ where students take consciousness of the importance of broadening their understanding of sustainability according to the new world policies.

Create a typical multicultural situation of an international course where students coming from different places exchange their various backgrounds and modes of undertaking the sustainable urban project. The diversity of the faculties contributes to enrich this situation.

Methodology + Course Structure

Architecture in Alicante

Master classes, teamwork and project reviews within the context of four different ways of understanding sustainability: ENVIRONMENTALLY, SOCIALLY, ECONOMICALLY and CULTURALLY.

Faculty

Faculty

DIRECTOR: José Luis Oliver Ramírez  (University of Alicante) + TRANSSOLAR: Matthias Schuler (Harvard GSD) + URBAN-THINK TANK: Alfredo Brillembourg (ETH Zurich) + ECOSISTEMA URBANO: Belinda Tato y Jose Luis Vallejo (Harvard GSD) + PLAYstudio: Iván Capdevila y Vicente Iborra (University of Alicante)

Alicante + Free time

Lively Alicante at dusk

It’s summer, you’re by the coast… who would dare to keep you away from having fun?  Within the course structure, it is programmed a considerable amount of free time so the students can visit other cities or some interesting spots on the surroundings, enjoy the sun and the beach, or take part in different summer activities organized by the University of Alicante.

Acommodation

University of Alicante

The University of Alicante offers you a wide range of facilities and affordable accommodation in several lovely locations from the historic city centre to the university campus surroundings.

You can download the brochure here: MTG International Summer Course  - PDF
For a more information on fees, acommodation, organization, etc. check the official website: summercourse.morethangreen.es

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Plaza Ecópolis and Ecobulevar | Dubai International Award for Best Practices

Category: architecture+⚐ EN

Best Practice Database - click to visit site

Best Practice Database

Today we are glad to announce that our project Plaza Ecópolis has been selected by UN-HABITAT for the Dubai International Award for Best Practices to Improve the Living Environment.

The project, together with the Ecobulevar de Vallecas (which was awarded back in 2008) is now part of the Best Practices Database “as a way of promoting global exchange, learning and replication”. Here are the links:

Plaza EcópolisBest practice 2012

Plaza Ecópolis - click to view large

Plaza Ecópolis

Ecobulevar de VallecasGood Practice 2008

Eco Boulevard - Vallecas - click to view large

Eco Boulevard – Vallecas

The United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN-HABITAT, is the United Nations agency for human settlements. It is mandated by the UN General Assembly to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all.

Related links:

UN-HABITAT web page
The Best Practices and Local Leadership Programme
Related posts about Plaza Ecópolis
Related posts about Ecobulevar de Vallecas

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Designing learning spaces | Lectures and exhibition in Reggio Emilia

Category: architecture+architettura+events+⚐ EN+⚐ IT

Next Friday we will be in Reggio Emilia at the presentation of the Reggio Children educational project “A school as a learning community”, together with Graziano Delrio, Luca Molinari, Carla Rinaldi and Maddalena Tedeschi. We will talk about our proposal for the Reggio Children experimental learning centre, and after that an exhibition will be opened, showing the projects submitted to the competition.

Progettare Spazi per l’Apprendimento

Progettare Spazi per l’Apprendimento

Summary:

Progettare Spazi per l’Apprendimento
Friday, February 15 2013 at 16.30
Centro Internazionale Loris Malaguzzi – Sala Kuwait

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Hybrid Cities and Networked Participatory Design Systems | Hybrid Space Lab

Category: architecture+open culture+urban social design+urbanism+⚐ EN

Coinciding with the rise of digital tools that foster participatory systems, Hybrid Space Lab is an entity that exists in the realm between architect and client, the traditional shapers of space. In this article, originally published here, Elizabeth Sikiaridi and Frans Vogelaar of Hybrid Space Lab share three of their projects and their thoughts on networked participatory design systems today.

The CITY KIT hybrid game by Hybrid Space Lab

The CITY KIT hybrid game by Hybrid Space Lab

CITY KIT

CITY KIT is a combined urban-computer game to upgrade your neighborhood. The CITY KIT project was developed for the Hong Kong Social Housing Authority with as a target group young people that are familiar with computer games but hardly play outside.

This hybrid game revolves around city planning and urban redevelopment. CITY KIT turns the residents into the “makers” of the city, providing thus a bridge between the users of the urban environment and the experts – the architects and the urban planners.

The CITY KIT hybrid game by Hybrid Space Lab

The CITY KIT hybrid game by Hybrid Space Lab

Playing the CITY KIT game, the residents can adapt and improve their local physical environment by building a digital version of their neighborhood. Using modular building components that can be moved around and fixed in certain places in the environment, users can build micro-stages, exhibition decks, floating bars and theatres, swimming pools and other recreational facilities that make living in the neighborhood more fun.

The CITY KIT hybrid game by Hybrid Space Lab

The CITY KIT hybrid game by Hybrid Space Lab

CITY_KIT is an open-source medium in which participants can add elements and share their designs. An online platform in the form of a website allows residents to actively take part in the game. All it takes is a simple click of the mouse to interactively test your own virtual version of CITY KIT.

Residents and game users can design their own objects and facilities and can realize their ideas: A ‘real’ object, an analog version of the proposed CITY KIT element, can be built at the chosen location.

On the website, the user can also pinpoint exactly where a digital object should be located in the analogue world. This can be done using a mobile phone.

The CITY KIT hybrid game by Hybrid Space Lab

The CITY KIT hybrid game by Hybrid Space Lab

The goal of CITY KIT is to help you revalue your local surroundings and incorporate the new, imaginative layers created in CITY KIT’s virtual world. Making small modifications to the personal, physical environment in digital space changes the experience of living in the real world.

DIY Pavilion by Hybrid Space Lab at the Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-city Biennial of Urbanism and Architecture 2009-2010 Photo by Andy Tam

DIY Pavilion at the Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-city Biennial of Urbanism and Architecture 2009-2010. Photo by Andy Tam

DIY Pavilion

Outcome of the CITY KIT project was the DIY Pavilion, first presented at the waterfront promenade of Hong Kong within the framework of the Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-city Biennial of Urbanism and Architecture 2009-2010 and later set up at the Hong Kong Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre and at the Kwai Tsing Theatre in Hong Kong.

DIY Pavilion by Hybrid Space Lab at the Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-city Biennial of Urbanism and Architecture 2009-2010; photo by Andy Tam

DIY Pavilion at the Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-city Biennial of Urbanism and Architecture 2009-2010. Photo by Andy Tam

Following the CITY KIT concept, users can co-create their design of the pavilion. The pavilion’s architecture is based on an architectural design principle with a flexible structure that can adapt to site and program requirements, to different content, context and spatial situations. The structure of the pavilion architectural design principle makes it possible to involve the users in the design, building and transformation of the pavilion.

‘Build Your Own Pavilion’ at the Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-city Biennial of Urbanism and Architecture 2009-2010

‘Build Your Own Pavilion’ at the Hong Kong & Shenzhen Bi-city Biennial of Urbanism and Architecture 2009-2010

The pavilion consists of triangular plywood plates sown together with the help of cable binders. It is a flexible mobile structure to be easily disassembled, transported, reassembled and sown together again, adjusting to the size of the site and the local requirements.

Detail of the DIY Pavilion by Hybrid Space Lab; photo by Andy Tam

Detail of the DIY Pavilion by Hybrid Space Lab; photo by Andy Tam

Videos on urban issues were projected on the triangular crystalline structure of the pavilion’s interior as the pavilion travelled to the different locations for community education.

Model of the DIY Pavilion by Hybrid Space Lab. Photo by Julian Roeder

Model of the DIY Pavilion by Hybrid Space Lab. Photo by Julian Roeder

Model of the DIY Pavilion by Hybrid Space Lab. Photo by Julian Roeder

SIMPLE CITY

Both projects, CITY KIT as well as the DIY Pavilion, were recently presented within the framework of the SIMPLE CITY installation by Hybrid Space Lab at the MAKK Museum of Applied Arts Cologne from May to August 2012 and at the first issue of plan – Architecture Biennial Cologne (plan – Architektur Biennale Köln in German) in September 2012.

The SIMPLE CITY is an interface for the participative development of urban projects by professionals and laymen. The design of this simulated urban environment can be broken down to simple elements that can be copied and modified by the users of the city.

SIMPLE CITY installation by Hybrid Space Lab at the MAKK Museum of Applied Arts Cologne from May to August 2012. Photo by Hybrid Space Lab

SIMPLE CITY installation by Hybrid Space Lab at the MAKK Museum of Applied Arts Cologne from May to August 2012. Photo by Hybrid Space Lab

Laymen and city-users by copying, pasting and modifying the basic elements can easily adapt the urban design in order to develop new urban settings.

With its modular setting SIMPLE CITY corresponds to the serially produced, global, generic city (with all the instabilities and breaks). SIMPLE CITY therefore refers to the city of the industrial age that was intrinsically related with the system of serial industrial mass production. The city of the industrial age was serially produced as the addition of generic urban elements. Therefore the model elements of the SIMPLE CITY installation were built with the help of modular building bricks that were sponsored by the Danish company Lego.

SIMPLE CITY installation by Hybrid Space Lab at the plan - Architecture Biennial Cologne, September 2012. Photo by Hybrid Space Lab

SIMPLE CITY installation by Hybrid Space Lab at the plan. Architecture Biennial Cologne, Sept. 2012. Photo by Hybrid Space Lab

SIMPLE CITY is an interface that enables the communication of dynamic and networked information on urban projects. It forms an environment for interactive collaboration and for communication of process-oriented urban and architectural projects. This includes projects on the energy and material cycles of the city, on urban conversion and on networked participatory urban and architectural design, such as the CITY KIT and the DIY Pavilion projects.

Networked Participatory Design Systems Today

The projects described above stand in the long tradition of participatory urban design, in the long tradition of the efforts of inserting the voice of the public into the process of shaping cities. Today these networked participatory design projects, such as CITY KIT, DIY Pavilion and SIMPLE CITY, are part of a general trend and of a paradigm shift.

Networked organizations and systems are today transforming our society in general. With new technologies and digital media currently transforming production and social communication, urban and architectural design is being redefined in a new context.

Participatory urban and architectural design systems are gaining –in the context of a networked society– in relevance. This is a general phenomenon as networked co-operation and open-source are to be found in many contemporary social and cultural expressions.

Current social-political are using social media tools and mobile media networks. Fluctuating networked political forces distrust established political parties and contest the concept of the ‘political expert’, creating independent self-publication channels and demanding ‘direct democracy’.

Networked systems are also transforming knowledge production; think of the Wikipedia, ‘the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit’. Co-operation, co-authorship and open-source are to be found in many contemporary cultural expressions and phenomena, such as, for example, Wikimedia Commons, the free media file repository making available public domain and freely licensed educational media content (images, sound and video clips) to everyone.

Users, aided by improvements in information-communication technology are increasingly developing their own new products and services, ‘democratising’ innovation. These innovating users often freely share their innovations with others, creating user-innovation communities and a rich intellectual commons.

The word “prosumer” is used in this context to describe the type of consumer who becomes involved in the design and manufacturing of products, so they can be made to his individual specification. The word “prosumer” blends the roles of producer and consumer and was first coined in 1980 by the futurist Alvin Toffler in his book “The Third Wave”.

Today the “prosumer” can be engaged in innovation and design as well as in the manufacturing of products that fit his individual specifications and needs. In the last years 3D printing has developed to a low cost technology that everyone can use to produce objects. 3D printing allows industrial production on a desktop scale enabling autonomous production for individuals and designers. This development of object production is enabled by the Internet and by the acceleration of technological developments and open source communities. The digital blue prints of objects are designed in 3D software and can be shared via digital networks. On special Internet platforms people share these open source 3D designs that can be produced via rapid prototyping with 3D printers.

Networked participatory design systems are replacing the logics of the industrial age, where the creative one designed for the non-creative masses. The architects and urban designers focus is shifting from designing objects and spaces to programming processes in interaction with users. The task of ‘designing’ processes for networks of people involved on the development of the urban environment is gaining in relevance. This means a shift from centralized to (distributed) participatory systems with ‘enabling solutions’ that involve users. This includes solutions and platforms that ‘enable’ users to interact, integrating users as participants into development processes of the urban environment – such as the CITY KIT, SIMPLE CITY and the DIY Pavilion.

Originally published at world-architects.com

Elizabeth Sikiaridi and Frans Vogelaar founded Hybrid Space Lab, a R&D and design practice focusing on the hybrid fields that are emerging through the combination and fusion of environments, objects and services in the information-communication age. The scope of our development and design projects ranges from those on urban games and planning to buildings, architectural interiors and industrial design applications and wearables.

Hybrid Space Lab is an interdisciplinary environment with an innovative and integrated approach to spatial issues. The focus of our work lies in fusing digital and analog environments, in embedding media networks in urban/architectural, social and cultural spaces. Hybrid Space Lab is a lab and a network in which architects, urbanists, landscape architects and environmental planners, designers, soft- and hardware engineers collaborate in the development of projects for combined analog and digital, urban, architectural, design and media spaces.

Hybrid Space Lab recently developed visions for the program of the new institute that will be formed by the merger of the Netherlands Architecture Institute (Nederlands Architectuurinstituut), the Netherlands Institute for Design and Fashion (Premsela) and the institute responsible for digital culture (Virtueel Platform). For an English text see here.

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Importing Architecture | Photos from the exhibition in Oslo

Category: architecture+ecosistema urbano+events+urbanism+⚐ EN

Arkitektur Import - entrance

Today we are sharing with you some pictures of the impressive exhibition Importing Architecture which is on right now at the Nasjonalmuseet (National Museum for Art and Architecture) in Oslo.

We had the pleasure to be included in the selection and it was a great opportunity to attend the opening last November and get a chance to know more about the different projects which are under construction or have been just finished as well as the international offices who are behind them.

Åpning Arkitekturimport - exhibition opening

Åpning Arkitekturimport - exhibition opening

The exhibition raises the question of Norwegian identity in architecture and how ‘imported architects’ respond to it:

Are foreign architects reinforcing the trend toward a type of globalization that is dissolving national and cultural differences? Or are they even more concerned with formulating a Nordic or Norwegian identity than their Norwegian counterparts? Is it possible for an architect to create exceptional architecture in Norway without first-hand experience of Norwegian society, building traditions, climate or the natural environment? Or on the contrary, do foreign architects bring new ideas and ways of thinking that enrich the quality of Norwegian architecture?

Arkitektur Import - general view

Our installation is located by the ramp at the entrance of the exhibition. We tried to take advantage of the windows to display images of the Dreamhamar project, along with four screens showing videos from the process. The physical-digital scale model of Stortorget (Main Square) was also brought from Hamar and installed on top of a vinyl that covers the floor resembling the pattern painted by Boamistura on the asphalt of the real square.

Arkitektur Import - windows

Arkitektur Import - general view

Arkitektur Import - looking towards the entrance

If you are in Oslo sometime between now and April, don’t miss it!

Photographers: Andreas Harvik and Børre Høstland.
Related post: Importing architecture | Exhibition in Oslo 

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Importing Architecture | Exhibition in Oslo

Category: architecture+ecosistema urbano+events+news+⚐ EN

Arkitekturimport

Today, Thursday Nov. 22nd is the official opening of the exhibition Importing Architecture at the NasjonalMuseet of Art, Architecture and Design in Oslo. The exhibition will be open to the public from tomorrow until April 2013.

Ecosistema Urbano team is pleased to be part of this exhibition with Dreamhamar project, a collective dream to redesign Hamar’s main public space, Stortorget. Other architecture offices included in the selection are: Steven Holl, MVDRV, Peter Zumthor, Renzo Piano, Vandkunsten, JDS, etc…

Here is the introduction by the curator of the exhibition, Eva Elisabeth Madshus:

An increasing number of foreign architects are winning competitions or receiving commissions in Norway. The exhibition takes up this relatively new and interesting development, which is primarily due to the introduction of the EU directive on competitions and more building activity in Norway than the rest of Europe.

This exhibition presents a selection of foreign architectural firms with projects in Norway. It also provides the basis for examining what this increasing internationalization means for Norwegian architecture’s identity and quality.

– Are foreign architects reinforcing the trend toward a type of globalization that is dissolving national and cultural differences? Or are they even more concerned with formulating a Nordic or Norwegian identity than their Norwegian counterparts?

– Is it possible for an architect to create exceptional architecture in Norway without firsthand experience of Norwegian society, building traditions, climate or the natural environment? Or on the contrary, do foreign architects bring new ideas and ways of thinking that enrich the quality of Norwegian architecture?

– Do the EU’s competition regulations, with their criteria for participation and ranking, ensure that the best architectural projects win? Or are foreign architects displacing their Norwegian counterparts in today’s highly competitive building market?

Debate about foreign influences on architecture is not entirely new. Craftsmen from the continent were involved in building Norwegian mediaeval churches, and after the dissolution of the union in 1814 the country’s new institutions were by and large designed by Danish and German architects. But since the beginning of the 1900s, once architecture was an established course of study at NTH (Norwegian Institute of Technology; today the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim), Norwegian architects have been responsible for the vast majority of building works in the country. It was not until the EU competition regulations were adopted in 1994 that foreign architects began to make inroads in the Norwegian market, and the trend has been sustained by the country’s strong oil-driven economy and numerous public sector building projects. In 2012 the results of these factors are striking: a dozen public building projects designed by foreign architects are either in preparation, under construction, or completed.

The architects included in this exhibition are consummate professionals. Their projects reflect exceptional quality at every stage – planning, design, choice of materials, execution – and many of them will become important sources of inspiration. Norwegian architecture is well served by intensified international competition. Every good architect can acquire competence about the particular context that a building project is always a part of, regardless of national origin. Thus, increasing globalization need not lead to uniformity in architecture.

More info about the exhibition: Oslo Nasjonalmuseet
Photos and details of the projects: Nasjonalmuseet at MyNewsDesk

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Media Architecture Biennale in Aarhus | Last days for registration

Category: architecture+events+new technologies+news+⚐ EN

Media Architecture Biennale 2010 - Photo by Wolfgang Leeb

On November 15th-17th leading architects, artists, scholars, and industry from all over the Globe will meet up in Aarhus, Denmark to shape the media architecture of the future, and to discuss how media architecture is about to change cities.
What happens when heat sensitive concrete ‘freezes’ the shadows of passers-by, or when a façade turns into a screen by means of thousands of tiny LED lights? What happens to architecture, people, and cities, when buildings turn into a type of digital media and allows citizens to communicate with each other in completely new ways?

Questions like these are increasingly relevant, as media architecture gains ground in cities all over the world. And they will be top of the agenda when media architecture experts meet up in Aarhus in November. Among the speakers will be media artists Ben Rubin, architect and designer Jason Bruges, Bjarke Ingels Group, Gehl Architects, professor of architecture Antonio Saggio, professor of media archaeology Erkki Huhtamo – and many more.

The biennale also features an exhibition, awards, industry sessions, workshops, an iPad compendium, and a gala dinner.

Media Architecture Biennale 2010 - Photo by Wolfgang Leeb

You can still register until 8 November 2012. Just a couple of days left!

More information:

Official website: mab12.mediaarchitecture.org
Social media:  Facebook + Twitter

 

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Becas IAAC 2012-2013

Category: architecture+creativity+new technologies+news+urbanism+⚐ EN

IAAC scholarships

 

More information:

www.iaac.net
www.iaacblog.com
www.fablabbcn.org

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Architecture in your Hand

Category: architecture+⚐ EN

“Architecture in your Hand” it’s the new dpr-barcelona‘s publishing project. A new approach of how books can take advantage on the use of digital technology, the network organization and the production, distribution and use of knowledge, all together outlining a new suggestive landscape to learn.

The ever growing number of mobile devices, the diffusion of the boundaries between public and private space, the subversion of the traditional publishing structure and the new forms of learning; are somehow the start point of this publishing project for architecture contents.

Considering that the main goal of a book is to store and transmit information added to the potential of networked learning, we have imagined that this concept can be expanded and spreaded. As being transmitted through a new basis, this information should be structured following a different mobile logic: enhancing immediacy, brevity, and simplicity. continue reading

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Smallness

Category: architecture+⚐ EN

At the edge of contemporary civilization, few meters from corporate offices, airports that allow you to physically reach all parts of the world, connections that let people to reach virtually anyone, anywhere; in the middle of an international monetary market and large system of financial transactions, there is a parallel world who lives in a much more local dimension and deals with much more real and pressing problems. This dimension has strong relationships with the international part but often it absorbs and reworks status symbols, attitudes, vices and fashions. In parallel, the image and the characteristic features of smallness is spreading and now needs the proper theoretical framework that supports it. Fundamental part of this system is to understand the existence of this phenomenon, the consolidation of its constituent elements, the determination and characterization of the main actors of the process and to produce a schedule of materials (always in evolutions). The first step to enter in this world is to realize that the smallness is all around us and often contaminates our everyday lives without us even realize it. A series of examples and reflections on the theme will make this concept more explicit.

RULES:

1 S has always existed / B comes from the modern city. S is a constant process / B is a variable trend process.
2 S belongs and refers to a local area / B works on a global scale.
3 S access to limited and local resources / B has the ability to access a much wider range of products at global levels.
4 S is creative and unconventional / B is schematic and conventional and uses standard resources
5 S has an horizontal creative process in wich all the factors (economical, social and technological) have equal importance / B has a vertical creative process starting from an economical input and reaching a standardized output.
6 S and B have a mutual relationship: S gives ideas and creativity to B, while B gives resources and waste products that are reprocessed from S.
7 S and B use different professionists: S professionists are locally adapted to the characteristics of the project, while B research international professionists.

EXAMPLES:


REMIDA The project is part of the consolidation of the “Garibaldi 2” complex in Calderara di Reno (Bo). Key factors such the fight against crime and illegal activities have been used for urban regeneration and planning. The interior design is made only with recycled materials, bringing them to be the real protagonist of the project.

ECOLE DEL RUSCO For the fourth edition of the exhibition of art and recycling of Bologna. An artistic and sensory journey through the squares of the city, with five installations by young designers, dedicated to the touch, sight, taste, hearing and smell.

PEACOCK STORE Interior design and supervision for the new Peacock Store, 80 sqm cloathing store located in the city centre of Bologna. The concept design is based on a low cost profile using recycled and industrial materials. The mix of pipes, osb wood and tanks gives to the store an underground style that match with the style of the clothes sell in the shop.

B – CITY Re-writing urban tissue, political strategy, raids in the areas of dysfunction of the network of cycle tracks, plug-in for the bike are just some of the mechanisms of self-generating of urban
consciousness.

PANICO COLLETTIVO Participatory planning for the renovation of San Lorenzo di Panico. Sponsored by National Institute of Urban Planning (INU) department Emilia-Romagna, in collaboration with Municipality of Marzabotto and supervision of bologna district

CREDITS:
CODE: 012
ARCHITECTS: CICLOSTILE ARCHITETTURA
(Giacomo Beccari + Gaia Calamosca + Alessandro Miti)
ALIAS: SMALLNESS
YEAR: 2011
PROJECT: Research
COLLABORATORS: Alberto Giancani

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IAAC Special Scholarships to Spanish and Portuguese Architects

Category: architecture+⚐ EN

Since its creation 10 years ago, the IAAC Master in Advanced Architecture with alumni from over 30 different countries, has become the most international post-graduate architecture program offered in Barcelona. To celebrate its 10th anniversary, and reinforce the presence of the Institute in the Iberian Peninsula, IAAC has initiated a special Scholarship Program in order to foster a wider reach of our educational programs in the local architectural community.

Beginning the following academic year, 2011-12, IAAC will offer special scholarships for Spanish and Portuguese Architects, covering 50% of tuition fees. Enclosed you will find a poster for the scholarship program. The IAAC professional Masters in Advanced Architecture and Urbanism program is accredited by the UPC School of Professional & Executive Development and can be completed over one or two years.

IAAC is dedicated to the next generation of architectural development with students and researchers from around the world. This year the MAA program includes 60 students from 25 different countries. The official language of the Institute is English. continue reading

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ATLAS ON DENSITY summer school 8-15 July

Category: architecture+ecosistema urbano+⚐ EN

In July 2011 two leading independent schools of architecture, the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture, Chicago, and IE School of Architecture, Madrid/Segovia, will join forces to launch the IE/IIT Summer School in Madrid, one of Europe’s most dynamic capital cities. The intensive 8-day studio-based design workshop is open to enthusiastic Architecture undergraduate and master students worlwide. Using Madrid as a laboratory, participants will explore the architectural, urban, and environmental implications of density. Tutors from Chicago, Madrid, and Singapore, will use their own metropolitan backgrounds to enrich the potential evolution of Spain’s capital. continue reading

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ECOSISTEMA URBANO LEADING WORKSHOP AT FESTARCH-LAB 2011

Category: architecture+ecosistema urbano+events

Ecosistema Urbano has been invited to lead a workshop (FESTARCH-LAB) at the international architectural event, curated by Stefano Boeri, FESTARCH 2011 (festarch.it) to be held at various locations in the Italian region of Umbria (Terni, Perugia and Assisi) between May 26th and June 5th 2011.

Jose Luis Vallejo (@jlvmateo) and Domenico Di Siena (@urbanohumano) from ecosistema urbano will be guiding a group of 30 young european architects, students, artist and local citizens to experience the complexity of the city.

Weeks ago through this post (COME WITH US TO FESTARCH-LAB 2011 !!!!!!! ), we launched a call for participants and thanks to our blog followers the response has been very succesful. The selected people will be granted with free registration and accomodation.

The workshop will take place in Terni (100km north of Rome), from May 27th to June 1st  2011.
Next Saturday 28th of May 19.30 there will be an open lecture around ecosistema urbano work at CAOS center Terni.
We’ll be glad to meet some of ecosistema urbano blog readers.

See you in Terni!!!!

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Ecosistema Urbano + KOZ | Les nouveaux équipements, une exposition à Paris

Category: architecture+urban social design+⚐ FR

Ecosistema Urbano participe avec KOZ Architectes à l’exposition “Nouveaux équipements à Paris” qui ouvrira le 19 mai au Pavillon de l’Arsenal à Paris. L’exposition présente en plans, images de synthèse et maquettes, les propositions de 30 équipes d’architectes pour imaginer six nouveaux équipements à Paris.

Parmi les projets présentés, nous profitons pour partager avec nos lecteurs celui que nous avons développé, en collaboration avec KOZ, dans le cadre d’un concours pour la construction d’un centre d’animation et aménagement de terrains sportifs à rue Mouraud dans le 20ème arrondissement. continue reading

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Patricia Martin del Guayo | New blog contributor

Category: #followweb+architecture+⚐ EN

Patricia Martin del Guayo is an architect and PhD Candidate in Urbanism and Sustainability at the Architectural Association’s School in London as a Gobierno Vasco scholar. Her research interests focus on the relationship between urban design and environmental perception including issues of design, use, and experience of public open space. She has recently graduated from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University with a Master’s of Architecture in Urban Design. She previously obtained his Degree in Architecture from the ETSA San Sebastian (Spain), having studied as an Erasmus Scholar at TU-Wien, Austria. She worked as an architect in several offices across Europe collaborating in a variety of projects of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning, and currently maintains her own design practice.

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Gunter Pauli – The Blue Economy: Flow Based Architecture

Category: architecture+sustainability+⚐ EN

 

Next Thursday May the 12th Gunter Pauli will be lecturing at IAAC from 12.00- 13.00

Dr. Gunter Pauli graduated with a degree in economics from Loyola’s University in Belgium and obtained his masters in business administration from INSEAD in France. He is an entrepreneur and founder of ZERI Foundation (Zero Emissions Research and Initiatives). The Blue Economy is an international community of companies, innovators and scientists, providing open source access to develop, implement and share prosperous business models that strive to improve natural ecosystems and the quality of life for all.

Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia
Carrer de Pujades, 102, Barcelona,
IAAC Auditorium, Free Admission

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COME WITH US TO FESTARCH-LAB 2011 !!!!!!!

Category: architecture+ecosistema urbano+⚐ EN

Ecosistema Urbano has been invited to lead a workshop (FESTARCH-LAB) at the international architectural event, curated by Stefano Boeri, FESTARCH 2011 (festarch.it) to be held at various locations in the Italian region of Umbria (Terni, Perugia and Assisi) between May 26th and June 5th 2011.

The workshop will focus on experiencing the urban complexity while interacting with the city and its citizens. At the same time we’ll try to approach the contemporary urban environment by creative and participatory solutions.

The workshop will take place in Terni (100km north of Rome), from May 27th to June 1st  2011. continue reading

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ecological design fundamentals: comprehensive resource, waste and space management

Category: architecture+design+fundamentals+⚐ EN


What is Ecological Design? comprehensive resource, waste and space management

Featuring: Terreform ONE

Beyond “sustaining” the urban landscape to endure the lifestyles of future generations, ecological design envisions long-lasting urban waste-management techniques and, as the world’s population  climbs, long-lasting urban space-management techniques.

An average of 50 million people migrate to cities around the globe each year. As they do, more and more outside (rural) resources are being transported to cities while more and more waste is being transported out of cities to keep their populations comfortable. As global environmental and social pressures build under this unsustainable system (meaning, it won’t last – we’re drawing resources at a faster rate than they grow, and the waste is building up somewhere faster than it’s decomposing), new visions for urban consumption, waste, and space management are needed. To be clear, urbanism is not the problem we’re facing- the current design of urban spaces is. Built to serve the automobile, urban areas, as they exist today, promote the existence of an artificial boundary between the “city” and “nature” that have made it easy for urbanites to ignore their impressive impact on outside communities. continue reading

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2012Architecten and a little more about their ¨superuse¨

Category: architecture+creativity+⚐ EN

2012Architecten were recently featured in my ecological design fundamentals post for their ¨superuse¨ of building materials. Rather than an afterthought,  material usage plays a central role in the design processes of these dutch architects. Approaching each project with the unique mindset that local discarded materials will shape their final design, the creations of 2012Architecten are not only examples of sustainable architecture practice, they are also fun, exciting examples of  urban creativity at it´s best. 2012Architechiten are ahead of thier time and, fittingly, thier projects tend to have a futuristic feel.  The three projects featured  below utilize, for example,  rotor blades, cable reels, sinks and steel beams that once held a textile factory together.

Wikado: continue reading

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Ecological design fundamentals: responsible materials and construction practices

Category: architecture+fundamentals+sustainability+⚐ EN

What is Ecological Design? Resposible Materials and Contruction Practices
When constructing, In order to encourage stability of environmental and cultural systems that are already in place,  ecological design should utilize the skills and resources available in the nearby areas. I wrote my last post about the necessity for buildings to be engineered so they may evolve in response to environmental changes. Today I will write about how, even more fundamentally, construction process should evolve in response to local contingencies and opportunities.

We can see examples of this practise in the last two examples of ecological design i´ve featured. The first, The Arup designed Druk white lotus school, used both traditional materials and traditional building methods. This supported the local economy, the local culture and avoided harmful environmental effects by limiting the distanace (and carbon-footprint) of material transport. With another take on responsible material usage,  Morphosis’ FLOAT house design for New Orleans, acknowledged poverty pressures in affected flood zones all over the world, by (using local labor) assembling the house on-site from pre-fabricated components with all required wall anchors, electrical, mechanical and plumbing systems pre-installed. The affordable housing was designed as easy-to-transport, easy-to assemble sections so that the design may be reapplied throughout the 9th ward, as well as be adapted to the needs of flood zones worldwide. continue reading

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ecological design fundamentals: evolving, responsive structure

Category: architecture+design+fundamentals+⚐ EN

What is Ecological Design? Evolving, responsive structure

We all know, It´s not enough to engineer a building´s electricity to run on solar panels if it´s not perpetually sunny out. For  temperate, seasonal climates, a variety of ¨green¨ design elements are usually used to lower energy consumption for ¨sustainable¨ building projects.

Beyond utilizing technologies like solar panels and wind turbines, ecological design processes embrace seasonal and environmental changes, planning and designing to meet them halfway. Projects have an evolving, informal structure, and take direction from nature herself. Rather than install bike racks to gain LEED points, ecologically designed architecture is structured, from the very core, to respond to change and challenges of the local environment in which it stands.

My last ecological design fundamentals post featured the Druk White Lotus School, set in the northern heights of ladakh, India. Arup engineers faced considerable climate challenges when designing the campus which, because of it’s 9,000-25,000 ft altitude, is very, very cold. However, because of its 9,ooo-25,000 ft altitude, it is also very, very sunny. The building´s design, which revolved around natural lighting and heating techniques for the local conditions, is another reason to consider the campus a prime example of ecological design. continue reading

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Some pictures from Hamar Kommune

Category: architecture+⚐ EN

Today we present some pictures that Geir Cock from  Hamar kommune sends us as results of a workshop held when Hamar was host of the Norwegian Architecture day in 2004. The workshop was organized by Hamar Kommune and Bergen School of Architecture and was led by the teachers Geir Cock and Henrik Natvig.

We recently won (with Lluis Sabadell) a contest related to Stortorget Square in Hamar.

More info here: http://onethousandsquare.org


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Common Place | Public Space 2.0

Category: architecture+critical city+⚐ EN

Orizzontale group set out to intervene once again in the borough of Pigneto in order to bring an abandoned square back to life.

“Reactivating a place for the community, playing with the borders.”

“Imagining a different place, talking with the citizens.” continue reading