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EU collaborators | Urska Cernigoj

Category: ⚐ EN+colaboradores+ecosistema urbano

Urska

Urska Cernigoj

Architectur student in Faculty of Architecture, University of Ljubljana

My four months internship at Ecosistema Urbano is at the end. Working with such a great team, of young creative people is excellent experience for me at the point when I am just about to start my professional career. When I came here I immediately landed in the dreamhamar project. I took part at preliminary design process and now I am a part of a network design team. Coordinating, communicating, developing and dreaming Hamar’s square with so many participants and experts made this four months even shorter.

I am from Slovenia and I am an undergraduate student in the urbanism oriented program at the Faculty of Architecture from the University of Ljubljana. Before I finish my studies I decided to take the opportunity of the scholarship for international training exchange and to apply for internship.

In academic year 2009/2010 I was on Erasmus student exchange in ETSAG, University of Alcalá and became more familiar with Madrid’s architecture and also with Ecosistema Urbano, which became one of my favorite’s studios. Specially because of the projects, which are creative, smart, innovative, social and environmentally friendly. Probably the endless blue sky and mostly sunny weather only helped in my decision to come to Madrid again.

I am also the kind of person who always thinks that she does not have enough knowledge and I am always searching for new ways to learn more. Not just more about architecture but also about things from other professions, because when you have knowledge from different fields you can manage it and do things better. And my curiosity only helps. All this I found here and after four months I am even more convinced that my choice about the internship was right.

You can follow Urska on Twitter: @aksruc

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The Bureau of Doing Something About It

Category: ⚐ EN+critical city+design

Bruce Mau Design, a design and innovation studio centered on purpose and optimism, set up design exhibition “The Bureau of Doing Something About It”. The exhibition took place in the Propeller Centre in Toronto, Canada.

During the past year over 1000 grievances, gripes, and annoyances were collected from people across the city. The Toronto Complaints Choir transform this complains into “disappointed people’s song”.

BMD studio decided to do something about it.  Studio designers Amanda Happé, Kar Yan Cheung, Chris Braden, Michal Dudek, and Paul Kawai team set up a pop-up studio, working in real-time in the Propeller Centre. They tried to design solutions in response to the complaints. A book of these ideas was also simultaneously designed, and sent throughout the city of Toronto and their citizens.

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Hamar Experience 13 | Lets get active and green

Category: ⚐ EN+events

As every week, today we are announcing today’s Hamar Experience session, which is a live broadcast made by de Ecosistema Urbano team, full with stories and updates about the dreamhamar project. There goes the original text (by Marisa):

Go green

In this session Belinda Tato will talk about last week ACTIVITIES WORKSHOP. If you have seen the pictures, then you already know that the participants had a great time and really enjoyed themselves. As Creative Guest Elger Blitz said, playing is good for everybody, regardless of their age.

We also have a guest: ENVIRONMENT Community Activator Romy Ortiz, a human geographer from the University of Bergen. She works in the Centre for urban ecology, on environmentally friendly urban development, urban meeting places, and integration issues. This is what she writes about her role:

“Come to the workshop, so we can design a square that is human and environmentally friendly!”

If you don’t feel like surfing dreamhamar.org, this is your best shot at getting the latest news on what’s going on in Stortorget Square!

See you today, on Monday 17th, at 18:00 on dreamhamar.org!

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Hamar Experience 12 | Cultural Rucksack and art in public space

Category: ⚐ EN+dreamhamar+events

This evening the energy of the young and the inspiration of the muses make a somewhat different Hamar Experience, but don’t be afraid, for it is what happens when you have so many things to talk about with such nice guests.

Kathrine Berg is a lovely woman and artist who is working with the 1,300 kids from the Cultural Rucksack Project. By the way, the Cultural Rucksack will finish this week and we are looking forward to seeing the results.

Inger Lise works on a different project about art and youth. Whatever she has to say, it is going to be interesting. And yes, we are letting her tell you the details about the project. We think it’s more interesting that way.

And there is more, because next week ACTIVITIES workshops begin and you are going to get a preview on what is going to happen there – What? You haven’t registered yet? It is free, it is fun and you’ll meet interesting people while talking about Hamar. And we might just invite you to coffee and cake, too.

There will also be a surprise for the technology oriented, so don’t forget your smart phone or your tablet pc.

Let the muses and the younsters inspire you this evening at 18:00h on Hamar Experience 12.

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Shop with a concept: Unpackaged

Category: ⚐ EN+creativity+sustainability

Unpackaged is one of the shops with interesting, environmental friendly, and ethical concepts. Their philosophy is simple and they are describing it with this statement: “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” (Buckminster Fuller)



photo: www.flicker.com (c) Grainger Laffan (globalpressgang.com).
For The Social Enterprise Coalition

The model of “world with less wasteful packaging” was created in 2006 by Catherine Conwayin, and company is achieving it one customer at a time. Unpackaged was set because Catherine wanted to refill her groceries using her own containers. She set up shop that made it really easy for customers to come and refill all their daily essentials. The products they sell are usually seasonal and from local production, with minimal transportation, mostly certified organic, and fair trade. In Unpackaged shop in London you can buy the exact amount you need or want so you don’t waste anything and also save money. And in the end going packaging-free means also that less waste will end in landfills.

How It Works? They are giving us some instructions:

– Remember to bring your containers* from home (if you forget, you can buy reusable containers here)
– Come to Unpackaged & say hello
– Weigh your containers at the counter then choose the product & amount you want
– Take your goods home & enjoy
– When you’ve run out, come back for a refill, simple as that!

*Containers: bring anything you like, there’s nothing to date that we haven’t been able to refill (even our lovely friend who likes putting lentils in old water bottles!) Bring glass jars, tupperware, old takeaway cartons, brown paper bags, plastic bags, old packaging.. if it’s heavy, we’ll weigh it first, if it’s light then just refill and we’ll weigh at the end.


photo: www.flicker.com (c) Grainger Laffan (globalpressgang.com).
For The Social Enterprise Coalition

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A Day at New York’s BMW Guggenheim Lab: A Grassroots Example of Creative Urban Development

Category: ⚐ EN+open culture+Uncategorized+urban social design

In Manhattan, on the corner of Houston and 2nd avenue, there sits an empty lot between two brick buildings. For nearly a century, the lot has existed as a eye-sore for its neighbors, and a nest for lower east side rats. However, today it exists, cleared, paved and transformed into the temporary host of the BMW Guggenheim lab.

Between gratified walls, a massive steel structure, flat screen monitors and a speaker’s podium hosts guests and events that critique and inspire new ideas about 21st century creative urbanism. I had been meaning to visit the BMW Guggenheim lab since, while in Germany this past summer, a friend told me about it’s opening. After New York, the structure and monitors will be traveling to Berlin, and then on Mumbai. In fact, the structure and events are scheduled to travel around the world to 9 major cities for the next 6 years.

And what will become of the lot on Houston and 2nd? As I am currently researching the temporary use of vacant urban spaces, this question had been on my mind. I arrived in New York, serendipitously in time for the “What’s Next” discussions at the Lab. it turns out, the vacant lot owns a history of transformation efforts that extend beyond this past summer and BMW or the Guggenheim’s involvement. First Street Green, a local community organization made up of neighbors and friends of the area, has been trying to clean up and redesign the lot as community space for several years.

I choose the right time to visit. The day’s events kicked off with an address from First Street Green’s President, Robert Graf, who spoke a bit about the history of the 33 East first street site and their efforts to work with New York City Parks and Recreational facilities (who has owned the property since the mid 20th century) to clear and adapt the space to neighborhood needs. Next, friends of First Street Green, architects Jorge Prado and Silva Ajemian of Todo Design, presented a potential blueprint for the future of the site. Melding local neighborhood interests and the larger interests of New York City, they suggested a simple split-level architectural design: half community center and half park-space that would integrate the activities on the bustling Houston street with the first street neighborhood.

Then a representative from Art in the Parks, a project headed by the Department of Art and Antiquities, gave a presentation about the type of sculptures and installations that have been showcased throughout New York’s parks in the past. This presentation was meant to suggest the potential for the space to be used for arts viewing. A young, neighborhood boy raised his hand – and then the real discussions began. “What about the kids?” He asked, “we don’t want to look at sculptures, we want to play sports in our neighborhood”. It was quickly acknowledged that whatever becomes of the space, it will have to meet the needs of the surrounding residents, first and foremost.

It seemed the perfect transition into the presentation “It’s My Park”. The Hester Street Collaborative and Partnership for Parks were presented by Jordan Pender, who explained placemaking – the community benefits of citizen involvement in urban development plans. Along the same lines as the What If Cities initiative at Ecosistema Urbano, Partnerships for Parks now has an online interface called “People Make Parks” which encourages communities participate in the design of their park, incorporating tools like “Design Hoops”, “story map”s and “wish objects”. Lastly, Graem Sullivan, director of the School of Visual Arts and The Pennsylvania State University spoke about the significance as Space for making place for questions.

After a lunch break and a on-site game of Urbanology (it’s great, play it online here), the activities on site switched to a visioning wall workshop. Several tables laid out giant foam puzzle pieces and writing and decorating tools. Speakers, listeners, and passer-bys were encouraged to write their own ideas about what could exist in the space post-BMW/Guggenheim Lab. The puzzle pieces took structure, and the sculpture chart grew in idea potential that raged from Mobile Gardening to Music performance.

The puzzle pieces, we were told, would be presented to the 1st street community, who would lay the ideas in order of preference. The site’s development would depend on this input.

I observed two major take-away points from the First Street Green day’s activities:

First, the potential in the flexible use of raw spaces. Architects Prado and Ajemian suggested a “soft “structure for their proposed community center. Natural materials and a simple structure would allow for later construction or deconstruction. In other words, the architecture of the site could be planned from the beginning to adapt to neighborhood needs. Art in the Parks suggested the idea of installation, not murals or permanent sculpture to share the space. This art form could temporarily expose the neighborhood (and New York’s visitors) to contemporary visual art during periods of the year that the space is unsuitable for lengthy outdoor activities.

Second, the potential of socially engaging tools to integrate local (and larger) communities in urban development plans. These tools give all members of the community, regardless of age or educational status, the ability to impact the future of their shared space. Community members will likely care even more for a space they’ve invested thought into. The more stakeholders in a project, the less likely it will fall into disuse or vandalism.

Ecosistma Urbano is well acquainted with the notion that fluid communication between designers and the communities in which they work is one of the most important aspects of 21st century, sustainable urban development. At DreamHamar’s digital and physical labs, similar social tools are being introduced.

The history of the 33 East first street is, in itself, proof of the potential in communities to develop grassroots urban change. Until mid-October, if you’re in New York, I highly recommend checking out the BMW Guggenheim lab

If you’re in New York some months, years from now, it will interesting to see what becomes of the 33 East first street site as well.

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Hamar Experience 11 | Technology workshop

Category: ⚐ EN+dreamhamar+events

Last week the TECHNOLOGY workshop took place and Hamar response was even better than expected. We also had a workshop with students from Bergen School of Architecture, who resulted in a free lunch on Stortorget – with a cow as special guest!

On today’s Hamar Experience 11 Belinda Tato will share pictures and anecdotes from the workshop and the free lunch.

And of course, because Hamar is the star of dreamhamar, Belinda will share the spotlight with a citizen who participated on TECHNOLOGY workshop – Morten Fridstrøm. He will tell us about his experience and if the workshop was everything he expected!

Unfortunately, we will not be able to bring the cow to Hamar Experience. Nevertheless, you’ve got a date with the progress of dreamhamar on Monday, at 18:00h on http://www.dreamhamar.org/category/hamar-experience/

See you this evening!

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Dreamhamar network of european workshops: The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture.

Category: ⚐ EN+arquitectura+dreamhamar

Copenhagen 5-9th september 2011

During one week master students and 3rd year students from the Royal Academy of fine Arts, School of Architecture in Copenhagen were working around dreamhamar project. The students were mainly from Denmark but there was an important amount of them coming from countries all around the world. There were students from: Australia, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Chec Republic,
Island,…
The workshop was lead by the danish professor Frans Derniak and the ecosistema urbano partner Jose Luis Vallejo (@jlvmateo).
The main aim of the workshop was to experience public spaces in Copenhagen by directly acting on them and later extract the learning of the process and comunicate to Hamar citizens involved in the design of the new Stortorget Square. continue reading

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HAMAR EXPERIENCE 10 | TECHNOLOGY WORKSHOP STARTS TOMORROW!!

Category: ⚐ EN+dreamhamar

This is going to be a very interesting week in Hamar. TECHNOLOGY workshop begins tomorrow, Sept. 27th, at 18h at the Physical LAB, with media expert Bjarte Ytre-Arne as community activator.

The workshop will continue on Wednesday 28th, with blogger Juan Freire. TECHNOLOGY ends on Thursday 29th with a lecture and a round table with Bjarte Ytre-Arne and Juan Freire from 19 to 21h.

You can still register for the workshops (dreamhamar@gmail.com) or just show up at the lecture on the 29th.

You are all invited to participate, share your ideas and meet other people interested in the future of Stortorget Square.

Belinda Tato will talk about this and other subjects on today’s Hamar Experience. Remember, you’ve got a date at 18h with Hamar Experience 10!

More info on TECHNOLOGY workshop here (Norwegian)

 

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Dreamhamar Opening event | From parking lot to colorful creative space

Category: ⚐ EN+ecosistema urbano+eventos


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Stortorget, Hamar, 1960s

Last Saturday dreamhamar was officially launched in Hamar. Officially that is, as the project has been already running for already 3 months. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to dreamhamar!

For the past 50 years, the main square of Hamar, Stortorget, has been a parking lot. Alread busy one in the 60’s, as you can see in this picture. This is how things were, until now.  The time has come to say good bye to engines and honks in Stortorget Square.

In December 2013, the construction of the new Stortorget Square will be finished and the square will become public space again. Like back on the day, it will be a public square made of people – rather than cars -, made of the sounds of laughter and distant conversations.

As you may already know, ecosistema urbano is the chosen architecture and urban design firm that will lead the redesigning process of the new square. We decided we didn’t want to wait until to 2013 to enjoy a public space in Hamar, since the city needed it and we needed an outdoor working space for the upcoming workshops where every citizen of Hamar will be able to shape the future of the square. So we set a date: Saturday 17th, September 2011.


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Stortorget 2011. Frank and the bollards. Be careful with your feet!

To celebrate this new beginning for Stortorget, we managed to close the parking lot by simply moving and changing the use of the existing granite bollards, from being the limit of the parking lot, to benches and tables for this temporary public space. As you can see in the picture, we have Frank and his team to thank for this space. It was a simple, but impressive, transformation.

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Stortorget 2011, not a parking lot anymore

A little sunshine is enough to draw people to the square. Now the stone cubes are places to rest, have an ice-cream, jump or talk.


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Boamistura working on the painting design. What will they come up with?

Stortorget was still grey and uninviting. So we called Boa Mistura, an urban art collective from Madrid, to re-interpret the temporary public space.


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Boamistura recreating a pattern based upon Norwegian cultural roots

It took 3 days, 52 hours of work, 120 litters of paints and 10 hands, to transform the space in a cheerful, colorful, stage for creativity and innovation.


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Hurry up, guys! The weatherman forecasted rain!

Starting at 14h, the city of Hamar gathered at Stortorget for the opening event of dreamhamar. At the beginning, no one dared to walk over the new paint, but little by little the space filled with people.

Gry Veronica Engli, a lovely energetic woman who supported the project since the competition phase, presented dreamhamar and invited everyone to participate. Then, the acknowledgements: We thank to Eidvisa Breadbånd, who provides FREE wi-fi to the square! Hamar sentrum who helped us with communication and sound system, MEDIA 1 who supported us with the printing and graphic design, the viking ship for letting us the LED screen and folkehøgskole for letting us use their sound system.

Right after, there was a serie of speeches starting the Mayor, Einar Busterud, and ending with the invited guests.


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The mayor of Hamar, Einar Busterud.

The Mayor had the honour of the opening speech:
These wore some of his words to the citizens of Hamar:
Today we are building the foundation of what the citizens, in a 100 years from now, are going to feel about our main square. In the future, the question will be: – Where were you when Stortorget was redesigned? Then you will have to possible answers: Either you can tell us about your participation, or you can explain why you weren’t there. If you are not participating, don’t complain afterwards. The only certain thing is that the square has to change. So please, come join us for this process. Stand up and be a responsible citizen!”

There were many other speeches (we are planning on publishing them too). When they were over, Gry invited everyone to visit  the dreamhamar office in the basar building – the physical LAB, which was quickly filled with people who were looking at the interactive model, registering for the workshops, reading information about the project. Overall, it was a great sucess as over 60 names were registered!


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The Physical LAB. You are invited to come and visit us!

This is how Stortorget looked after the artistic intervention of Boamistura.

It makes you wanna jump, doesn’t it?

It is amazing what some paint and lots of imagination can do. Get used to experimenting with Stortorget! It has potential!

Those who stayed outside, watched the video introducing the different collaborators of the project. I will leave you with them. As you can see, dreamhamar is in good hands!

Watch dreamhamar collaborators video