Belinda Tato will be lecturing next Thursday, September 11 at the USF Verftet cultural centre in Bergen, Norway, together with 8 other speakers.
The conference, organized by the National Association of Norwegian Architects, will explore the relations between the cities, the suburbs and the rural areas, trying to gather insights on how to make them more productive, locally driven and sustainable while preserving Norway’s own character and exploring new lifestyles.
You are not stuck in traffic. You are traffic. Get a bike. Break free!
Under that motto, originally created for a commercial campaign and adbusted by Lisbon Cycle Chic, was presented Get a Bike, an international competition organized by Future Built in Oslo aiming to collect ideas about how to develop a growing cycling culture in and nearby the capital city of Norway. How to make the Oslo Region one of the best cycling regions in Europe?
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.
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?
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.
If you are in Oslo sometime between now and April, don’t miss it!
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.
The Cultural Rucksack (Den Kulturelle Skolesekken) is a Norwegian national programme for art and culture provided by professionals in Norwegian schools. The programme helps school pupils to become acquainted with all kinds of professional art and cultural expressions. Last year Hamar Kommune decide to connect it with the project Dreamhamar which was at that point under development. This meant that 1292 students from different local schools joined dreamhamar providing their own ideas for the square Stortorget.
From fountains to hot dogs, from ice skating rinks to dancing contests, all sort of ideas emerged through the process and some of them made it through influencing the final design.
This year, again, the Kommune joined Den Kulturelle Skolesekken with Dreamhamar and our colleague Liz Eva Tollefsen is working on site, sharing with a new group of students the whole creative process as well as the final design we delivered last July.
We are really looking forward to see this year’s ideas and we hope kids get interested on urban landscape and design.
If you are curious about last year’s activities, you can check our Flickr galleries, featuring a small selection of the more than 1000 drawings and models we collected:
From past August 27th to November 25th, the Venice Biennale of Architecture, titled “Common Ground”, is open to visitors; and so is SpainLab, the Spanish pavilion, in which we were invited to take part for this edition.
The curators Antón García-Abril and Débora Mesa proposed us to show the way we work, according to the “lab” approach of the pavilion. We decided to do this with a single project, Dreamhamar, which incorporates many of the concepts, objectives and means that Ecosistema Urbano has been working on and is currently experimenting with: urban development, advocacy, citizen participation, workshops, digital tools, design, open culture, network learning, urban actions, network design…
We understand the role of the architect and urban planner is undergoing a huge transformation according to the new needs of contemporary society. This forces us to redevelop a whole “set of tools” to be able to meet these new needs and challenges. Under the title of DREAM YOUR CITY we explain these new tools or methods we are dealing with and the way we think network design can be applied to socially engaged designs for the creation of city spaces. This 90 seconds movie illustrates how we understand network design and how we specifically implemented it in Hamar or how it could be applied somewhere else.
Video by ecosistema urbano + forma.co
Considering the ephemeral nature of the exhibition, we chose to make it a simple, lightweight installation, consistent with the way we are used to work in this kind of projects: trying to get the most out of minimal resources and low-cost means. Almost all materials needed for the installation were taken to Venice by ourselves, as checked-in luggage.
The paint that covers the floor and the walls, made by urban artists Boamistura, transforms the perception and character of the space with a single intervention, bringing to the hall the look and feel of the previous PaintHamar urban action in Stortorget, the main square of Hamar. The natural light, the seats integrated on the floor and the trampoline all recall that outdoor public space and invite visitors to occupy it with their minds and bodies.
Seven small screens show videos telling different aspects of the network design process we deployed in Hamar, giving the visitor some brief glimpses of the variety and complexity of the project without trying to explain it thoroughly –which will be done soon in a more suitable format.
A series of real-scale pictures of various day-to-day objects that were used during Dreamhamar, some of them being physically on display, show the variety of work/life situations that the team had to cope with while working in this project both remotely from Madrid and locally in Norway. From the more disciplinary tools to objects related to social life or cultural events, they evoke the changing role of the urban professional.
Here are some quick photos we shot during the process, taken from the Flickr gallery.
We invite you to visit the installation, have some fun jumping on the trampoline and imagining you are in Stortorget, and share your thoughts –and your photos!– with us on Twitter, Facebook or just down here in the comments.
Siri is a Norwegian architect, and started working at Ecosistema Urbano for the urban design development of the dreamhamar project in march 2012. When she was told about the opportunity to work for Ecosistema Urbano, she literally jumped on the next flight from Oslo to Madrid. Siri is excited to be part of the EU and dreamhamar team, and she says her first impression was: “It’s is going to be an interesting experience. This is a great team of people!”
This amazing photo was taken by Emilio P. Doiztúa at the Ecosistema Urbano office.
Siri is specially interested in how the inputs from the participatory process based upon network design are going to influence the future development of both the particular square, Stortorget, and the mentality of the citizens of Hamar regarding their involvement and ownership to their local public spaces.
Siri hopes both to contribute to develop the physical realisation of the urban design project into a well-functioning public space, and to push the investigations of the possibilities of participatory elements after the completion of the physical design.
Back home in Oslo, Siri has her own small office, and she is dividing her time between working with architectural projects and on “Heimstadlære”, together with Ulrika Staugaard (architect). Heimstadlære is focusing on placemaking, urban development, discussions about public space and bottom-up/participatory processes. At the moment Heimstadlære is collaborating with other artists on the cross-disciplinary project “Bok på Veitvet”; an “Open Source Library” based on trust and self-organizing tools in Oslo.
Do you have a dream about planting your own mango tree? The statistic probability that you who are reading this live in the city is over fifty percent, and the number is increasing. This means that fewer and fewer of us have the opportunity to grow our own fruit and vegetables, but are entirely dependent on the increasingly industrialized and transport-based large-scale agriculture.
Urban food production is a growing trend in many cities, and productive green spaces emerge on rooftops, in ditches, between buildings and on the left-over spaces without a specific use. The motives for cultivating food are diverse, some see it as part of a strategy to increase awareness and knowledge about the food we eat (food safety), others will create a focus on local food as one of the solutions to environmental challenges, while others grow their own garden just because it’s pleasure and to save money. Jennifer Cockrall-King claims in the book Food and the City that we are facing a food revolution as we have passed both the oil peak and peak water, and this begins to affect a growing global population:
Food and the City examines alternative food systems in cities around the globe that are shortening their food chains, growing food within their city limits, and taking their “food security” into their own hands.
In Oslo, Norway, urban farming occurs in a smaller scale, including the Geitmyra allotment garden where you can be assigned a soil patch for cultivation, and as guerrilla gardens, a more freely and actionist activity where the city’s leftover spaces are used for food production without formal permission of the landowners. The latest addition to this green trend where you can grow your own vegetables in Oslo is Herligheten (The Glory), an ecological initiative and project about urban food production initiated in April 2012 and developed during April and May 2012.
As part of a long-term development and urbanization of the waterfront in Oslo, the developer Bjørvika Utvikling has carried out several temporary projects from stunts to pavilions which have been standing there for a few years. The events and installations are bringing human activity into an area that for many years has been characterized by construction activities, but Herligheten differs from previous projects by a greater degree of activation of users and visitors, who are now shaping the new area of the city with green and consumable pleasures.
Herligheten is located at Loallmenningen in Bjørvika, a rocky “island” in the middle of a rough building site surrounded by roads, railway lines and the ventilation towers for the submerged tunnel underneath. It has found its home in an apparently gray and idle landscape between the Medieval park and the Oslo fjord, which has for many years been seen as a lifeless place in wait for better conditions. But during a few hectic weeks during spring the area has experienced a small, green revolution worked out by diligent volunteers who have transformed it into an oasis consisting of consumable plants, in what was previously a closed area for city residents.
As of today Herligheten consists of three main parts: Herligheten Allotment Garden with 100 allotments, a field measuring 250 m2 where several types of ancient grain such as spelt, emmer, einkorn and bere barley will grow, and an activity program consisting of a number of events and seminars for learning and exchanging ideas. As many as 3790 people applied in April to take part in Herligheten through the disposal of one of the 100 allotments, so it is clear that the people in Oslo have ambition to develop their green thumbs. We wish them good luck with the green revolution!
Ecosistema Urbano will lecture next Thursday in Tromsø, a city located 1.643 km north from Oslo. The lecture is hosted by the North Norwegian Architects Association and will take place at Drivloftet, starting at 8.30 pm on Thursday, 14th.
I will present Ecosistema Urbano latest works, including dreamhamar, the project we are currently developing for the main public space of Hamar, Norway.
By the way, this is the further north I have ever been to… I guess their summer is different from ours.
Sociologist Andrés Walliser, director of PUBLIC SPACE AND PEOPLE is the coordinator of the following 2 sessions scheduled for this week: · Tuesday 13th of September, 6pm UTC+2 (Norway Time) NETWORK DESIGN CONNECTION TEST with director Andrés Walliser
This was yesterday: check the video of the session below!
TODAY! | Wednesday 14th of September, 6pm UTC+2 (Norway Time) INTRODUCTION TO THE WORKSHOP by director Andrés Walliser
See you at the digital LAB at 6PM (OPEN TO EVERYBODY) Everybody is invited to participate to this session via the chat!
Just a quick remind for those who are interested in participating: registations for online workshops are still open until the end of september.
Don’t hesitate to dreamhamar.org/online-workshops for more info or just contact us! · See you at the digital LAB at 6PM