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EU collaborators | Gitte Larsen

CATEGORY: ⚐ EN + colaboradores + ecosistema urbano

Ecosistema urbano is always searching for talented people, but many times it works the other way around and we feel very lucky to be directly contacted by them. Today I want to introduce you to another person who has joined us at ecosistema urbano. We are very pleased with Gitte and with all collaborators that want to join us and share their unique backgrounds, that brings a fresh approach to our work.


Here is the profile of Gitte Håhr Larsen:

_BA, Bachelor of Fine Arts at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Denmark. 2007-2010
_Stud.arch MAA at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Architecture, Denmark. 2010- | upcoming website:

Three years of study, research, studytrips around the world, enrichment, inspiration and becoming a person living a creative lifestyle made me curious what is out there and if there is more.
Before starting the actual master studies at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, I needed to use the opportunity enriching my experiences and broaden my knowledge about all the different layers of architecture, urbanism and cultures. I wanted to challenge my professional skills by trying them out in the real world.
I decided my year away from the Academy should start with an unusual place with a special task in mind. By choosing a southeuropean country I already challenge my understanding of architecture, life and space. Madrid as a very rich cultural city with everything a modern metropolis today must have: a scenic landscape just outside the gate, a very lively culture and a population that is letting the streets glow with life and joy. People here life “inbetween the spaces” and enjoy togetherness in a unique way -a way that is very different to the danish societys. So by choosing the internship here it is already challenging my abilities as a person and an architect on many levels and I am enhancing my knowledge of European architecture, culture and differences every day.

On top of being in Madrid I got to work for one of the leading architect studios in town. Since march 2011 I am glad to be a part of the Ecosistema Urbano team and being a equal part of a team of professionals working with experts from several disciplines. For the first time I get to see an architects work and PURPOSE from a very different angle and a more innovative and complex understanding of the city as a phenomenon related not just to architecture, but also urbanism, engineering and sociology. In school we were taught about a smaller and linear scale, as I now see is missing a lot of layers that I get to know here. Our task is not just to build a “shelter” for people but to react to the present situation of cities by taking multidisciplinary approaches to these issues focusing on solutions which includes all aspects and scales of the city. As Ecosistema Urbano say: “ think big-start small-act now”. Since I have started working at Ecosistema Urbano I was exposed to new ways of contributing to society through active digital and on-site participation. I am particularly drawn to the agency’s focus on engaging community members in their project development processes that is innovative. I am very excited about this part and am sure that it will affect my future way of thinking of complex architecture and cities as a part of the society and not just “a shelter” but as an activator for live, space and engagement.




Concept map for the preliminary design

image above: Concept Mapping: a kind of a brainstorm and in praticular this one shows the connections between several ideas, concepts, analyses, facts to become the strategy of the preliminary design process of the eu-project dreamhamar in Hamar, Norway. It is just one of several benefits and outcomes of this project.

Since I started working for Ecosistema Urbano in march 2011 I have already been involved in several of the projects going on and starting some new up. Right now the team is very focused on one special project: the Hamar Stortorget Project in Norway called dreamhamar . Finally the work has started and we are designing a process with several layers so the participation phase with on-site and online workshops, events and physical mock ups successfully can start in the middle of august/september.
While several groups started research, analyse, designing and networking, several weeks ago my first main task was to make a common ‘mindmap’ that is merged with a calender, so we can design the actual proces through this open-minded way. This will also help us to create interaction and coordination between the elements of the project. As many people are working on many different tasks at the same time we still need to keep a balanced view on every layer and share to get the best thinkable outcome. This project is a network design process that will engage Hamar’s social sphere, On-site installations that will summarize the progression of interactive experiences and, finally, an architectural and urban design plan for Stortorget Square tested and experienced by Hamar citizens.

Here I will tell you about the research for keeping an overview with the mind map as a tool:

While researching the main principals of a ‘mind map’ I discovered that we actually aim for a ‘conceptual map’.
In my research I discovered that a mindmap represents words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged around one central key word or idea. They can be used to visualize, structure and especially classify ideas. The elements of a given mind map are arranged intuitively according to the importance of the concepts, and are classified intro groupings, branches or goals, but we are actually searching to use a tool so we can combine several concepts that represent different main tasks of the dreamhamar with the result of processes of elements of the project. A similar idea, and for us more useful, is the use of a conceptual map. The former is based on radial hierarchies and tree structures denoting relationships with a central governing concept, whereas concept maps are based on connections between several concepts in more diverse patterns.

image above: Apollo Space Mission Mind Map – MyThoughts for Mac on Flickr
characteristics: one concept with several grouped branches.

image above:GTD – Mapa definitivo by jokin.lacalle
characteristics Concept Map: several concepts combining and fullfilling each other to become a combined goal.


As we want to use this particular map as a tool to design a proces we will use its characteristic of inclusion of “cross-links” that will show us relationships between our conceptual elements in different levels. We use it in 1:1 scale where we can add, change and connect new ideas, incomes, factors and new developments. (The image “Concept map for the preliminary design” is showing just an input from the design team. )We will be able to visualize for ourselves and for the client Hamar municipality how the different elements of the project together with active participation of the Hamar-citizens are connected and relate to each other. Together they will create new knowledge and a new creative sustainable process of urban space. This method, of using the “usual waitingtime”to still design the final result is a new agenda that can be confusing for clients as they do not have a picture of what they end up with. But by using this method and the active digital and on-site participation of the Hamar-citizens, the city will end up with a main square that is not “just pretty and modern landscaping”, but a space that is engaging in everyday lifes and will be an active part of urban, social and creative life in Hamar. It will not be designed by architects, but will be co-designed by Hamar itself -to fit their lifes and needs fully and will result in a much better and more sustainable way, than previously possible.

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Comments (2)

Collaborator from Lisbon (distance work)!
My experience can be usefull for your work, count me in.

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