Archive for the ‘References’ Category

A collection of tutorials
23 June, 2010

The time is coming for the final minutes of diploma work. Now, I take a moment to review some of the most important reviews I’ve had in the past months, trying to extract some useful ideas for what will be my final presentation.

La hora se acerca para el final de la tesis. Ahora me tomo un momento para repasar algunos de los comentarios más útiles que he recibido en los últimos meses, tratando de extraer ideas para mi presentación final.

—–

The following was commented on a personalized tutorial with Gisle Løkken on April 30th:

Allowed vs Not Allowed

–          What is legally allowed, from the architectural point of view, in Rosengård?

–          When people consciously know that they are acting in a legal context, there is no need for things such as police intervention.

–          Allowing is a way to connect.

–          Think an approach to public space that includes opening up, itinerancy and independence.

My experience

–          Fantoft Pizza: study further in detail.

–          The tale of the two afghans of Tromsø by Gisle: they offered a service no one else in town could offer.

–          Study the typical markets in Guatemala.

–          Land use in Greenland: public or private? The importance of a neighborhood council.

The importance of work

–          To make money = to achieve independence

–          Allow people to make an honest living!

Reaction

–          The project not as an answer, but as a method.

–          Work in ALL of Rosengård, but select sites to show.

–          Enclaves of activity: exploiting the comparative advantages and existing conditions.

–          Inclusion: people have got to be part of the solution.

Jean Paul Sartre: I am what I do.

—–

The following was commented on a tutorial headed by Gisle Løkken, and with the participation of other students on May 25th:

–          To propose Rosengård as a kind of temporary tax-haven, with site-specific trade laws to allow commerce to flourish more easily.

–          How would economic development affect the community? What would change in the face of the neighborhood in relation to this development? And how would these changes relate to the people who live there? Think of this project’s evolution in time: (un)projected growth.

–          Gardening vs Farming: what is more realistic and productive for a place like Rosengård? Show this in the project, make plant-growing a VISIBLE activity.

–          “I wanna see the goats” – Can Rosengård have space for activities like shepharding, and other seemingly out-of-place trades?

–          The meaning of work as a tool, socially and ethically, in human development, applied to the people who live in Rosengård.

—–

On Thursday 27th and Friday 28th of May, the Third Confrontation for the diploma took place in the school. Working under Trudi Jaeger (DAV) and Sverre Sondresen (APP), the following are points that were mentioned in relation to my project:

– The project as a reason for people to stay in Rosengård. So far, people have very few reasons to stay in the community. Could this project be a start for change?

– Joint solutions coming from both the authorities and the people.

– A bazaar proposal that makes use of the public AND the private space. Not only as a “new” activity built in space, but also making use of existing spaces: firs t floors, corner shops, etc.

– The project as a multicultural quilt, where every patch is equally valuable and yet as unique and “on display” as the rest.

– The bazaar: a nice place to be, a nice place to visit. Visiting Rosengård has the great potential of acting as a reality check: people coming here to a bazaar will find a community eager to work and earn a better life, opposed to the riots that Rosengård is known for.

– Simplify my registration drawings, keeping the energy and feelings found in them while incorporating colour to represent the variety found in Rosengård.

– The pic-nic blanket: a place to display, make evident and share.

– Build more models of the actual projects, in different scales. Explore materiality (remember the differences between shopping mall and bazaar when it comes to the sensorial experience), use and scale for design purposes. Very important now.

– If you are too realist, you end up becoming a pessimist. Therefore, it is important to remember the poetry of dreaming.

– Graffiti as a way to deal with frustration and establish an identity. Rosengård is notoriously devoid of graffiti, is this the sign of a population that does not want to be associated with their neighborhood? Additionally, could architecture offer a chance to reterritorialize the neighborhood and make it “valid” to display your pride to live in Rosengård?

– “Graffiti is like when dogs pee. They are not vandalizing a wall. They are defining their territory.”

– Define a strategy / timeline: how does the project grow and evolve? Who does it affect? What will the actions cause? Can it be a kind of chain reaction, where small actions end up causing full blown effects? This is already suggested in the yellow Post Its (see previous entries).

– Use drawings as a design and exploration tool: draw in big sizes (scale up); incorporate to exhibition space; work on the same drawings throughout a span of time – evolution; print on transparent paper for further exploration; use drawings to re-structure the spatial reality of the neighborhood and the project.

– Check several influences: Le Corbusier’s drawings for Le Petit Cabineau, Cy Twombly (pay special attention at how he activates space), others.

-Mental note: don’t assume people know about the context of the project. Explain very clearly what is The Million Programme and other relevant concepts in the context of this project.

– The project as a “happy bomb”? After all, these boxes (namely, the apartment blocks) hold a lot of frustration.

– Find out as soon as possible where will my exhibition space be, and start thinking my presentation accordingly.

– The use of scale in Rosengård’s existing condition: brutal. Bring it back to human.

– Think about 1:1 sketch. A possibility is to explore how people appropriate a public space.

_____

El jueves 27 y viernes 28 de mayo tuvo lugar la tercera confrontación en el proceso del diploma. Bajo la guía de Trudi Jaeger y Sverre Sondresen, estos son los puntos mencionados en relación a mi proyecto:

– El proyecto como razón para quedarse en Rosengård. Hasta la fecha, la gente tiene pocas razones para quedarse en el barrio. ¿Podría este proyecto cambiar tal realidad?

– Soluciones conjuntas involucrando tanto la comunidad como las autoridades.

– Una propuesta de bazaar que use tanto el espacio público como el privado, de tal manera que no sólo se genere actividades nuevas, sino que también se use espacios existentes: primeros pisos, pulperías, etc.

– El proyecto como un tejido multicultural, donde cada parte es igualmente valiosa, única y puesta en exhibición como las demás.

– El bazaar: un buen lugar donde estar, un buen lugar para visitar. Una visita a Rosengård tiene el potencial de actuar como un vistazo a la realidad: la gente viniendo a la comunidad encontrará residentes trabajando y ganándose la vida honradamente, muy distinto a los disturbios por los que Rosengård es conocido.

– Simplificar mis bocetos, manteniendo la energía y emociones en ellos a la vez que se incorpora color para mostrar la variedad encontrada en Rosengård.

– La sábana del día de campo: un lugar para mostrar, hacer evidente y compartir.

– Hacer más modelos del proyecto como tal, en distintas escalas. Explorar materiales (y recordar las diferencias entre un centro comercial y un bazaar en cuanto a la experiencia sensorial), el uso y la escala para propósitos de diseño. Punto muy importante.

– Si se es muy realista, uno termina siendo un pesimista. Por ende, es importante recordar la poesía de soñar.

– El grafiti como una manera de lidiar con la frustración y establecer una identidad. Notablemente, las paredes de Rosengård carecen de grafiti. ¿Es esto la señal de una población que no quiere ser asociada con su barrio? La arquitectura puede ofrecer una oportunidad para reterritorializar el barrio y convertirlo en un lugar donde es válido mostrar orgullo de vivir en Rosengård.

– “El grafiti es como cuando un perro orina. No es un acto de vandalismo, sino uno de territorialidad.”

– Definir una estrategia o línea de tiempo: ¿cómo crece y evoluciona el proyecto? ¿a quiénes involucra? ¿qué consecuencias habrá? ¿puede ser como una reacción en cadena, donde pequeñas acciones terminan causando grandes efectos? Esto ya se sugiere en los Post Its amarillos mostrados anteriormente en este blog.

– Usar el dibujo como una herramienta de exploración y diseño: dibujar en gran formato; incorporar el dibujo al espacio de exhibición; trabajar en un mismo dibujo a través de un cierto lapso de tiempo – evolución; imprimir en papel transparente para posterior exploración; usar dibujos para re-estructurar la realidad espacial del barrio y el proyecto.

– Influencias: los dibujos de Le Corbusier para Le Petit Cabineau, el arte de Cy Twombly y su activación del espacio, otras.

– Nota mental: no asumir que la gente conoce el contexto del proyecto. Explicar claramente qué es el Proyecto del Millón y otros conceptos relevantes para el contexto de este proyecto.

– El proyecto como una “bomba feliz”. Después de todo, estos cajones (los edificios de apartamentos) contienen mucha frustración.

– Hallar cuanto antes dónde voy a exponer y conceptualizar mi presentación final de manera acorde.

– El uso de la escala en la realidad actual de Rosengård: brutal. Devolver al ser humano.

– Pensar en el boceto 1:1. Una posibilidad es explorer cómo la gente se apropia de espacios públicos.

—–

The following was written by Trudi Jeager:

Report after 3rd confrontation 28.mai 2010.

Sverre and Trudi.

City in a specially challenging condition (liminal situation).

We asked all the students in the group to present their projects concisely with a short synopsis. Sverre and I didn’t know anything. They were given 20 minutes each before lunch. The group were already collaborating with each other and were much more familiar with each others projects than either Sverre or I so we consigned everyone with a specific student. They were asked to give their person specific advice about what to concentrate on according to where they were in the process: i.e. to reflect upon a core issue. We others could then either disagree or elaborate on these observations.

Roberto:

Flying kites in the ghetto.

Malmø is one of the fastest-growing migrant areas in Scandinavia.

Bazaar – place where people can utilize and share their skills.

Roberto has vibrant drawing skills! This talent should be used! Make Graffiti idea much larger. Test it out in public space with participants.

A strategy on timeline – what it generates – a new structure.

Add something – open up.

Should focus his project on public space(s).

Discussion about graffiti, about conquering and taking space. The energy this sort of people-participation project would create, if, for example, people from different cultures were encouraged to ‘take’ their space.  

Roberto should get locals to make their own marks in the area.

He should start concentrating by building a working model in i.e. 1-25 in order to develop the inter-relationships of the different cultural spaces and their interfaces.

——

On June 9th, I had a tutorial with Vibeke Jensen. We discussed the following (I add my own thoughts in this text):

0. General comments

– Explore the conceptual models more and more.

– Integrate gardening into activities like the skate park, and other functions as well. Why should this activity be confined to the colonial gardens?

– Work quickly with conceptual models, and move on to design.

– What I show does not necessarily need to be a finished product in itself, but it should enough detail and information to be understandable.

– Consider other activities and forms of expression, such as hand ad-painting, gossiping, etc.

1. The bazaar – Herrgården

– Make a model that shows inside space, not just the outside. Think of negative, carved space.

– The management of scale is good for the neighborhood’s inhuman conditions.

– An “exploded block” is a good concept. It shows the potential of a single block, the basic construction unit of Rosengård. Explore further consequences of this idea.

2. The promenade – Kryddgården

– The use of lines as a landscape-intervention concept is OK, but they should be soft, adding some contrast to the existing geometry.

– I should define the situations to happen between the buildings: the urban stages, sheltered spaces, community meeting points, etc.

– Integrate this intervention to the landscape, make it a part of the context and not just something that “landed there”.

– How much of a line do I need to show, in order to make a line? What does a line have to offer?

– Think of softer materials.

3. The skate park – Örtagården

– Keep in mind that it can be an activity that includes many people, not just young skateboarders. It can be a meeting point for people interested in urban culture, photography, curious neighbors… even grandmas. I don’t skate myself, I’m almost 30 and yet I am more interested than I ever was, in these activities.

– It can be a kind of agora, a meeting point where things happen. A change in Rosengård’s monofunctionality.

4. 1:1 Sketch

– Make architecture, create space!

– Construct situations, think of the situationist movement?

– Documentate, and get people included.

—–

Extracts from a June 9th conversation with Camilla Ryhl, KTF:

–          Accesible architecture should not only be functional, but also available and open.

–          When a person lacks one sense, the other senses sharpen. Think of how these other senses can be stimulated through architecture.

–          Ground surfaces and materials can give a good amount of information.

–          Be careful when it comes to overstimulation.

The bazaar

–          Check out Gjellerup Parken in Aarhus.

–          Shopping centres can be a difficult environment for the visually impaird. They offer no visual nagivational clues. They are the same in every direction. They are usually disconnected from their context.

–          Take the characteristics of a shopping centre and create a contrast.

–          Different-sized units and activity-enclaves in Rosengård are good ideas. They provide a sensorial spatial configuration.

–          When it comes to the bazaar, take a couple of units and develop: how do they relate? What happens in between the units?

The skate park

–          How do disabled people interact with it?

–          A generational meeting place.

–          Give more reasons for people to come here.

—–

Tutorial with Erling Olsen, TTA. June 15th, 2010. I intend to use different materials according to the needs of my sites. These are general comments from this conversation:

–          Wood is slippery, but can be transformed and manipulated by people, as opposed to concrete, which offers little chance for interaction.

–          Create friction in the surfaces. Winters and water can be dangerous.

–          If I use wood, think that it won’t last forever, it will probably have to be replaced every 5 to 10 years. Additionally, wood expands and contracts and is vulnerable to fungus, so it must be isolated from moisture (rubber is a good option for this), both on roof and ground. If this wood is dry, it will last a long time.

–          Think of detailing. Show how this will be built.

—–

Tutorial with Ivo Barros, Sivilarkitekt BAS. June 16th, 2010.

–          How do I come to this place? Go from Zoom Out to Zoom In.

–          Put my maps in order and try to read a coherent story there. From Scandinavia to Rosengård.

–          Show Rosengård in relation to the city of Malmö and its context.

–          Work as a masterplan, but show some areas more in detail -à Explain why I chose the sites I work with. Start working in a larger scale and then show how things meet.

–          The relation of the intervention with the rest of the city: why would people from Malmö come to Rosengård? -à Think of the comparative advantages of my project and show them.

–          Expand my interventions all the way to the main roads that limit Rosengård, and create invitations.

–          Use my experience as a foreigner to my own advantage. I have some first-hand knowledge and different takes on issues like urban life, fear, etc.

DAV: the under-used tool

–          Use DAV as an exploratory tool. Work with photos and drawings. Explore the 5 small conceptual models and work with them as ways to understand space.

Interview
3 June, 2010

I met with Portuguese Bruno Machado, fellow Fantoft resident. He worked with microcredits in Tanzania, so I asked him a few economics-related questions for my project. So far I had sustained that microcredits were a viable option for my project, but Mr. Machado pulled me out of that conceptual misunderstanding and introduced me into the idea of “active insertion“:

in the context of immigration in a welfare state, the host nation understands that the newcoming individual cannot possibly adapt all by themselves, so it offers a set of conditions for this adaptation and the self-realisation of the individual in their new home. While the receiving society includes (or excludes, in an unsuccessful scenario), the individual inserts (or excerpts), and both parts have to show initiative and work towards a common goal: assimilation and integration.

Here is an excerpt of ideas we talked about:

1.

Microcredits vary according to each country. They aim to aliviate the lack of access to traditional credit lines for people who exist in black economy. Countries in Sub-Saharian Africa can have as much as 60% of their economy happening informally, making it invisible to the government and traditional banking institutions. Microcredits are thought to offer someone asking for a loan the chance to have a collateral, something that would otherwise be impossible. Loans are usually offered to groups of 5 people (the number may vary), which means that if one of them doesn’t pay back, the other 4 have to cover the other member’s debt.

While the idea of microcredits may have a place in welfare states like Sweden, some adaptations need be made. For example, microcredit loans may be for sums of less than $100, an amount which may be a fortune in some places but is insufficient in a country like Sweden. Additionally, the welfare state traditionally aims to be somewhat “paternalistic”. However, it has been pointed out before that the chances of carrying out a successful project in Rosengård are deeply related to the involvement of the people in any possible solutions. So how to propose a solution which is adapted to the Scandinavian context, but it’s not just “another gift”?

Jointly funding a project is a good start. Both the European Union and the Swedish government have programs aimed at immigrants. A mixed initiative can come in the form of a cooperative scheme, where the community is also an investor (even if it’s with a relatively small percentage). A development project can be funded in shared amounts by the EU, Sweden and the local residents in a community-based organisation. These organisations are non-profit (even if they do profit), paying less taxes and its workers are also part-owners. Therefore, it is managed by democratic principles and democracy (to a certain degree of course, since there is always a board which takes executive decisions), making “the base of the pyramyd” a strong pilar. Also, creating a temporary (lasting 5 to 10 years, possibly) Rosengård-specific business tax bracket system would be helpful in that it would present easier terms to start new ventures.

2.

The next thing is to think, what can these community-based project offer, in order to sustain itself? What can these people offer now and in the future? As it’s been mentioned here, these people come to Sweden with an array of skills: cooking, planting, shoemaking, blacksmithing… here is where the concept of a bazaar comes to play. It is relevant and deeply rooted in islamic tradition (let’s remember the large arabic presence in Rosengård), and offers a chance for these different activities to manifest themselves in a common arena where people can work. Work is the key to emancipation and self-determination, and the prospect of a better life is what brought many of these people to Sweden in the first place. To work enhances human dignity.

Blacksmiths? Leather workers? Spice merchants? Maybe goat shepherds?

3.

Foreseeing the future of a bazaar in Rosengård brings in the concept of solidary trade and sustainable commerce, where the competitive advantages of a community are exploited to the benefit of the residents. This is what happens in places like Little Italy or the many China Towns around the world: the locals have ways to cook, sell, trade, etc., not found elsewhere in their host cities, and this possibility draws visitors in search of food, goods or services to these enclaves. Prices are often lowered or increase in these places, in order to make the most of the situation and collect the largest earnings, either due to a large client base or to the quality and added value of the products traded in these places.

But why can this idea succeed here?

– Rosengård is located mere minutes from Malmö centre, and maybe half an hour away from Kastrup and Copenhagen. Thousands of potential visitors can be found in the vecinity.

– Just like Bruno, many of us will, if it’s on our possibility, visit a locally owned, small business. They offer a friendlier environment, personalised attention, and often offer products which are impossible to find elsewhere (I must say I know this by experience from certain shops in Rosengård).

– People in Sweden can afford to pay 5 or 10% more for a quality product. The price difference and a temporary tax regime can favour a boost in the income of local families.

– If the products are of good quality, people will gladly pay. People already come from the rest of the city to Rosengård in order to buy food, so there are chances to extend this commercial activity to other branches of trade (here is where the architectural programme comes in!).

– Curiosity. Rosengård is known for its riots, but it could also be known for being the one place where you find unique things (and people making an honest living).

Does active insertion have a chance here? With so many shoemakers, people growing food, old ladies cooking on mosque-days and teenagers bootlegging music and videos, I believe there is hope in Rosengård.

* Bruno Machado studied under Universidade Beira Interior (Portugal), and has worked in community projects in Portugal and Tanzania.

Third Confrontation
1 June, 2010

Landscape of Production

On Thursday 27th and Friday 28th of May, the Third Confrontation for the diploma took place in the school. Working under Trudi Jaeger (DAV) and Sverre Sondresen (APP), the following are points that were mentioned in relation to my project:

– The project as a reason for people to stay in Rosengård. So far, people have very few reasons to stay in the community. Could this project be a start for change?

– Joint solutions coming from both the authorities and the people.

– A bazaar proposal that makes use of the public AND the private space. Not only as a “new” activity built in space, but also making use of existing spaces: firs t floors, corner shops, etc.

– The project as a multicultural quilt, where every patch is equally valuable and yet as unique and “on display” as the rest.

– The bazaar: a nice place to be, a nice place to visit. Visiting Rosengård has the great potential of acting as a reality check: people coming here to a bazaar will find a community eager to work and earn a better life, opposed to the riots that Rosengård is known for.

– Simplify my registration drawings, keeping the energy and feelings found in them while incorporating colour to represent the variety found in Rosengård.

– The pic-nic blanket: a place to display, make evident and share.

– Build more models of the actual projects, in different scales. Explore materiality (remember the differences between shopping mall and bazaar when it comes to the sensorial experience), use and scale for design purposes. Very important now.

– If you are too realist, you end up becoming a pessimist. Therefore, it is important to remember the poetry of dreaming.

– Graffiti as a way to deal with frustration and establish an identity. Rosengård is notoriously devoid of graffiti, is this the sign of a population that does not want to be associated with their neighborhood? Additionally, could architecture offer a chance to reterritorialize the neighborhood and make it “valid” to display your pride to live in Rosengård?

– “Graffiti is like when dogs pee. They are not vandalizing a wall. They are defining their territory.”

– Define a strategy / timeline: how does the project grow and evolve? Who does it affect? What will the actions cause? Can it be a kind of chain reaction, where small actions end up causing full blown effects? This is already suggested in the yellow Post Its (see previous entries).

– Use drawings as a design and exploration tool: draw in big sizes (scale up); incorporate to exhibition space; work on the same drawings throughout a span of time – evolution; print on transparent paper for further exploration; use drawings to re-structure the spatial reality of the neighborhood and the project.

– Check several influences: Le Corbusier’s drawings for Le Petit Cabineau, Cy Twombly (pay special attention at how he activates space), others.

-Mental note: don’t assume people know about the context of the project. Explain very clearly what is The Million Programme and other relevant concepts in the context of this project.

– The project as a “happy bomb”? After all, these boxes (namely, the apartment blocks) hold a lot of frustration.

– Find out as soon as possible where will my exhibition space be, and start thinking my presentation accordingly.

– The use of scale in Rosengård’s existing condition: brutal. Bring it back to human.

– Think about 1:1 sketch. A possibility is to explore how people appropriate a public space.

_____

El jueves 27 y viernes 28 de mayo tuvo lugar la tercera confrontación en el proceso del diploma. Bajo la guía de Trudi Jaeger y Sverre Sondresen, estos son los puntos mencionados en relación a mi proyecto:

– El proyecto como razón para quedarse en Rosengård. Hasta la fecha, la gente tiene pocas razones para quedarse en el barrio. ¿Podría este proyecto cambiar tal realidad?

– Soluciones conjuntas involucrando tanto la comunidad como las autoridades.

– Una propuesta de bazaar que use tanto el espacio público como el privado, de tal manera que no sólo se genere actividades nuevas, sino que también se use espacios existentes: primeros pisos, pulperías, etc.

– El proyecto como un tejido multicultural, donde cada parte es igualmente valiosa, única y puesta en exhibición como las demás.

– El bazaar: un buen lugar donde estar, un buen lugar para visitar. Una visita a Rosengård tiene el potencial de actuar como un vistazo a la realidad: la gente viniendo a la comunidad encontrará residentes trabajando y ganándose la vida honradamente, muy distinto a los disturbios por los que Rosengård es conocido.

– Simplificar mis bocetos, manteniendo la energía y emociones en ellos a la vez que se incorpora color para mostrar la variedad encontrada en Rosengård.

– La sábana del día de campo: un lugar para mostrar, hacer evidente y compartir.

– Hacer más modelos del proyecto como tal, en distintas escalas. Explorar materiales (y recordar las diferencias entre un centro comercial y un bazaar en cuanto a la experiencia sensorial), el uso y la escala para propósitos de diseño. Punto muy importante.

– Si se es muy realista, uno termina siendo un pesimista. Por ende, es importante recordar la poesía de soñar.

– El grafiti como una manera de lidiar con la frustración y establecer una identidad. Notablemente, las paredes de Rosengård carecen de grafiti. ¿Es esto la señal de una población que no quiere ser asociada con su barrio? La arquitectura puede ofrecer una oportunidad para reterritorializar el barrio y convertirlo en un lugar donde es válido mostrar orgullo de vivir en Rosengård.

– “El grafiti es como cuando un perro orina. No es un acto de vandalismo, sino uno de territorialidad.”

– Definir una estrategia o línea de tiempo: ¿cómo crece y evoluciona el proyecto? ¿a quiénes involucra? ¿qué consecuencias habrá? ¿puede ser como una reacción en cadena, donde pequeñas acciones terminan causando grandes efectos? Esto ya se sugiere en los Post Its amarillos mostrados anteriormente en este blog.

– Usar el dibujo como una herramienta de exploración y diseño: dibujar en gran formato; incorporar el dibujo al espacio de exhibición; trabajar en un mismo dibujo a través de un cierto lapso de tiempo – evolución; imprimir en papel transparente para posterior exploración; usar dibujos para re-estructurar la realidad espacial del barrio y el proyecto.

– Influencias: los dibujos de Le Corbusier para Le Petit Cabineau, el arte de Cy Twombly y su activación del espacio, otras.

– Nota mental: no asumir que la gente conoce el contexto del proyecto. Explicar claramente qué es el Proyecto del Millón y otros conceptos relevantes para el contexto de este proyecto.

– El proyecto como una “bomba feliz”. Después de todo, estos cajones (los edificios de apartamentos) contienen mucha frustración.

– Hallar cuanto antes dónde voy a exponer y conceptualizar mi presentación final de manera acorde.

– El uso de la escala en la realidad actual de Rosengård: brutal. Devolver al ser humano.

– Pensar en el boceto 1:1. Una posibilidad es explorer cómo la gente se apropia de espacios públicos.

Bazaar
21 May, 2010

According to Wikipedia:

A bazaar (Persian: بازار, Turkish: pazar, Hindi: बाज़ार, Greek: παζάρι (pazari), Cypriot Greek: pantopoula[1]) is a permanent merchandising area, marketplace, or street of shops where goods and services are exchanged or sold.

Souq Sahat Al Finaa on a busy day

Bazaars are a traditional element in the lives of many people, particularly in countries of Arab background. The concept of bazaar is also strongly related to the souq, which is a market in an Arab city. A first glance at the bazaar shows a decidedly commercial nature and spatial organization, where similar activities tend to cluster: industrial workshops, eating areas, fabric tradesmen, all formed nuclei of activitiy, or actions, in which the visitor could orientate themselves even if they had never visited a particular bazaar before.

What makes a bazaar different than a shopping centre? Following Khansari and Yavari, there are at least 2 main differences:

1. In shopping centres, the manufacturing process is gone. It is just a place for trading. There is no connection to the process of making the finished items that are to be sold, and there is no chance of experiencing this process. From The Persian Bazaar: veiled space of desire, I extract:

“Bazaars were noisy; some, like the streets of metalworkers, were overwhelming with the sounds reverberating on walls and vaults, so noisy in fact that in recent times apprentices were moved into open spaces around bazaars for the loudest operations affecting metals. Noises do not appear in photographs, but dust does, and all bazaars were filled with particles of work, the sawdust of woodworkers or the threads of textiles, mixed with the dust of architecture and of endlessly shuffling feet. This dust is like a veil which covers the visitor or like the filter through which he reaches whatever he sought, the object of his desires. And to the dust must be added odors, the sweet smells of candies and pastries, the rich scents of endless perfumes, the rough smell of leather or of paint, the hard odors of working bodies making things or carrying them around.

Making things was not simply a technical activity now gone from shopping centers, it was a continuous sensory experience for the eyes, the nose, the ears, at times the taste buds and even touch. That experience could be exhilarating and attractive or repulsive and depressing. But, when compared to the aseptic quality of our shopping malls, it always was a profoundly human experience…”

Marrakech Souq

2. The other difference comes from architecture. As opposed to modern shopping centres made for easy digestion with shiny glass and polished floors (Rosengård Centrum?),

The architecture of the bazaar was an experience of discovery, it created a mystery in which both men and things played a strange role, only partly defined through their specific function of selling and making or of buying and waiting to be bought. By its skillful manipulation of light and of built surfaces, this architecture sought to attract and to fascinate. Together with the noises, the smells, and the visual festival of colorful items on display, it proclaimed the complexity of life and something of its illusory quality. Everything may be possible and available, but perhaps nothing is real.

In the bazaar, we can distinguish 3 elements:

– Action: it is the space, the bazaar presenting itself as a set of possibilities in the horizon.

– Reaction: it is what people do in the bazaar. It is worth mentioning that reactions to bazaars are highly personalized and temporary. Going to a bazaar can very well be a completely different experience if the visit takes place at a different time of the day or year. Again, it would appear that the action is merely to shop, but as anybody who has visited this kind of street markets know, there are a number of invisible actions too: smelling, seeing, thinking, navigating… and they all conform one single, yet multilayered architectural and sensorial landscape.

– Production: it is the experience of going to a bazaar. Among a myriad other things, “the souq was a place where people could come and talk, or sit down to tell stories.” It is not the same to walk across a bazaar when it is open and working, than when it is closed at night and it’s just a transit space. The production always has a psychological and emotional element, for it is an experience in itself. The lines of flight take a different meaning each time.

1. Action: what exists.
2. Reaction: the possibilities.
3. Production: the experience of being there; the lines of flight.

Según Wikipedia:

Un bazar (Persa: بازار‎, Hindi: बज़ार) es un mercado, muchas veces cubierto, típicamente encontrado en áreas de la cultura persa, hindú e islámica.

Los bazaares son un elemento tradicional en la vida de muchos, particularmente en Medio Oriente. El concepto del bazaar se relaciona estrechamente con el de souq, que es el mercado árabe. Un primer vistazo nos muestra un lugar cuya finalidad es comercial, y en la que las actividades similares se agrupan: talleres industriales, áreas de comer, textileras… todas forman núcleos o acciones, en las que el visitante se puede orientar incluso si visitan por primera vez determinado bazaar.

¿Qué distingue al bazaar del centro comercial? Siguiendo a Khansari and Yavari, existen al menos 2 diferencias:

1. En los centros comerciales, el proceso de manufactura ha desaparecido. Es un lugar para comerciar, no hay conexión con el proceso de fabricación de los bienes que se pretende comerciar, y no hay oportunidad de experimentar tal proceso. Del libro Persian Bazaar: veiled space of desire, extraigo:

“Los bazaares eran ruidosos; algunos, como las calles de los hojalateros, era abrumadores con sus sonidos reverberando en las paredes y bóvedas, tan ruidosos de hecho que en tiempos recientes los aprendices eran llevados a espacios abiertos alrededor de los bazaares para llevar a cabo las operaciones más ruidosas. Los ruidos no aparecen en las fotos, pero el polvo sí y los bazaares estaban llenos de partículas de polvo, aserrín o hebras de textiles, mezclados con el polvo de la arquitectura y de incontables pies marchantes. Este polvo es como un velo que cubre al visitante, o como un filtro a través del cuál se obtienen los objetos deseados. Y al polvo debemos añadir olores, sabores dulces de golosinas y postres, los ricos aromas de interminables perfumes, el árido olor del cuero o pintura, o los pesados olores de los cuerpos trabajando en la fabricación o transporte en los alrededores.

Fabricar cosas no es sólo una actividad técnica que ya ha abandonado los centros comerciales, es una experiencia sensorial contínua para la vista, el olfato, los oídos, y a veces las papilas gustativas e incluso el tacto. Esa experiencia puede ser de éxtasis, atractiva… o repulsiva y deprimente. Pero cuando se compara al aspecto ascéptico de los centros comerciales, era siempre una profunda experiencia humana…”

Un viaje en capas sensoriales.

2. La otra diferencia viene de la arquitectura. En oposición a los modernos centros comerciales, diseñados para su fácil digestión con vidrio traslúcido y pisos pulidos (Rosengård Centrum?),

La arquitectura del bazaar era una experiencia de descubrimiento, creaba un misterio en el que tanto el hombre como los objetos juegan un extraño papel, sólo definido parcialmente a través de su función específica de vender y fabricar, o comprar y esperar ser comprado. Gracias a su habilidosa manipulación de luces y espacio construido, esta arquitectura buscaba atraer y fascinar. Junto con los ruidos, olores y el festival visual de artículos coloridos en exhibición, proclamaba la complejidad de la vida y también algo de su calidad ilusoria. Todo puede ser posible, aunque tal vez nada es real.

En un bazaar podemos distinguir 3 elementos:

– Acción: es el espacio como tal, el bazaar se presenta como un juego de posibilidades en el horizonte.

– Reacción: es lo que hace la gente en el bazaar. Vale la pena mencionar que las reacciones en un bazaar son muy personales y temporales. Una visita al mismo bazaar a distinta hora o época del año puede ser completamente distinta. Parecería como si la reacción es únicamente comprar, pero el visitante sabe que hay una gran cantidad de acciones invisibles: oler, pensar, navegar… y todas ellas conforman una entidad arquitectónica y espacial con varias capas.

– Producción: es la experiencia de ir a un bazaar. Entre otras muchas cosas, “el souq era un lugar donde la gente podía venir y conversar, sentarse o contar historias”. No es lo mismo visitar un bazaar en horas hábiles, cuando está operando, que por la noche cuando sus negocios están cerrados y sólo es un sitio de paso. La producción siempre tiene un componente emocional y psicológico, pues es una experiencia en sí. Las líneas de vuelo toman un significado distinto cada vez.

Landscape of production

The secret language of the walls
13 May, 2010

“We are proud (…) to use the city”

Exquisite quotes from an interview with Os Gemeos (and discusion below)

What motivates you to paint?

OS GEMEOS : Hate and love, to live in a country where you have to survive, the look of a child begging you for money in the street, to live in a country where the government does not care about you and there are no laws, where people are paid shitty salaries and you still manage to continue smiling, to wake up one day and realise it was all a dream. Fanatism, the lack of unity, vanity and ego, jealousy, people who needs others to be someone, people who use other people, love. We are proud to be Brazilian and from Sao Paulo, to know that what we believe in actually exists, to write and misspell in Portuguese, to live moments that feel like eternity, to use firecrackers in the street, start fires in the stret, to lie to the police, to know that our family loves us, to do things without thinking, to climb up a ladder without a t-shirt, to be South American, to use the city, of ugly things, to know that we fly in the mist, to make paper boats that float in the rain.

IMG_8592

Can you describe the feeling that forms between you, when you two paint?

OS GEMEOS : It is defined all in one thing: we do whatever we wanna do, every path is traced, we just do our part, this is our mission, painting time is sacred.

Would you say telepathy is involved?

OS GEMEOS : Yeah, that’s how we are nowadays: I think and my brother does what I just thought. He thinks and I automatically say or do what he just thought.

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Que los motiva a pintar?

OS GEMEOS : El odio y el amor, vivir en un país donde tienes que sobrevivir, la simple mirada de un niño pidiendo dinero en la calle, vivir en un país donde al gobierno no le importas, donde no hay leyes, donde a la gente le pagan salarios de quinta y aún así siguen sonriendo, despertar a veces y darse cuenta de que todo era un sueño. El fanatismo, la falta de unión, la vanidad, el ego, los celos, la gente que necesita de otros para ser alguien, la gente que usa a otros, el amor. Estamos orgullosos de ser brasileños y de Sao Paulo, de saber que en lo que creemos existe, de escribir incorrectamente en portugués, de vivir momentos que parecen eternos, de usar cuetes en la calle, de construir fuegos en la calle, de decirle mentiras a la policía, de saber que nuestra familia nos quiere, de hacer las cosas sin pensar, de subirnos a una escalera sin playera, de ser de América del Sur, de usar a la Ciudad, las cosas feas, de saber que volamos en la neblina, de hacer barquitos que floten en la lluvia.

Que efecto tiene el hecho de pintar en su vida normal? Que efecto tiene su vida normal en su pintura?

OS GEMEOS : Que es una vida normal?

Cuando empezaron a tornarse serios con su estilo?

OS GEMEOS : Es chistoso, a veces la palabra “estilo” es una limitación, por ejemplo, tienes un estilo y eso es todo, a veces la gente que no puede dibujar o pintar tienen más estilo porque nunca han dibujado antes. Nosotros siempre dibujamos, siempre tratamos de ser nosotros mismos, de desarrollar nuestros dibujos, al principio copiábamos a otros artistas que nos gustaban, nuestro hermano mayor Arnaldo dibuja al igual que nuestra madre, ellos siempre nos han influenciado, crecimos mirando como dibujaba nuestro hermano, y el nunca se preocupó por el estilo. Pensamos que es algo natural, que se nace con ello, lo puede uno perfeccionar o matar esa parte inocente de su estilo, hoy en día nuestro estilo es una mezcla de todo lo que nos gusta. Desde que éramos jóvenes tomábamos con mucha seriedad el dibujo, es chistoso llegar a este punto y darte cuenta que naciste con cierto estilo. Un día nuestro amigo Speto dijo: toma todo lo que te gusta de otros artistas, mézclalo con lo tuyo, y esa mezcla será el principio de tu propio estilo. Eso es lo que hemos hecho y nos ha ayudado.

os-gemeos-4

Como describirían su propio estilo?

OS GEMEOS : Un pequeño barco en un mar gigante, con todas sus infinidades y sorpresas.

Se ha notado que usan mucho Amarillo y rojo en su trabajo. Porqué?

OS GEMEOS : Según una investigación estúpida esos dos colores causan ansiedad y hambre en la gente estúpida.

Pueden describir la relación que se da entre ustedes cuando pintan?

OS GEMEOS : Se define todo en una cosa, hacemos lo que queremos hacer, todo está trazado, nosotros solo tenemos que poner nuestra parte, nuestra misión es esta, la hora de pintar es tiempo sagrado.

os-gemeos

Dirían que la telepatía interviene?

OS GEMEOS : Sí, ahora somos así: Yo pienso y mi hermano hace lo que acabo de pensar. El piensa y automáticamente yo hago o digo lo que el acaba de pensar.

DISCUSION

Graffiti is a means of expression constantly moving in a dicotomy: it is praised by some, and satanized by others. Cities and administrators do all they can to keep subway wagons and museum facades free of them, while at the same time anonymous writers prepare their spray cans for a new piece. Reading in between lines here, graffiti appears to hold a potential as a gap-closer: it is a strong community storyteller, in which the feelings are expressed and opinions are formed. Jokes are made, and social comments are shared (such as in Banksy’s work). How does urban space address graffiti?

Before my first visit to Rosengård, I pictured in my mind all those endless ghetto walls covered in writings and drawings with a thousand stories about those who live there. My first day there was disappointing: the biggest graffiti I saw was the size of a TV. No political-support messages, no love declarations, no gang territorial statements. Is this community mute, or is it told to shut up? When an architect designs a space which allows for graffiti, are they legalizing the forbidden? Is it a way to let people speak, or will the neighborhood look trashy?

The silence I witnessed in Rosengård’s walls can hardly be reconciled with its lack of peace.

Graffiti-delivery truck in Rosengård

El graffiti es un medio de expresión que se mueve siempre en una dicotomía: es apoyado y practicado por algunos, y satanizado por otros. Ciudades y administradores hacen todo lo que está a su alcance para mantener vagones de metro y fachadas de museos libres de graffiti, y al mismo tiempo escritores anónimos alistan sus latas de pintura. Leyendo entre líneas este artículo, el graffiti tiene potencial de cerrar brechas: es un cuenta-cuentos urbano, en el que sentimientos son expresados y opiniones son formadas. Bromas son dichas y comentarios sociales son compartidos (como en la obra de Banksy). ¿Cuál es el lugar del graffiti en el espacio urbano?

Antes de mi primera visita a Rosengård, me imaginé todas esas paredes en el ghetto, llenas de escrituras e imágenes con mil historias acerca de los que viven ahí. Mi primer día fue decepcionante: el graffiti más grande que vi era del tamaño de un tele. No había mensajes políticos, declaraciones de amor ni marcas territoriales de pandillas. ¿Esta comunidad es muda, o ha sido silenciada a la fuerza? Cuando un arquitecto diseña un espacio amigable con el graffiti, ¿está legitimando lo ilegítimo? ¿Es una forma de darle la palabra a la gente, o sencillamente una forma de hacer que el barrio parezca un basurero?

El silencio que vi en las paredes de Rosengård difícilmente se puede explicar en su falta de paz.

Silence in the spaces in between
8 May, 2010

Can the spaces in between be reterritorialized?

The ghetto holds a great potential as an urban communicator: it is a place to share stories of arrival and departure, of new life and also of generational gaps. It is a place of hope and new beginnings, but it is a place of loneliness too. Rosengård is one such place: it is a character in itself, in the lives of the people who live and work in it. How do people interact with these character?

“… space becomes an ‘acting place’ rather than the place of action.”

Bal, 1997

As we can read in the news from time to time, this relationship between place and inhabitants can be quite tense and often mutually rejectful. It is hard to point down where the root of the problem may lie, but one can wonder: can giving this place a more humane face result in a change in direction, as to how the people of Rosengård treat their home? Many neighbourhoods have these “humane” elements, be it parks, gardens, corners, shops or cafeterias, these elements create points through which people can engage their life-contexts and relate. A reason to break the ice, so to say.

______

El ghetto tiene un gran potencial como comunicador urbano: es un lugar donde compartir historias de llegadas y partidas, de nuevas vidas y brechas generacionales. Es un lugar de esperanza y nuevos comienzos, aunque también de soledad. Rosengård es uno de esos lugares: es un personaje en sí mismo, en las vidas de aquellos que viven y trabajan aquí. ¿Cómo interactúa la gente con dicho personaje?

“… el espacio se convierte en un ‘lugar actor’ en lugar de ser donde sucede la acción.”

Bal, 1997

Como podemos leer en las noticias ocasionalmente, esta relación entre lugar y habitantes a menudo puede ser tensa y mutuamente exclusiva. Es difícil señalar una causa o raíz del problema, pero vale la pena preguntarse: si se le da un rostro más humano a este sitio, ¿cambiaría la forma en que la gente trata a su barrio-hogar? Muchos barrios tienen estos elementos “humanos”, sean parques, jardines, esquinas, pulperías o sodas, estos elementos crean puntos a través de los cuales la gente puede involucrarse con su espacio de vida y establecer una relación. Una razón para romper el hielo, por ponerlo de alguna manera.

Urban sports in the 21st century
29 April, 2010

New urban sports?

¿Nuevos deportes urbanos?

Youth gang forces Malmö pre-school closure
26 April, 2010

Taken from the online journal The Local.

Published: 26 Apr 10 13:22 CET
Online: http://www.thelocal.se/26292/20100426/

A pre-school in Malmö’s Rosengård district was shut down on Monday morning in the interests of staff safety following an extended period of threats and harassment from a gang of local youths.

Henrik Wolter, a health and safety representative for the Swedish Teachers’ Union, took the decision to close the pre-school with immediate effect following consultation with district leaders.

The 34 children who attend the Herrgården pre-school have been moved temporarily to a school in Käglinge in south-east Malmö, but district chief Eva Ahlgren expects the children to move to a new location in Rosengård on Wednesday. In the longer term, places have been set aside for the children at a pre-school affiliated with Rosengård School, which is currently being extended.

“The closure of Herrgården’s pre-school was necessary. Staff have been repeatedly exposed to fighting and harassment. On one occasion a glass bottle was thrown from a window at one of the employees,” said Ahlgren.

She added that she had not previously been aware of the problem.

The pre-school is located in an area at the centre of a housing standards scandal last year when its run-down apartment complexes were found to be riddled with mould and cockroaches.

Herrgården has also served as a flashpoint for many of the disturbances that have plagued the predominantly immigrant suburb of Rosengård in recent years.

Around the pre-school lie shards of glass while the front of the building is marked by a bullet hole, the source of which is unknown.

“This is caused by gangs of criminal youths, or idiots as I usually call them,” Andreas Konstantinides, chairman of the Rosengård district council, told the online edition of the Svenska Dagbladet daily.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se/08 656 6518)

Rosengård Skolan, Herrgården

Comment / Comentario

The social landscape has many layers, which have different actors and often, different yet intertangled causes. Architecture is a one tool in a bigger panorama, and it must work together with other disciplines in order to address the situation through a wider scope. At the time of its creation, Rosengård was thought of as a one-time solution for the housing deficit in 1960’s Sweden, but as it has become visible after some time, single-minded efforts often leave a number of questions unanswered.

However, architecture must operate on different levels. Contrary to what has been said, space is not the prime matter or architecture (or at least not always). Some times we come across potential situations where people are the prime matter we have to work with and shape, and thus we as architects must address problems through a wider perspective, but also we must be humble before the magnitude of the challenges we face.

El paisaje social tiene muchas capas con distintos actores y a menudo, distintas (pero interrelacionadas) causas. La arquitectura es una herramienta en un panorama mayor, y debe trabajar en conjunto con otras disciplinas para tratar las distintas problemáticas a través de un espectro más amplio. Al momento de su creación, Rosengård fue pensado como una solución unitaria al problema de vivienda que aquejaba a Suecia en los años 60’s, pero ahora resulta evidente que las soluciones basadas en conceptos unitarios dejan muchas preguntas sin resolver.

Sin embargo, la arquitectura debe operar en distintos niveles. Contrario a lo que se ha dicho, el espacio no es la materia prima de la arquitectura (al menos no siempre). A veces nos topamos con situaciones donde la gente es la materia prima con la que debemos trabajar y que debemos encauzar. Por ende, como arquitectos debemos enfrentar los problemas con una perspectiva amplia, pero también humilde frente a la magnitud de los retos que enfrentamos.

The bless and curse of exile
11 April, 2010

Home: a place for a gap?

So, you’re a happy toddler until one day dad (or, if you’re lucky, the whole family) has to move. Sure, many people move during their lives, but what happens when you move to another country, with another language and another understanding of the world. If you’re young enough, chances are you’ll have little problem learning the language and sumberging yourself in your new country. But at the same time, your parents may experience quite the opposite: anxiety, fear, isolation… the feeling of being a fish out of water. How does exile affect close personal relations?

Being Rosengård a transition point between the outside world and the Swedish life, as an architect one has to wonder: how does space contribute to close or increase this emotional and cultural gap?

NRK: Interview with Mustafa Can (in Swedish and Norwegian)

_______

Así que usted es un niño con una infancia feliz, hasta que un día papá (o si tiene suerte, toda la familia) se tiene que cambiar de casa. Claro, mucha gente se cambia de casa durante su vida, pero ¿qué sucede cuando uno se va a vivir a otro país donde se habla otro idioma, y se entiende el mundo de forma diferente? Si usted es lo suficientemente joven, probablemente tendrá mínimas dificultades aprendiendo el idioma y sumergiéndose en su nuevo país. Pero al mismo tiempo, a sus padres les sucede lo opuesto: ansiedad, miedo, aislamiento… y todo lo que acompaña a la persona fuera de su contexto. ¿Cómo afecta el exilio a las relaciones personales?

Siendo Rosengård un punto de transición entre el mundo exterior y la vida en Suecia, como arquitecto me pregunto: ¿cómo contribuye el espacio a cerrar o aumentar esa brecha emocional y cultural?

NRK: entrevista con Mustafa Can (en sueco y noruego)

5:16
17 March, 2010

Demolishing a building can be seen as a desperate act: such a thing is only carried out when all other resources have been (apparently) exhausted. It is a way of renouncing faith in a community, not to mention the economical cost of bringing down and building again, but as Talking Cities (Birkhäuser, 2006) puts it, “the value of housing is linked to the amount of thought -not the amount of funds- invested in its design.

When it comes to housing projects, working with the existing (as opposed to whiping out and starting all over again) means transforming and colaborating while at the same time offering the chance to take an exit from the current path, towards previously-unthought roads.

Finally, a thought about the role of the architect from Peter Cook:

The architect ought to be an improviser rather than someone who wants to rule

Demoler un edificio es un acto desesperado: tal cosa sólo se lleva a cabo cuando (aparentemente) todos los demás recursos han sido agotados. Es una forma de perder la fe en una comunidad, por no mencionar el costo monetario de destruir y re-crear. Sin embargo, como se menciona en la revista Talking Cities (Birkhäuser, 2006), “el valor de los proyectos residenciales está asociado a la cantidad de pensamiento -no de fondos- que se invirtió en su diseño.”

Cuando se trata de proyectos residenciales, trabajar con lo existente significa transformar y colaborar, y simultáneamente ofrecer la oportunidad de cambiar de camino hacia otros destinos.

Finalmente, un pensamiento de Peter Cook sobre la labor del arquitecto:

“El arquitecto debería ser un improvisador y no alguien que quiere tener el control.”