Archive for the ‘Social anthropology’ 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.

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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.

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.

_____

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.

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)

Pecha Kucha Rosengård
22 March, 2010


20 images for what it’s worth.
20 imágenes que valen más que una hablada.

Living in Rosengård: the potential of public spaces in liminal communities
22 March, 2010

Roberto Ovalle – Social Anthropology essay

This is the theory behind my project. Basically, I state that the current configuration of the public space in Rosengård has 5 consequences:

1. It weakens the social experience. A poorly designed public space transfers its functions to other contexts, such as sport clubs or mosques, restricting or cancelling potential social experiences.

Where have all the folks gone?


2. It rationalizes randomnes. One notorious characteristic of the public space is that it gives its users the chance to get in touch and meet random people. When this is lost, mistrust to strangers builds up.
3. It affects the way people experience their community. When people love their neighborhood, they will be more prone to take care of it.
4. Restricting self expression. A non-inclusive public space such as the one present in most of Rosengård, leaves out many of its inhabitants and their lifestyles, experiences and ways of expression. It is non-democratic.
5. It affects the group experience. It is in public places that a community will display support, opposition, diversity, opinions, etc. Additionally, it is in public areas that many activities become validated and legitimate, such as busking, preaching, skateboarding, etc. The public space in every community holds the potential of being a place for social self-definition and discovery.

Esta es la base teórica de mi proyecto. Básicamente, la configuración actual del espacio público en Rosengård tiene 5 consecuencias:

1. Debilitar la experiencia social. Un espacio público mal diseñado transfiere sus funciones a otros contextos, tales como clubes deportivos o mezquitas, restringiendo o cancelando la posibilidad de experiencias sociales más ricas.
2. Racionalizar la aleatoriedad. El espacio público se caracteriza por ofrecer la posibilidad de conocer gente de forma aleatoria. Cuando esta posibilidad se pierde, aumenta la desconfianza hacia los extraños.
3. Se afecta la forma en que se percibe la comunidad. Cuando la gente quiere a su barrio, probablemente lo cuidarán más.

Home, sweet home?

Home, sweet home?


4. Se restringe la expresión individual. Un espacio público no inclusivo, tal como lo es en Rosengård, deja por fuera a muchos residentes y sus estilos de vida, experiencias y formas de expresión. Espacios como este no son democráticos.
5. La experiencia grupal se ve afectada. Es en los sitios públicos donde la comunidad mostrará su apoyo, oposición, diversidad, opiniones, etc. Adicionalmente, en el espacio público se validan muchas actividades que en otros sitios no son legítimas, tales como los artistas callejeros, predicadores, patinadores, etc. El espacio público en cada comunidad tiene el potencial de ser un sitio para el autodescubrimiento y autodefinición.

Of course, if you don’t wanna read the 12-page essay, you can read the one page summary: / Si no quiere leer las 12 páginas del ensayo, puede leer el resumen de una página:
2010.03.03 SA Summary