Tuesday, 23 January 2007

Introduction - Process

The nature of the project makes its scope wide and far-reaching. To keep the body of work created through its course focussed on a submission in May, a rough process and indicative timetable have been prepared based on experience in similar projects. This is in no way intended to constrain ideas and individual creative processses; it exists simply as a guide and is designed to be iterative i.e. one piece of work informs the next in an expanding web of ideas and a body of creative work.

The process is conducted through blogs and other internet based media, used as communication tools between various team members and the wider public. This is in keeping with Helsinki's position as a leading international centre of ICT.

The process has begun with the identification of a number of broad themes that will affect the future of the Helsinki region in the coming decades. At present these are: Urban Structure, Housing, Transport, Business & the Economy, Education & Training, Architecture, Local Politics, Healthcare, Tourism, Leisure & Recreation, Culture, Society, and Sustainability.

Introductory narratives are being prepared for each of these themes which will be posted as individual blogs in the near future. The purpose of these narratives is to provide a background to the multi-faceted elements that constitute the urban environment and to act as a trigger for ideas and work that develop during the course of the project. Initially they will be posted in draft form for comment from other team members and the wider public.

Following a SWOT analysis, founded on the individual themed narratives and subsequent comments, a set of issues that are felt to constrain the future development of the region are to be prepared. Once these issues have been identified, the next step will be to establish a series of objectives that address them individually. These objectives will start to define the vision for Helsinki in 2050 with a draft vision statement to be posted at the end of February.

This leaves two months: March and April, to develop project ideas that realise the draft vision for the city together with and in parallel to the detailed study that is part of the competition brief.
Germs of ideas are likely to be generated earlier in the project but it is here that they will be expanded upon and tested against the objectives set during the previous stage. A team visit to Helsinki is planned for the middle to end of March. Conversations between various emerging projects will add depth to the draft vision and a second, final version of the vision statement is to be posted at the end of April. Work on the final competition submission is to have commenced by the beginning of April and is to be graphically specific to the wider objectives of the Team Helsinki submission.

Through the course of the programme a body of creative work, responding to/exploring elements of research and other work, will inform later stages of the project. This may include a number of precedent studies e.g. vernacular/contemporary housing in Helsinki, the densification of historic European metropolitan areas.

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