Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Introduction - Ways of Doing Things - Part 1

“ The urban masterplan is a conceptual framework that offers a strategic diagnosis for cities and our environments. It attempts to encapsulate the multiplicity and interdisciplinary approaches required to develop and implement sustainable and innovative solutions to the programmatic, functional and cultural identity of cities”

Tamara Horbacka – Theme Park, Home Issue 2001

As an artist and educator, this quote resonated with me as it outlines the importance of the notion of ‘roots’ and ‘wings’ in relation to any kind of interdisciplinary activity/practice and in particular the working process and strategy of Team Helsinki.

The ‘roots’ of the city are its programmatic structures, functional necessities and existing and inherent cultural identities. People need to live, work, travel, eat, consume, respond, play, grow, create, rebel, disrupt, communicate, migrate, wander etc in the 21st Century city.

For me, to give a vision of a city is to allow it to have ‘wings’, to think conceptually and laterally about what a city could be in 40 years time, an almost impossible conception in real terms but this is about ideas, about standing real objectives alongside expansive, playful and conceptual thought.


monospace said...

Obviously, such a project is a very difficult ‘guess’ for the future. Our approach on the plans and visions for such a masterplan are not likely to be real at all. In fact, a 40 year development in a city can have results that most likely we can not even think of.
On the other hand, the challenge on discovering and identifying these developments is great and works as a mathematical problem with changeable factors and various results.

‘People need to live, work, travel, eat, consume, respond, play, grow, create, rebel, disrupt, communicate, migrate, wander etc in the 21st Century city’

Let’s try to study these activities/ feelings and react to them as possibilities, opportunities, games. A multidisciplinary design approach can work in terms of designing ‘clever’ places that are adaptable and ever-changing. The iconic architecture of ‘future cities’ is no longer the target but instead the non-existence of design and its replacement with a generic way of thinking. The city becomes the canvas of people’s lifes and it is truly usable.

What if, since we cannot ‘guess’ the future, design alternative places, houses, meeting points, squares play areas, schools. What if our designs are able to ‘adjust’ according to the future facts that they are going to face. What if a building can transform to a public space because it is already a public space; and a park becomes the dwelling of some other people?

Lead said...

This could also be looked at this the other way round: instead of trying to guess the unguessable, imagine the idyll and work backwards from there, tracing the changes that bring about the dream.

lewism said...

I've just added a google earth map to the blog. Hope everyone finds it helpful, I will update it regularly. Helsinki might just be one of the most rational and ordered cities in terms of planning control in the world. They are definetly looking for new ideas, and different viewpoints. Adaptability, transformation and linking cityspace in new ways. Both your comments above are pretty valid I would say.

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