ACTIVATE & INVOLVE
content

Content	
Editorial	

2
4

Activate & Involve	8
	
Reactivate!	
12
	
Mobile Fertile	
14
	
Share ...
Embed & Endure	
56
Mach Mann Heim - Mannheim 	
57
Vacancy - Budapest	59
The Vacant Budapest workshop 	60
The V-House	62
Dr...
Activate &Involve
editorial

Wonderland – platform for European
architecture is a network fostering the
exchange of experi...
Image: Levente Polyák

process design. But more importantly,
they served as seismographs of the
current state of emerging ...
Interview with Jurgen Hoogendoorn Reactivate!
Indira van ’t Klooster
City of Amsterdam
A10, Amsterdam (NL)
Amsterdam (NL) ...
view with
er Koefoed-Melson
um, Copenhagen (DK)

terview with Stefanie Raab
oopolis
erlin (DE) p.48

Connecting and traini...
Activate & Involve
Daniela Patti, Rome (IT) & Levente Polyak, Budapest (HU)

Architecture has in recent years witnessed an...
the construction of concepts and subject positions rather than the making
of things.”7 It is also in this expanded
field t...
discourse defined by the most important architectural exhibition spaces.
A few years after the Actions: ‘What
You Can Do W...
city
City helps users with
tax breaks
advertisement
investors

City sees empty building
as a problem
Supports new uses and...
Reactivate!
Indira van’t Klooster/A10,
Amsterdam (NL)
The post-starchitect is not working
on iconic concepts, or on mass-p...
new technologies, new challenges and
user desires. In the process they are
seeking solutions for problems that
are greater...
be established on as large a scale as
possible, and what does this mean for
other flows? How can I involve the user

bette...
Because it forces us to discuss the relevance of each situation, each project,
and to find out what connects them.
Even th...
a protocol, but is engaged in everyday
spaces and everyday life. This recognition leads us to converge the forces in
place...
the adaptation capacity of actors and
projects represents the best guarantee
for living spaces. The operations using
these...
Share & Communicate
Daniela Patti, Rome (IT) & Levente Polyak, Budapest (HU)

Since public and private commissions
grew th...
PROJECT SPACE
THE OTHER CITY 2010

Architecture for public
Gábor Zimborás / niteo,
Budapest (HU)
city habitat, the Roma ci...
knowledge to play music does exist.
Consequently, we realised that we had
to propose a project that establishes
the pride ...
21

Image: wonderland
PROJECT SPACE
THE OTHER CITY 2011
22

VACANCY – CLUJ
AREA3, Cluj (RO)
The shift from an industrially productive
society to...
Image: wonderland
Image: wonderland

‘an urban
initiative –
29 postcards
to the mayor‘

The workshop took place from Septe...
PROJECT SPACE
THE OTHER CITY 2011

‘Gare Saint-Denis‘ and the surrounding
district unrecognisable. The goal of the
transfo...
“To make a fair city you need to work
with the people who live in it – master
planning is not going to do the job. Therefo...
MOVIES IN WONDERLAND 2013

The case of ‘The Sea In Me‘
Yilmaz Vurucu, Vienna (AT)

Image: Yilmaz Vurucu

When we were init...
The necessity of public space was
another particular concern. Common
areas/public spaces were being plundered by construct...
Connecting and training participation experts in Europe
LOCAL SQAUES, International

What happens if you put in the same
r...
tialities of this multi-stakeholder collaboration and document its learning
process in a toolkit for practitioners.

Image...
PLAN E[XTINCTION]
PKMN Achitectures, Cienfuegos
(ES)
Plan E[xtintion] is a project that searches to link the collective id...
Suburban storytelling
Onorthodox, Amsterdam (NL)
& Vienna (AT)
collective photo and video exhibition in
Rajka (HU) and a b...
Interview with Volkmar Pamer
from the planning department
of the City of Vienna
Vienna (AT)
With every project we have, we...
stopped for 7 years and then city council proposed a horrible project. We proposed something different, which then
got app...
Test & Intervene
Daniela Patti, Rome (IT) & Levente Polyak, Budapest (HU)

In the past decades, the inflexible planning sy...
PROJECT SPACE
THE OTHER CITY 2010

THE WONDERLAND PAVILION VENICE
Hannes Schreckensberger/
Celia - Hannes, Montpelier (FR)...
Together, they face the challenge of
transforming Morion into a lively space
for the neighbourhood with a residency
functi...
petition for students initiated by ‘gau:di
‘and ‘Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine‘ based in Paris.
The programs wer...
PROJECT SPACE
ACTIVATING URBAN VOIDS 2012

PROJECT SPACE AMSTERDAM
placemakers, Amsterdam (NL)
The Project Space Amsterdam...
Besides a space enabling people to
meet each other, it was decided that
the house should also fulfil the purpose of allowi...
THE URBAN ISLANDS PROJECT
SPACEPILOTS, Aachen (DE)
The Urban Islands Project is part of
an on-going project SPACEPILOTS in...
Image: SPACEPILOTS

SPACEPILOTS is a collaborative, design and research-led platform of architecture and urbanism run by
S...
Image: Play the City

Play van Gendthallen! The
making of the Freezing Favela
Play the City, Amsterdam (NL)
Dutch Urbanism...
Factory, Liqueur Lab, Media-hammam,
the Clean Lab, and Vacant NL, among
others. Play the City hosted the event
as a city g...
Park[haus]
superwondergroup,
Mannheim (DE)
The top floor of the a car park in the city
centre of Stuttgart will be transfo...
ling with planting and gardening), film
screenings and round table discussions. Urban gardeners and experts from
Stuttgart...
Creating ordinary utopia
Cochenko, Paris (FR)
Each project of Cochenko has a specific communication strategy at different ...
print outs (posters, postcards, fanzine,
etc.  come along with the project out)
puts, making for keeping record of the
act...
Interview with Stefanie Raab from Coopolis, Berlin

Levente Polyak:
You have a three-step scheme that
helps you to establi...
Levente Polyak:
You organise a marriage between the
owners and the users – how can you
calculate the proper timeframe?

St...
Levente Polyak:
What can you offer the owner, so that
he decreases the price?

Image: Coopolis

Stefanie Raab:
Advice and ...
Interview with Jesper Koefoed-Melson from givrum.nu, Copenhagen

Julia Oravecz:
Your overall aim is to connect makers, doe...
Julia Oravecz:
You often choose huge factories for
your projects, that need a lot more
effort and investment than, let’s s...
Image: Giv Rum Nu

Jesper Koefoed-Melson:
In the beginning we had a lot of attention because we had a different approach t...
Julia Oravecz:
Could you describe how a typical
project of yours looks like, what are
the main steps?

Jesper Koefoed-Mels...
Julia Oravecz:
What happens to a community like
this, when a project ends?

Jesper Koefoed-Melson:
There was a project in ...
EMBED & ENDURE
Daniela Patti, Rome (IT) & Levente Polyak, Budapest (HU)

After attempts to establish temporary
uses, some ...
Image: wonderland

Mannheim is one of the German cities,
which was very much affected by the
politics and the military. Af...
Image: wonderland

the architectural measure is meant to
be a contact point and a drop-in centre
where citizens can get an...
Image: wonderland

Budapest has suffered more from the
economic crises than many other European cities. The recession, com...
The Vacant Budapest workshop
Leonard Ma / Small Design
Office, Helsinki (FI)
In early 2013, Wonderland in cooperation with...
tions at its core. These social functions
not only activate the community, but
help the locals regenerate district life.

...
Wonderland Magazine Activate & Involve
Wonderland Magazine Activate & Involve
Wonderland Magazine Activate & Involve
Wonderland Magazine Activate & Involve
Wonderland Magazine Activate & Involve
Wonderland Magazine Activate & Involve
Wonderland Magazine Activate & Involve
Wonderland Magazine Activate & Involve
Wonderland Magazine Activate & Involve
Wonderland Magazine Activate & Involve
Wonderland Magazine Activate & Involve
Wonderland Magazine Activate & Involve
Wonderland Magazine Activate & Involve
Wonderland Magazine Activate & Involve
Wonderland Magazine Activate & Involve
Wonderland Magazine Activate & Involve
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The new Wonderland magazine Activate & Involve presents how young architects and planners in Europe are engaging to their cities today. The Project Space cooperative planning workshop in different cities are presented together with the work done by young offices. Enjoy the reading!

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Wonderland Magazine Activate & Involve

  1. 1. ACTIVATE & INVOLVE content Content Editorial 2 4 Activate & Involve 8 Reactivate! 12 Mobile Fertile 14 Share & Communicate 18 Architecture for public - Budapest 19 Vacancy - Cluj 22 Social Coherence - Paris 24 The case of ‘The Sea in me‘‘ 26 LOCAL SQUARES: connecting and training participation experts in Europe 28 PLAN E[XTINCTION] 30 Suburban Storytelling 31 Interview with Volkmar Pamer, planning department City of Vienna 32 Test & Intervene 34 The wonderland pavilion - Venice 35 Project Space - Amsterdam 38 The Urban Islands Project 40 Play van Gendthallen! The making of the Freezing Favela 42 Park[haus] 44 Creating ordinary utopia 46 Interview with Stefanie Raab, Coopolis, Berlin 48 Interview with Jesper Koefoed-Melson, givrum.nu, Copenhagen 51 2
  2. 2. Embed & Endure 56 Mach Mann Heim - Mannheim 57 Vacancy - Budapest 59 The Vacant Budapest workshop 60 The V-House 62 Dragon Dryer 63 De Ceuvel 64 Interview with Sandor Finta, Chief Architect, Budapest 66 Interview with Jurgen Hoogendoorn, Policy advisor, Amsterdam 68 Thanks Wonderland’s mission – a growing European agenda Masthead 70 72 75 3
  3. 3. Activate &Involve editorial Wonderland – platform for European architecture is a network fostering the exchange of experiences, information and knowledge between young European architecture practices, based in Vienna, Austria. Wonderland’s journey started in 2002, with the exhibition of 11 young Austrian offices. The goal was to show how the young generation practices architecture and interprets the roles and tasks of architects. In the following years, wonderland expanded to various countries throughout Europe and offered young offices, groups and organizations a platform to exchange knowledge, test ideas and find collaborators for international projects. With this expansion, the focus shifted from what architects do, to how architects operate. Throughout its 11 years of existence, wonderland established new formats which bring emerging practices to- 4 gether in various locations to address dilemmas of the discipline, both at the local as well as the international level. Blind Dates, matched architecture offices and organisations along a defined theme and helped them identify parallel issues and challenges in their practices. Project Spaces, site-specific workshops selecting teams through competitions and encouraging them to work together on a local problem, brought new perspectives in local planning and sometimes inspired decision-makers to rethink their strategies. Movies in wonderland, films screenings in public spaces, brought life to peculiar locations in the form of site-specific documentaries and experimental films. These frameworks offered by wonderland helped young practitioners experiment with new tools, test new uses, and learn new skills about cooperation, participation, strategy making and
  4. 4. Image: Levente Polyák process design. But more importantly, they served as seismographs of the current state of emerging architectural practices, revealing the convergence of ideas and professional strategies among young offices. If these events highlighted these new perspectives and ambitions, wonderland‘s research went beyond this in identifying patterns and statistical evidence of how young practices operate; with two recent publications, Underconstructions and the Manual for Emerging Architects, wonderland offered practical guidelines to those venturing into the field. Wonderlab, the 11th anniversary exhibition of wonderland and the three magazines published for its occasion follow this evolution. The issues interact with the exhibition in various ways: while being exposed as elements of the exhibit, they also define its themes and orientations. By giving samples of the past years of wonderland’s activities and the works of member offices, the magazines invite the reader to explore where architecture goes today and where it might head tomorrow. June 2013 Daniela Patti, Levente Polyák 5
  5. 5. Interview with Jurgen Hoogendoorn Reactivate! Indira van ’t Klooster City of Amsterdam A10, Amsterdam (NL) Amsterdam (NL) p. 68 p. 12 De Ceuvel ACTIVATING URBAN VOIDS 2012 space&matter PROJECT SPACE AMSTERDAM placemakers, Amsterdam (NL) p. 38 Amsterdam (NL) p. 64 The Urban Islands Spacepilots Aachen (DE) p. 40 Interv Jespe Givru p. 51 Play van Gendthallen! Play the City Amsterdam (NL) p. 42 Park[haus] ACTIVATING URBAN VOIDS superwondergroup MACH MANN HEIM Mannheim (DE) p. 44 Mannheim (DE) p. 57 Mobile Fertile Coloco Paris (FR) p. 14 THE OTHER CITY 2011 SOCIAL COHERENCE - PARIS Zirup, Vienna (AT) p. 24 Creating ordinary utopia Cochenko Paris (FR) p. 46 THE OTHER CITY 2010 THE WONDERLAND PAVILION – VENICE celia & Hannes, Montpelier (FR) p. 35 PLAN E[XTINCTION] PKMN Madrid (ES) p. 30 6 The V-House The Milk Train Rome (IT) p. 62 Int Co Be
  6. 6. view with er Koefoed-Melson um, Copenhagen (DK) terview with Stefanie Raab oopolis erlin (DE) p.48 Connecting and training participation experts in Europe, Local Squares Berlin (DE) p. 28 Interview with Sandor Finta RETHINKING URBANITY 2013 THE OTHER CITY 2010 Vacancy - Budapest ARCHITECTURE FOR PUBLIC City of Budapest KÉK, Budapest (HU) p. 59 Niteo, Budapest (HU) p. 19 Budapest (HU) p. 66 THE OTHER CITY 2011 VACANCY - CLUJ AREA3, Cluj (RO) p.22 Dragon Dryer Hello Wood Bódvalenke (HU) p. 61 The sea in me Yilmaz Vurucu Xsentrikartst Sinop (TR) p. 26 Interview with Volkmar Pamer City of Vienna Vienna (AT) p. 32 Image: wonderland Suburban storytelling Onorthodox, Amsterdam, NL & Vienna (AT) p. 31 7
  7. 7. Activate & Involve Daniela Patti, Rome (IT) & Levente Polyak, Budapest (HU) Architecture has in recent years witnessed an extension in its interests, subjects and preoccupations, as well as in its spectrum of tools, instruments and methodologies. As opposed to exclusively designing and building, architects developed new instruments and methodologies to bring sense and life into dysfunctional elements of the built environment, such as participative interventions in space, the involvement of different groups of stakeholders and moderation / communication strategies in order to foster process-oriented projects. The role of architects and planners is changing as they are gaining more active roles in collaboratively rational processes which engage communities, public administrations and other main actors into collectively managing often conflicting information and interests, ultimately guiding governance towards resilient solutions.1 Before this, for a long time the professional role of the architect had, to a large degree, remained unchanged, “founded on an assumed expertise in thinking and forming space that simply 8 has been handed down since early modernity.”2 Architecture’s concept of autonomy arose from the disillusionment with modern architecture’s social engineering enterprise.3 In the excess of postmodern experimentations with language and form, the increasing visibility of iconic architecture helped architects “distance themselves from such ‘hard’ economic process by emphasising their status as artists engaged in the production of aesthetically and socially meaningful form”4, “emphasising the aesthetic and the semiotic at the expense of the political-economic.”5 Architecture’s autonomy, however, has been increasingly questioned in the past decade. The profession’s intra-disciplinary dynamisms gave way to the “expansion of the architectural field” with a new focus on the idea of the program as a means “to create the basis for an architecture that realistically confronts the present global political, social, and economic reality.”6 In this expanded field, architecture is “a way of negotiating the real, (…) a specific kind of socially symbolic production whose primary task is 1. Judith Innes and David Booher, ‘Planning With Complexity‘ (Routledge, 2010) 2. Catharina Gabrielsson, ‘The necessity of distance. Setting the position for critical spatial practice‘, in Curating Architecture and the City, ed.  Sarah Chaplin and Alexandra Stara (London and New York, NY: Routledge, 2009), 219. 3. Andrew Leach and John MacArthur, ‘Architecture, Disciplinarity, and the Arts: Considering the Issues‘, in Architecture, Disciplinarity, and the Arts, ed. Andrew Leach and John MacArthur (Ghent: A&S Books, 2009), 9. 4. Paul Jones, ‘Putting Architecture in its Social Place: A Cultural Political Economy of Architecture‘,
  8. 8. the construction of concepts and subject positions rather than the making of things.”7 It is also in this expanded field that “liberated from the obligation to construct, architecture can become a way of thinking about anything – a discipline that represents relationships, proportions, connections, effects, the diagram of everything.”8 The economic crisis emphasised and accelerated this professional transformation. The devastating effect of the crisis on the construction industry made architects painfully aware of the unsustainability of previous concepts of funding mechanisms and development processes. Finding themselves in the midst of landscapes of unfinished constructions and vacant complexes, a generation of architects began to think critically about the speculation-based economy and to take into account the limitations of the shrunk market, started to notice the opportunities of the urban areas neglected by the official planning mechanisms, and grew more inclined to respond to the needs of local citizens, giving preference to small-scale, community-oriented and often temporary interventions over large-scale construction projects, clearly responding to the reduction of services and funding previously provided by public adminis trations. For this generation, the task of architecture is less to produce pretty objects than to create spatial impacts. Led by their rediscovery of the critical potentiality of architecture and spatial interventions, architects in the past years began to turn increasingly towards practices that had been elaborated by avant-garde architecture collectives in the 1960s and 1970s, and quickly gained recognition by the art-world, but never made their way into mainstream architecture and planning. If architects increasingly chose the means of communication campaigns, performances, participatory processes, temporary installations or in-between use programs to intervene in the built environment, this phenomenon shows how ineffective conventional architectural instruments can be in unconventional situations. For this reason it can be noticed also in Europe how many of those which used to be niche practices are now being partially integrated into more official planning and decision making processes, in order to tackle the real urban challenges. In recent years, architectural projects concentrating on disaffected public spaces, vacant lots, empty buildings or temporary situations found their way not only into the more progressive state and municipal development programs but also to the mainstream Urban Studies, 46 (2009): 2519. 5. Paul Jones, 2519. 6. Anthony Vidler, “Architecture‘s expanded field: finding inspiration in jellyfish and geopolitics, architects today are working within radically new frames of reference,” ArtForum April (2004) 7. Michael K. Hays, “Architecture‘s Desire: Reading the Late Avant-Garde,” (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2009), 1. 8. Rem Koolhaas, “Editorial,” in Content, ed. Rem Koolhaas, (New York: Taschen, 2003), 20. 9
  9. 9. discourse defined by the most important architectural exhibition spaces. A few years after the Actions: ‘What You Can Do With the City‘ exhibition presenting 99 bottom-up architectural initiatives at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Europe’s leading institutions were suddenly flooded with exhibitions displaying various forms of community architecture and urbanism. Exhibitions like ‘Hands-On Urbanism‘ at the Architekturzentrum Wien, ‘Re:Architecture‘ at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal in Paris, ‘Spontaneous Interventions‘ in the American Pavilion of the 2012 Venice Biennial of Architecture or ‘Reactivate!‘ at Bureau Europa in Maastricht are all manifestations of a movement that redraws the boundaries of the architectural profession. Wonderland - platform for European Architecture, through its events and the activities of its member offices, embraces this movement. The three issues of the wonderland magazine published for the 11th anniversary wonderlab exhibition, are veritable showcases of architectural innovation at various scales and by various means. The three chapters of this issue, ‘Activate & Involve‘ offer a brief inventory of the variety of positions, methods and instruments offices, organisations and 10 decision-makers from and around the Wonderland network use in their quest to activate disaffected spaces and involve various stakeholders. The chapter ‘Share &  Communicate‘ shows the importance of generating discourse around a spatial problem or possibility, making the issue visible for a broader audience and using architecture to create communities via of a variety of specific communication tools. The chapter ‘Test & Intervene‘ suggests that in contrast to deterministic concepts of planning and designing, open-ended processes give value to the time in-between, identifying it as an opportunity to generate temporary uses and situations. And finally, the chapter ‘Embed & Endure‘ depicts the processes in which successful uses elaborated through tests and experiments are fixed in space and time not statically, but allowing constant changes that respond to the surrounding. Sometimes parts of larger development schemes, but just as often isolated actions, examples of design and planning innovation presented here are precursors of an alternative logic of developing the contemporary city, revealing new ways of thinking space, time and people, producing connections through architectural situations.  
  10. 10. city City helps users with tax breaks advertisement investors City sees empty building as a problem Supports new uses and temporary frameworks Helps the contract Gives guarantees users City encourages owner with incentives to offer its property for temporary use owner Users move in the spaces Experiment with uses Cooperate Maintain the building Owner signs agreement and contract with users vacant space NGO/Architect contacts the owner: - seduces with arguments - proposes uses - proposes framework - proposes contract NGO/Architect gets in touch with potential users Connects them to owner Helps them negotiate cheap rent Incubates and mentors activities Helps them elaborate a business plan Encourages synergies of various uses Includes them in the renovation NGO/Architect finds property Analyses - physical condition - urban context - potential uses Renovates NGO/Architect Image: Adam Albert Owner can't rent building but pays: Maintenance costs Property tax Degradation 11
  11. 11. Reactivate! Indira van’t Klooster/A10, Amsterdam (NL) The post-starchitect is not working on iconic concepts, or on mass-produced façades in the suburbs. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, ideas about how society should function on a social, economic and cultural level have changed dramatically. And so the latest generation in The Netherlands does not talk about programmes of requirements and planning, but about economic engineering, Lofthomes, open-source urbanism, urban bio logic, Freemium, performative urbanism, crowdfunding and the Ideal Day method. These are the instruments for new financing constructs, product development for do-it-yourself builders, energy flows and closed cycles, soil decontamination and social regeneration in vacant properties. Oh well, say the older architects, we used to do that too; it was just called something else. Oh well, say the cynics, those big words are nothing more than labels to disguise a lack of big ideas and powerful funding streams. Is this true? What is going on with the latest generation of architects? Not just in the Netherlands, but elsewhere in Europe as well? To understand the present generation of architects, we should not start with Mies van der Rohe, or with Rem Koolhaas. We might start with a 12 quotation from Kristian Koreman of ZUS architecten. “We designed a 300-m bridge because we wanted to create a new context now. You can’t wait for a client who’s going to take 30 years to do it. So you have to get the population involved. But we didn’t ask: What do you think would be a nice bridge, and how would you like to have it? We designed something that contributed to a sense of community and asked what they would want to pay for it.“ Crowdfunding in fact. Koreman: “Yes, but not out of political drive, just out of the deadlock that now exists in traditional planning.“ This is how many young architects in The Netherlands approach their practice: What can I do now? How much architecture is needed? Not of political drive, but ‘just’ to force jammed planning machines. (...) All of this is not an exclusively Dutch development. Architects are addressing social challenges and rezoning problems all over Europe. In the spring of 2012, Failed Architecture investigated the Savamala district in Belgrade, Serbia, with students and young professionals. In Estonia, KOKO Architects gave huge hangars in Tallinn a second life as a maritime museum. In Krakow, Poland, a communist housing district is
  12. 12. new technologies, new challenges and user desires. In the process they are seeking solutions for problems that are greater than themselves, which they cannot tackle on their own: vacant buildings, rezoning, energy-neutral construction. But also: How can contaminated soil be made fit for habitation? How can food cycles be established an as large a scale as possible, and what does this mean for other flows? How can I involve the user better? Or, more business-like: How do I regain control over my projects? (...) Image: ZUS (Zones Urbaines Sensibles) being turned into a tourist attraction. The Scottish firm Pidgin Perfect is venturing into the slums of Glasgow. Architecture for Humanity has already released a second volume to document all kinds of initiatives worldwide. It is a phenomenon that is growing in strength and size, and there certainly seems to be a worldwide trend. Their projects are actually mini-laboratories to test ideas, looking for alternatives for the now-passé architecture of icons. From the basics, on the one hand: responding to demands from society. In a visionary way, on the other: visualizing the possibilities of Schieblock by ZUS architecten Location: Rotterdam, Netherlands year: 2009-2013 Client: n.a. Cooperation with Municipality of Rotterdam, LSI, CODUM, Milieucentrum Rotterdam, Binder Groen, GrootLemmer, 75b, Mangrove 13
  13. 13. be established on as large a scale as possible, and what does this mean for other flows? How can I involve the user better? Or, more business-like: How do I regain control over my projects?   Indira van’t Klooster (1971) is editor in chief of A10 new European architecture and the author of various architecture publications in the Netherlands and beyond. In addition, she works with Architectuur Lokaal and as a visiting lecturer at the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam. For further information: www.a10.eu Mobile Fertile Miguel Georgieff, Pablo Georgieff and Nicolas Bonnenfant/ Coloco, Paris (FR) Coloco’s activities connect research, strategy, experimentation, artistic actions, gardening, project supervision and party – to celebrate life. We founded Coloco, which refers to our double practice as landscape architects and a collective of artists and constructors. We face the challenge to maintain these practices in parallel and to be able to adapt to different contexts of making the city. This is the solution that we found, to be 14 able to realize a wide variety of projects and to host a large team that grows and renews itself over time. Our trio is responsible for the economic, artistic and legal aspects of the project coordination. Coloco’s team is open and polymorphic, and reconfigures itself at every opportunity to realize a project. It is not obvious to classify our work in a category, even for ourselves. We ended up saying that this is an opportunity.
  14. 14. Because it forces us to discuss the relevance of each situation, each project, and to find out what connects them. Even though it draws a meandering path, our practice is guided by our desire to establish fertile relationships between urban space and living, being in the very wide expression of their forms. The sites of our actions are spread all over the world as we are essentially mobile. Mobile between fields of knowledge and fields of practice. Mobile also between all scales of landscape. We claim to be able to give value to all projects regardless of their magnitude and their geographical location. Whether it comes unexpectedly or from a long process, we analyse the commission carefully in order to broaden the opportunities of decision-makers through our proposals for collective construction. We consider this questioning essential, because we have to act, individually and in groups, to change at all scales our predatory behaviour, our relationship to consumption and our delegation of action to institutions that maintain the collective inertia. The right to appropriate public space, to build by weaving friendships or to meet in the street; we claim all this. Since the first research for Skeletons to live and Aerial Gardens, we travelled the world to meet people who build their own homes and invent their gardens themselves. We recognized the geniality of DIY, the intelligence of the just effort and the wisdom of reuse. The results of the projects undertaken by informal communities in Rio de Janeiro, Havana or Jakarta are to be judged from the aspect of inventiveness, and not from the viewpoint of spending. With these lessons of ingeniousness rather than engineering, we understand that we control so little the most complex creation of humanity, the cities where we live: they are in perpetual transformation and hardly obey to projections. Coloco develops both a reflection and practice on the transformation of public spaces, through projects for which we are invited as thinkers, designers, or constructors. Aware of the limitations of the modes of planning, we are questioning our approach to imagine broader possibilities. The current structure of public commissions hardly integrates the specificities of the use of places. The stiffness of the procedures and the strict documentation processes make it difficult to adapt the initiatives on site and in the construction. Therefore the development is not organised to maximise the collective investment in the production of the city but to produce indefinitely planning mechanisms. In our understanding, these procedures are dissipating the creative energy and financial resources. We developed a practice of discovering the territories and meeting their inhabitants that cannot be formulated in 15
  15. 15. a protocol, but is engaged in everyday spaces and everyday life. This recognition leads us to converge the forces in place in contributive actions where we support the realisation of development imagined collectively. These actions are sometimes adopting a command, acting as a catalyst and revealing the aspirations of citizens; in other cases, after an investigation, demonstrating and testing the developed hypotheses at a real scale. An essential part of our work is to establish a platform for negotiation where new possi- bilities are opened for the developers, institutions, and suitable to the desires of people who can speak their minds and hands about the transformation of their living spaces. Convinced that collective action plays the role of the engine in the dynamics of urban projects, we include these practices in the creative process. Waking up the potential of dormant sites, these activations create desire, essential lever for change. In this context of appropriate construction, we wish to integrate the possibility of existing reuse Coloco is a team of explorers of urban diversity through urban projects, landscapes, films and installations. Further information: www.coloco.org 16
  16. 16. the adaptation capacity of actors and projects represents the best guarantee for living spaces. The operations using these processes are henceforth not only necessary and desirable. Programs cannot be dictated by the assumptions of scholars and instrumentalised by politicians, they must be defined on the ground to enrich and increase accuracy and brevity. In the activation of these areas, our job is to give shape and meaning to poetic transformations, even for a brief time, to participate with enthusiasm in the evolution of our cities. Image: Claudia Hernandez-Nass of the available materials, together with the tools and local talents. The passage to the action accepts trial and error as the engine of transformation. The cities adjust according to a slow build-up of power coming by strategic operations. Active site locations, while maintaining capabilities to accommodate future relevant opportunities, remain an object of desire for the population. Considering the space from its processing capacity is dynamic planning and the creation of the city defines a collective action. In this sense, 17
  17. 17. Share & Communicate Daniela Patti, Rome (IT) & Levente Polyak, Budapest (HU) Since public and private commissions grew thinner with the crisis, architects, in their search for new opportunities, acquired a variety of new roles: they became researchers, real estate developers, consultation experts or mediators. Instead of waiting for assignments, architects began to embrace the entire process of development, becoming initiators of new projects, with the support of many actors such as public administrations, private investors but especially citizens, NGOs, local representatives, users etc. In these cooperations, architects often occupy a central position. This is radically different in comparison to previous roles architects identified themselves with. The first change has to do with the flow of information: how it is generated, expressed and received. The profession of organising space 18 has gradually turned into organising information. Architects developed new skills in order to tackle these challenges: from expertise in communication methodologies and information campaigns to competence in funding mechanisms and interventions. And there is a certain, if subtle difference between informing, communicating and sharing information and knowledge, as the level of commitment and involvement of the various actors gradually increases. Commitment and involvement are crucial in today’s development processes: they can only be considered socially sustainable when representing the interest of a larger community. Feeling part of the space you live in and having a voice in the decisions that mould it are one of the current challenges of democracy…
  18. 18. PROJECT SPACE THE OTHER CITY 2010 Architecture for public Gábor Zimborás / niteo, Budapest (HU) city habitat, the Roma city dwelling. However, after spending the first two days on exploring the site and establishing a dialogue with the local community (inside the houses, on the streets, in the local wine shops and in the community centre) we realised that the people living in this district do not have one single dream. They are very fragmented and they have very different aspirations. However, we found that this neighbourhood has a hidden identity. It is a hidden district. There are hidden and empty places. Time is a non-existing dimension for this place. It is a ‘sleeping community‘ with a lot of ghosts, unstructured life in space and time. The only common positive thing is the interest in the traditional music, and local Image: wonderland The aim of this collaborative planning experience was to encourage a community space for Romanies in one of the most underprivileged districts of Budapest. The Project Space was located in the Magdolna Neighbourhood of the 8th District of Budapest, one of the most underprivileged areas of the Hungarian capital. This is a neighbourhood populated by a big percentage of the Roma minority, living in city blocks that are hardest hit by unemployment, social conflicts and everyday crime. This part of the city population is hardly ever asked about their ideas on architecture. Therefore, the project space was originally seeking the dream house of the Roma. We were looking for the ‘ideal’ 19
  19. 19. knowledge to play music does exist. Consequently, we realised that we had to propose a project that establishes the pride of the district. Another objective was ‘making places’ on the empty lots. We wanted to do something that gives a sense of structured time and space for the inhabitants and establishes the connection between themselves, and communication with other parts of the capital. So, our idea was a design of symbolic stages. The stage structure is a symbolic one-cubic-metre cage structure made of the materials found after the demolition of the old houses (one cubic metre of Józsefváros) multiplied for several players. The structures are erected on empty lots, next to the existing dead walls. Lightweight ‘mega-lampions‘ are attached to the walls above the stages so they could act as landmarks on the territory of the demolished land. A microphone wire with a plug is integrated into the structure. Microphones and instruments could be borrowed from the Kesztyűgyár Community Centre for the locals who want to perform. The 8th District stages are complemented with the design of special benches with integrated loudspeakers in selected places in the downtown of Budapest, where you can listen to the ‘Voice of the 8th District’. The spontaneous performances on the stages could be integrated into the programmes of the official Spring Music Festivals in Budapest. Simultaneously, the project space group also proposed an art project to be photographed on the empty lots of the 8th District with the local people posing with simple but thoughtful statements or questions. We designed the photomontage images of the pictures with the wordings and the real scenes of the empty lots.   This project space took place between September 7th and 10th 2010 and was hosted by UIArchitects and Niteo Projects & Architecture teams. The participating teams were Cremascoli Okumura Rodrigues Arquitecto, glocalstudio and Gruber/ Lenart/ Opel architects. 20
  20. 20. 21 Image: wonderland
  21. 21. PROJECT SPACE THE OTHER CITY 2011 22 VACANCY – CLUJ AREA3, Cluj (RO) The shift from an industrially productive society to a service-based model in modern Europe has had many implications for the use of buildings. Instead of utilising the heritage of Europe’s industrial age, enormous areas are unused, left to decay. The Project Space Cluj workshop is searching for unique and adequate approaches for the revitalisation of vacant zones in the city. Two projects were framed. One group processed images into three sets of collectible postcards as promotional material for a campaign providing solutions. The first set attracts the attention to current problems in the industrial vacant fields, the second portrays potentials of the area, while the third shows possible solutions which can lead to a unique vision for Cluj. The first part deals with the critique and assets of the existing situation in Cluj, mostly the lack of a general urban vision and of a plan on how to deal with the vacant areas on the industrial strip on one hand, and lack of policies dealing with the economic crisis on the other. The industrial strip is isolated and vacant since the city is separated into two parts, creating a huge barrier with little possibilities to cross. Industrial buildings are empty and hundreds of hectares of industrial land are vacant and fragmented in terms of property titles. Some of the buildings are architectonical beauties reflecting the art of design throughout the last century. A set of eight postcards display the second part: an analysis of the opportunities for the development of Cluj. The economic crisis is, as a starting point, an opportunity for a new business model: small businesses and the activation of entrepreneurship. The diversity in culture (multi-linguistic, ethnic, etc.) a huge number of university students (know-why), a certain survival instinct and a talent for improvisation (knowhow) on the one hand, a rich heritage and history in buildings and monuments together with the position and available areas in the industrial strip close to the central area and the beauties of industrial architecture on the other. The third and final part is about offering an urban vision or visionary conceptual proposals for the development of the city while emphasising economic policies and spatial interventions. A new business model is being introduced for decentralised economic development, including funding the start-up of innovative small businesses. These business incubators are business agencies that support the companies with networking activities, marketing assistance, help with accounting/financial management, access to bank loans, loan funds and guarantee programs, etc.
  22. 22. Image: wonderland Image: wonderland ‘an urban initiative – 29 postcards to the mayor‘ The workshop took place from September 1st to 3rd 2011, at SPACE in Cluj (RO) in collaboration with AREA3. Participants were placemakers, urban issues, coop pe strada. Camelia and Tamás Sisak, Marius Moga from M.A.S.S. Architects, Sebastian Ionescu and Zsolt Szénási from AREA3 as local teams. Find a detailed descrition of the workshop and challenges in our magazine titled ‘Represent & Reflect‘. 23
  23. 23. PROJECT SPACE THE OTHER CITY 2011 ‘Gare Saint-Denis‘ and the surrounding district unrecognisable. The goal of the transformation happening at the station is to turn it into one of the key traffic junctions in the Parisian Banlieue. Numerous new housing and office buildings will be erected in the area accompanying the new train station, attracting new residents and businesses along with their entire workforces. For the current inhabitants of the area, this will be a radical change. “Therefore it’s one of the ideal districts to develop and implement innovative ideas of a better living together in the Parisian Banlieue” explains Hannes Schreckensberger from zirup, the initiator of the workshop and the chairman of wonderland. The train station ‘Gare Saint-Denis‘ currently serves as a hub for 60.000 commuters on a daily basis. The new pro- Image: wonderland Social coherence is one of the vitally urgent issues of our cities. Parisian suburbs, more specifically those with high migrant rates and/or high unemployed teen rates, have a host of social problems which need to be dealt with. Driven by prejudice, portions of the French society exacerbate the problem by alienating them and causing them to be segregated from public life. The case study for this Project Space takes place in the underprivileged Quarter of Gare in Saint-Denis. This area is one of the most important development areas in the Northeast Parisian Banlieue and is currently undergoing an enormous transformation process. The teams focused on creating ideas for the area stretching around the RER train which is currently undergoing a big change. Only 6 months of construction has made the station named Image: wonderland 24 SOCIAL COHERENCE – PARIS Zirup, Vienna (AT)
  24. 24. “To make a fair city you need to work with the people who live in it – master planning is not going to do the job. Therefore we developed an approach rather than a plan or strategy of how to do something. The approach is based on the idea of Open Source Placemaking: an informal, open source approach to occupation, enterprise and the building of collective identity.” Superwondergroup from Stuttgart (DE) thinks that through the creation of temporary ‘community kitchens‘ in the quarter, dialogue among the communities would increase and improve. The bad reputation of the suburbs was the target for the Austrian team IKA (AT). They adapted the idea of a bike tour, naming it ‘Tour de Banlieue‘, lasting several days with various stopovers in unexplored peripheral areas. The Project Space took place from August 16th to 19th 2011 in cooperatoion with zirup. Participating teams were superwondergroup (DE), collectiva IKA (AT), islant (NL), Cochenko, Fertile, range ta chambre and START XXI as local teams. Image: wonderland Image: wonderland jects will ensure that this number will increase and more people will frequent it. The French team Range ta Chambre questions the current situation of the public transports in the suburbs of Paris. Currently, the public transportation system is centralised, meaning one has to pass through the city centre in order to reach other suburbs, resulting in a waste of money and time; whereas a local organisation of the transportation system would improve the situation on many levels. “How we move in a city is socially and culturally determined, that means not natural at all and has to undergo a fundamental change” explains architect Alexis Lautier. “Besides renewing the public transportation in the Banlieus, local communities also have to be strengthened”, says Ellen Holleman (Team Islant / NL). 25
  25. 25. MOVIES IN WONDERLAND 2013 The case of ‘The Sea In Me‘ Yilmaz Vurucu, Vienna (AT) Image: Yilmaz Vurucu When we were initially approached and offered an artist in residency in Sinop, a small town on the Turkish Black Sea coast, we began conducting research on the ecological changes in the Black Sea, the situation of the fisheries, the local culture, and urbanization patterns. During the initial stage of our research and in the pre-interviews we conducted with the locals, we realized that a big portion of the population was aware of many of the issues arising from unplanned rapid urbanization as well as the dramatic shift in the ecological balance of the Black Sea. 26 Most importantly however, despite the awareness exhibited by the residents, we also noticed that most of them felt helpless, and didn’t see or find in themselves, the power or influence to change things, or make a difference. From the viewpoint of the documentary, one of the major issues arising in Sinop were problems related to city development. Construction companies as big businesses were powerful, had influence, and were unstoppable, despite the damage they caused through their projects to the environment, the reserves, protected areas and historical sites.
  26. 26. The necessity of public space was another particular concern. Common areas/public spaces were being plundered by construction companies, reducing the amount of public spaces available to the people, restricting social interaction among the locals. We even documented the transformation of a public beach into a private beach as a result of a hotel blocking it off to the public. Other processes seemed to threaten directly the livelihood of Sinop residents, like the problems related to pollution and excessive fishing. The effects of pollution and the fishing industry disregarding laws has lowered the number of fish in the Sea, and it seems to be getting worse. What‘s more, many fish species, which were once native to the Black Sea, seem to have gone extinct or migrated away to other seas. The biggest surprise for us was the awareness exhibited among members of the younger generation. There were many youngsters who had dedicated whole summers to help change their hometown for the better. The youngsters were politically and economically independent enough to be able to reflect on their built environment and demand very basic necessities such as ‘having public spaces‘. We of course do not know if the awareness process evolved during the making process of the documentary, or if they were already aware and surprised us when we turned our lenses on them. In fact, it comes to us as no surprise that the same generation, which we were delightfully surprised to find so enlightened and aware, were among the instigators of the Turkish protests. This generation seemed to want more, and had no qualms about demanding better conditions. Yilmaz Vurucu was born in Canada in 1975. He attended Temple University Film school, where he studied to obtain his B.A. in Film and Media Arts. Following University, he worked for over a decade as director/ creative director in commercials, music videos and television spots. Since 2009, he has been focusing on writing and producing movies. He has directed and produced ‘Dr. Zack‘, ‘Borders‘, ‘The Sea In Me‘ and ‘Gematria‘ to date. Yilmaz currently resides in Vienna. Image: Yilmaz Vurucu For further information: www.xsentrikarts.com Find a description of the artist in residency program in our magazine titled ‘Combine & Link‘. 27
  27. 27. Connecting and training participation experts in Europe LOCAL SQAUES, International What happens if you put in the same room, urban planners, activists, researchers, facilitators and community managers, architects, public administration officers – all with a passion for a participatory planning of public spaces in the city? LOCAL SQUARES: connecting and training participation experts in Europe embraces this adventure with a two-year project that brings seven organisations from five different countries (Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria) together to work and exchange strategies in order to involve a greater diversity of people and communities in the management of public spaces. One of the assumptions behind this EU-funded Leonardo da Vinci project is that, in order to work on the future shape of public spaces in a sustainable and inclusive way, it is fundamental to gain awareness on the diversity of the actors active in the field and to better connect their synergies by acknowledging their different roles in and by trying to combine the methods and approaches used daily. In other words, learning from each other. LOCAL SQUARES wants to recreate a micro arena of collaboration among different actors and find ways to 28 bring this strategy outside of its circle to promote a co-learning and co-acting culture. When it comes to participation, LOCAL SQUARES aims, first of all, to live it within its own structure. The design of the two-year process has been co-designed with all partners, who have been invited to identify their own resources, methods and ideas to be shared in the project. Each partner is hosting one meeting in its own city (Berlin, Madrid, Vienna, Amsterdam, Brussels and Twello). The division of tasks (e.g. documentation, tool-kit development, coordination) organises itself around the principle of “taking initiative”, so that participants gather around small trans-national working groups, on the basis of which aspect they are interested in cultivating. Among the expected results, LOCAL SQUARES aims to benefit from its focused local visits by mapping and offering a panorama of various participation processes in public spaces in different national contexts, by highlighting common patterns and identifying specific ways of coping with the national structures; it aims at keeping track of how the constantly evolving concept of public space serves the idea of fostering re-
  28. 28. tialities of this multi-stakeholder collaboration and document its learning process in a toolkit for practitioners. Image: Local Squares lationships and encouraging collective ownership inside the city. Moreover, the partnership wants to explore the poten- LOCAL SQUARES learning partnership is composed by: basurama (ES) / www.basurama.es Inca Deutschland e.V. (DE) / www.inca-germany.org Interactive Workshop of Europe GbR (DE) / www.workshop-of-europe.eu Local Intelligence (NL) / www.localintelligence.eu PlanSinn GmbH (AT) / www.plansinn.at Stichting Elos Nederland (NL) / www.elosnederland.com Université Catholique de Louvain (B) / www.uclouvain.be/loci.html For further information: localsquares.ning.com 29
  29. 29. PLAN E[XTINCTION] PKMN Achitectures, Cienfuegos (ES) Plan E[xtintion] is a project that searches to link the collective identity of endangered settlements in Asturias with that of their surviving inhabitants as a way to stand out depopulation processes, turning the image of these citizens into the representative image of this phenomenon. A pilot project of Plan E[xtintion] took place in Cienfuegos [Asturias], a rural settlement were only 10 people still live permanently. All of the inhabitants were reunited in an emblematic spot and a collective portrait of them was taken. This photo has become the symbolic entrance of the village, as it happens to be with the Osborne Bull or the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas entrance sign. By reusing an obsolete PlanE sign from the Spanish Economy and Employment Stimulus Plan, formerly used in Gijón – a city where many of Cienfuegos’ inhabitants moved to live in - the importance of the people living in these settlements, which are bound to disappear, was underlined. The Plan E[xtintion] was initiated in Cienfuegos (Asturias) Spain by the team PKMN [pacman] Architec- Image: PKMN tures. For further information: www.pkmn,es 30
  30. 30. Suburban storytelling Onorthodox, Amsterdam (NL) & Vienna (AT) collective photo and video exhibition in Rajka (HU) and a big three-village festivity for which the mayor decided to close the street to car traffic (a third, indirect intervention). Nostalgia re-established social ties from the past and gave space to those who are rarely included in the social and spatial discourse – the elderly. An in-between use or action does not necessarily need to be created by those with an initial idea. Co-creation and -operation are important tools to enhance and nurture community life, hence offering a self-maintaining, resilient condition. Image: Onorthodox The sub- and ex-urban cross-border area of Austria, Hungary and Slovakia is connected with a common history, culture and languages, however separated it may be when it comes to social ties. Nostalgia, an intervention developed in this area had a physical and social dimension. We used the abandoned customs duty building, once separating the countries, as an attractor, an object of exhibition. The social layer of our intervention lied in participation and empowerment. We interviewed about 100 elderly people where we collected personal stories and photographs from the past. The intervention ended with a ONORTHODOX is a young established group of urban researchers from different fields and countries that aim at tackling urban issues. ONORTHODOX is an open project space founded by Margot Deerenberg [NL] and Thomas Stini [AT] in 2009 in Amsterdam  Vienna. The current project was realised by Margot Deerenberg, /  Veronika Kovacsova, Thomas Stini. For further information: www.onorthodox.com 31
  31. 31. Interview with Volkmar Pamer from the planning department of the City of Vienna Vienna (AT) With every project we have, we organize citizens’ information days where we talk to the people, and usually there are very few complaints. When there are complaints, we try to explain what our point of view is. Some time ago we had the presentation of a project in Liesing1 and I started speaking at 10 in the morning and finished at 6 in the afternoon with no breaks! But I think it’s necessary, you need to talk to everybody, you need to speak to smaller groups and larger groups to explain things. An additional necessity is that you need the support of the politicians, but sometimes they don’t think in the same way or they are too afraid and not willing to think on a bigger scale. In the Cablewire Factory2 we were backed up by the local politicians and they also played an important role in explaining things to the people who trust the district, such as the mayor, for example. An important role is also played by private investors, who people sometimes are against as blamed for pursuing only their interests in making profit, but this is not the case when we speak about affordable housing. For this, there has to be a density, a certain number of apartments, otherwise they would not be affordable and we would end up segregating the city. If this were the case, one would have to look for cheaper land further out from the city and these would end up being ghettos, badly connected to the city, maybe with social problems and so on. We want to explain to people and to investors that these initiatives are not for making large profits. For example, in Liesing we are working on a large urban gardening project where we thought of connecting a large supermarket store. We are developing a workshop format where we have the planners from the city, the investors and we also invite the district mayors, this works perfectly. On specific projects, we are also now inviting citizen representatives of the areas we work on. In each project, it is always challenging to figure out who we should invite to join the discussion, you can’t have a recipe for that, you have to consider each case. In the Cablewire Factory, it was easier because the people already knew themselves and the situation of the aban- 1. Liesing is an area of the south-west of Vienna 2. Kabelwerk was a housing project on the place of the previous Cablewire Factory: www.kabelwerk.at 32
  32. 32. stopped for 7 years and then city council proposed a horrible project. We proposed something different, which then got approved, it was a good project, unfortunately not very dense but nevertheless... We were told we would have had numerous problems with this project , so my colleague and I went with a ‘Bürger-bus’ to the site for 3 days. 120 people came and 112 applied for an apartment, 8 people were really angry. One guy that was there on the first day would not stop complaining about the project, saying that it was horrible. On the third day he came again and said to us “I still don’t like this project but at least now I understand why you are doing it”. This was a success for me. Image: Volkmar Pamer doned factory that can’t stay there like that. So we told them that there would be 1000 new apartments and they accepted it, it wasn’t always easy, but there wasn’t an immediate resistance. We were lucky because had there been even a few people with a citizens initiative against the project, things would have been very different. You can’t have a solution that is the same for each case but that’s the challenge.There was another area in Liesing where there was a project for 280 apartments, and I had lived there for 14 years so I knew the people very well. The local citizens opposed the project very much, there were also corruption issues related to it, so the initial project Volkmar Pamer has been working for the City of Vienna as an urban planner since 1994. He is responsible for zoning plans for Vienna’s south, he is coordinator for the target area ‘Liesing Mitte’ in the South of Vienna, focusing on urban farming. 33
  33. 33. Test & Intervene Daniela Patti, Rome (IT) & Levente Polyak, Budapest (HU) In the past decades, the inflexible planning system characteristic of the modernist era has been gradually replaced by ‘soft urbanism‘, allowing for experimentation and for trying possible functions at test-sites, before fixing them through large investments. This open-ended planning system also gives more emphasis to the temporal dimension of developments, enabling temporary uses and successive phases in the development process. To consider the ‘in-between time‘ opening between the moment a property goes vacant and its new use as an opportunity, design professions were also helped by new considerations of the limits of the shrinking market. The professional and political acceptance of temporary uses opens great 34 opportunities for neighbourhoods: experiments with new functions and reacts to the needs and expectations of the local communities in a more sensitive way, and thus benefit the space, local businesses, users, conviviality and the social cohesion. The success of these experiments depends largely on the people involved and their personal qualities; the duration of the interventions and the functions put in place. The aim of a testing phase is to experiment, push boundaries of the well known towards open-ended scenarios where failure is accepted as an outcome, on the basis of which a learning process can be established in order to optimise future results. What is important is to try…
  34. 34. PROJECT SPACE THE OTHER CITY 2010 THE WONDERLAND PAVILION VENICE Hannes Schreckensberger/ Celia - Hannes, Montpelier (FR) was the so called ‘wonderland pavilion‘ which provided young European architects, inhabitants of Castello as well as local associations with a vibrant platform fostering international exchange in the course of the opening week of the Biennale of Architecture in Venice. The Other City - Venice will be part of a highly diversified program presented and organised by the social centre of Morion, located directly in the neighbourhood of Castello. The project space is a result of the engagement of the local association ‘re-biennale‘ to recycle left over materials from the Biennale, as well as the initiative of the wonderland team ‘exyzt‘ to reactivate this idle community space. Image: wonderland The Project Space in Venice was part of a highly diversified program presented and organised by the social centre of Morion, directly in the neighbourhood of Castello. The challenge faced was to transform Morion into a lively space for the neighbourhood with residency function, and to organise an informal supermarket at the Magazzini del Sale re-using waste of the exhibitions held within the Venice Biennale. Both spaces were seen as an outstanding showcase and finally become a powerful tool for rethinking the currently disregarded public space of Venice to stimulate further innovative projects. The final event of the Project Space 35
  35. 35. Together, they face the challenge of transforming Morion into a lively space for the neighbourhood with a residency function, and to organise an informal supermarket at the Magazzini del Sale, reusing waste from the exhibitions of the Biennale. Both spaces will be seen as an outstanding showcase and will finally become a powerful tool for rethinking currently disregarded public spaces of Venice to stimulate further innovative projects. Workshop The Idea of the ‘wonderland pavilion‘ emerged through wide ranged collaborations between the Venetian organisation Re-Biennale (which recycles useful leftovers of the past Biennales), the initiative of French architecture team exyzt together with the Austrian team zirup, the engagement of the architecture student group IKA from Linz  (AT), and the support and encouragement of wonderland platform for european architecture. Together, they aspired to revitalise Morion, an idyll social centre. They faced the challenge of transforming the social centre into a lively common space for the local inhabitants of the surrounding quarter Castello, by reusing collected materials from the past years to construct a common kitchen, a dormitory, a multi-functional space and a public garden. The ‘wonderland pavilion‘ was held during the Venice architecture Biennale 36 opening week. The newly refurbished social centre became a temporary platform over the course of several days for young European architects to exchange ideas and network with the purpose of starting a critical reflection on the current urban situation of the Morion neighbourhood. Self-organised lectures, round table discussions and workshops involving international architecture teams, urban planners, local occupants and associations enabled all participants to work collectively towards finding a new role and a possible future development concept for Morion’s new community space. Such engagement and exchange made it necessary for wonderland teams to organise a reopening party for the neighbourhood with a so called ‘bella tavola‘, a huge table bringing all actors together in the Morion. During this period, the Morion transformed into a stage for a round table meeting organised by the European Forum For Architectural Policies with representatives of the European institutions, architectural policies institutions and young European architecture teams, to discuss the importance of mobility in architectural practice, and to emphasise the role of architecture in the social, cultural, economic context of urban territories in Europe. At the same time, the ‘wonderland pavilion‘ also hosted an exhibition titled ‘urban loft‘, displaying the results of an international com-
  36. 36. petition for students initiated by ‘gau:di ‘and ‘Cité de l’architecture et du patrimoine‘ based in Paris. The programs were completed with several festive events such as the opening party of the British Pavilion in the street in front of the Morion. Participating teams, guests, local inhabitants and organisers from all over Europe showed up in this project space, the diverse potentials of an international gathering, to process a creative atmosphere. The ‘wonderland pavilion‘ was a stimulating place to meet people and to start new cross-border collaborations in a fresh way alongside the Venetian architecture Biennale of 2010. The workshop took place from August 23rd to 26th, and it resulted in the recycling of left over materials from the Venice Biennale, with the engagement of the local association re-biennale as well as the initiative of the wonderland team exyzt / FR and zirup / AT, in order to re-activate this idle community space. Image: wonderland The teams DUS architects, MESS and x architekten were chosen to participate 37
  37. 37. PROJECT SPACE ACTIVATING URBAN VOIDS 2012 PROJECT SPACE AMSTERDAM placemakers, Amsterdam (NL) The Project Space Amsterdam took place in the fast changing and upcoming area Amsterdam Noord. This neighbourhood exists mainly of middle and high-rise buildings, almost all of the social rented sector (95 %). The neighbourhood still looks exactly the same as it did in the beginning of the sixties: There is plenty of greenery, the buildings still seem to be in good condition and hardly any vacancies exist. In recent decades however, hardly any investments were made to regenerate the area, and there are no places for young people to go. The physical situation is virtually unchanged, whilst the residents have changed. The inhabitants of the first hour are older now and their children have moved from the neighbourhood. The number of people moving out in Nieuwendam Noord increases while many new residents move in, often with different (ethnic) backgrounds. Nieuwendam Noord has become a multicultural neighbourhood. One consequence is that neighbours do not always know one another or understand each other anymore. It appears that the involvement of residents in Find a detailed description of the workshop context and challenges in our magazine titled ‘Represent & Reflect‘. 38 their neighbourhood decreases while the feeling of insecurity on the streets increases. On the first day of the workshop, local students took the participants on a guided tour of the neighbourhood. The message to the planners was clear: There is a need for a place for people to meet each other in public. Following two intensive days of lectures and tours, the group obtained a significant amount of useful information. Using the information as a basis, the group could start designing. Because of the Dutch weather, it was soon decided that the structure designed should have a roof, and be a shelter for the user of the street. They combined these two needs and decided on building a house enabling encounters. The construction part was now taking place. The participants divided into two groups, the construction group and the function group, and worked towards quickly reaching the goal of creating a public-shelter-space. The construction group evaluated the material and construction tricks while the function group decided on the function of the house.
  38. 38. Besides a space enabling people to meet each other, it was decided that the house should also fulfil the purpose of allowing the broadcasting and statement of opinions on upcoming decisions. Initially, voting was about what citizens of the area would like to do or see if there were to be a public stage in Amsterdam Noord. The choice could be made by picking one of the prepared symbols – from ballet to bingo – or by drawing something new on one of the empty papers and pinning them on the inner wall of the house. The shelters themselves, as well as the symbols on color-coded sheets of paper were prepared in co-operation with the local students (of the Bredero Lyceum). The students and architects started in the early morning hours to finish the house construction on time. Applause arose when the house was finally erected on all four pillars. The teams were ready for the public intervention on the market square in Waterlandplein / Amsterdam Noord. Walking to the square while carrying the house generated a lot of attention. The infamous Dutch weather also showed signs of mercy, and it stayed dry throughout the whole intervention. People were instantly curious about the neon coloured-walking-house and were willing to share their opinions. Following the intervention, the house looked fully packed with various symbols hanging on the inner walls of the temporary shelter. It was a great success and helped us obtain valuable information about the needs and wishes of the residents. The workshop took place between 15th and 19th October 2012 in Amsterdam in collaboration with placemakers. Participants were SPACEPILOTS, PKMN [pac-man], Elana Bos, Veronika Kovacsova, Mara Pellizzari Image: wonderland Image: wonderland and the Students of the Bredero Lyceum. 39
  39. 39. THE URBAN ISLANDS PROJECT SPACEPILOTS, Aachen (DE) The Urban Islands Project is part of an on-going project SPACEPILOTS introduced in 2009 under the title of Unlocking the City, aiming to excite young people about their city, engage them with their environment, and empower them to get involved in the actual shaping of places. We are inviting young people to participate in the research and development of design ideas for Urban Islands. Therefore, by nature, the testing, analysing, and constant adjusting of ideas is inherent to the project and its aims. The resulting works are interventions, installations, or actions hinting at a particular potential of an urban space while – temporarily offering a different use. In a first phase, prior to the project, a city-wide survey has been run in London in 2009 asking young people about their local environment and the interventions they would like to see put in place to improve their lives. The Urban Islands Project is a direct response to their call to create places where they can meet each other and feel safe. In 2010 we launched the project at the London Festival of Architecture [LFA 2010], in the Borough of Southwark, South London. During the LFA 2010 we have been running a series of workshops with nine young people living in the area, exploring possible ways to de- 40 tect, map and animate places through urban interventions and architectural actions. The youngsters set out scanning the neighbourhood to find overlooked spots and niches in their environment that might allow for an island to unfold and act – be it as a meeting point, a playground, a picnic corner… Within three weeks they built urban furniture, tested ways of mapping and learned about the process of designing in the public realm, planted seeds, created a light garden, exchanged ideas with various local experts from the fields of architecture, urban planning and lighting design, and made a documentary – working with a photographer and filmmaker during the festival events. In the last 3 years we have been testing and developing The Urban Islands Project in various collaboration and cultural contexts in London, Madrid, Bucharest and Cologne. The importance of such projects lies, I think, in direct contrast to traditional architectural work in its limited temporality: as they exists only for a short period of time, the before and after appearance, use or disuse of an area is brought to peoples attention. This sharpened perception of their neighbourhood, in return, most often prompts for debate - if not further actions, and that way establishing the idea.
  40. 40. Image: SPACEPILOTS SPACEPILOTS is a collaborative, design and research-led platform of architecture and urbanism run by Stephanie Brandt, which realizes international projects responsive to existing urban sites, which create social, architectural and discursive spaces. For further information: www.spacepilots.net 41
  41. 41. Image: Play the City Play van Gendthallen! The making of the Freezing Favela Play the City, Amsterdam (NL) Dutch Urbanism is faced with the challenge of developing effective tools to create temporary use plans of empty city areas, as the economic crisis has left numerous projects and sites on hold across the country. Play the City Studio invented an interactive process to plan and implement such a temporary city in the Van Gendthallen monument – abandoned cargo halls on Amsterdam’s Oostenburg Island, that are part of Hollands industrial heritage. The temporary city, called ‘Freezing 42 Favela‘, is a 6 month project organised by Mediamatic Fabriek in collaboration with scientists, designers, artists and farmers who join forces to warm up this beautiful but leaking ice-cold monument and transform it into an inspiring space to work and socialise. Play the City Studio ran a city game session in January 2013 to settle an urban plan according to the wishes, needs and negotiating skills of the favela fellows: Bar Vacant, Aquaponic Farm, Open Cooking Platform, Sandberg Institute, Trash
  42. 42. Factory, Liqueur Lab, Media-hammam, the Clean Lab, and Vacant NL, among others. Play the City hosted the event as a city game with all the necessary ingredients: the players, the playground (a 1/30 scale wooden model of the Van Genthallen), and the rules. In the first round, lots were drawn and the future Freezing Favela citizens claimed their ideal positions in the building one by one.Through three rounds of negotiations, Play the City located twenty-four diverse enterprises, from fish farmers to poo processors, into a coherent temporary plan in Van Gendthallen. At the end of this session, it was clear that collaboration was the only way to fit so many projects in the building. Players used the break between rounds to lobby intensely and find collaborators in order to strengthen their position in the coming round of play, and, of course, in the materialisation of the 6 month temporary city! The city game session was a success, creating a realistic, construction-ready scale model for the co-created city. The 3000 square meters of the Van Gendthallen building was filled up with twenty-four different projects, some conflicting with, some supporting one another. In the Favela you can make paper from cow dung, furniture from cardboard, and cook with ingredients from the aquaponics farm. Freezing Favela is the first urban building plan of 3000 square meters to be constructed according to an evolutionary city game process in the Netherlands. Play the City helps you build communities, co-design with stakeholders, develop tools for digital urbanism and create strategies for urban development through serious gaming. The project took place in Amsterdam (Oostenburg), Holland. For further information: www.playthecity.nl 43
  43. 43. Park[haus] superwondergroup, Mannheim (DE) The top floor of the a car park in the city centre of Stuttgart will be transformed into a temporary community garden. The design, realization and programme is developed collectively with residents, pupils and interested groups. The programme of the Park[haus] is composed of urban gardening farming, flower/  beds, a lawn, a small kiosk and a community kitchen. Additionally a cultural programme including workshops, discussions, film screenings and so on will be organised by the participants. The Leonhardsviertel in Stuttgart where the car park is located is nowadays best known as the red light district of Stuttgart. Right in front of the parking deck, prostitution takes place. The neighbourhood is, however, also a residential area, where you can find some of the oldest houses in Stuttgart, the Jakobschule – an elementary school rich in tradition. In the narrow streets of the old town, some well-known wine taverns are hidden. However, the number of the brothels increased over the last years and the ‘balance‘ of the neighbourhood is threatened. The City of Stuttgart tries to buy uninhabited houses in order to rent them, but financial means are limited. A lot of children and adolescents live there, most of the families have low incomes, and leisure facilities are rare. 44 Stakeholders are: superwondergroup Initiator / Planning / Development of the supporting programme / moderating workshops & round table discussions / setting up the 2-year-programme Ebene 0 e.V. Co-Initiator and organizer of the project. The ‘Ebene 0’ is a non-profit art association with a focus on urban topics such as temporary uses and alternative planning approaches. Parkservice Hüfner Private enterprise, which is the tenant of the car park and has interests in ‚upgrading‘ the typology of the car park. Administration of the Neighbourhood / Mayor of the Neighbourhood Responsible for regulations and administrative issues. Provided initial financial support as well as a helping hand by dealing with other departments. The Project is divided into two phases, differing mainly in the size of the used parking space and the uses. The first phase already started in April 2013 as an urban gardening project, with around 80 interested citizens, in a sub area of the top floor of the car park, and will last until September / October 2013 when the urban garden will be dismantled. This phase is accompanied by a programme consisting of workshops (dea-
  44. 44. ling with planting and gardening), film screenings and round table discussions. Urban gardeners and experts from Stuttgart as well as from other cities are invited to present and discuss their projects experiences and approaches. The second phase will start in the spring of 2014 with the construction of the urban garden, the park area and a small stage for bands and artists from the neighbourhood, all on the top floor of the car park. For this phase, the whole top floor (approximately 2500 square meters) will be transformed into an urban park area. Until October 2014, the project will serve as a cultural platform, a park and an urban innovation lab where different topics concerning current urban urgencies are presented and discussed and workshops addressing these problems and challenges are organised. The project‘s success is based on the engagement of the citizens and their will to contribute and to take part. Through the accompanying programme we want to foster a lively discourse among participants and invited lecturers. This discourse will then be used as a tool to create and build up a community, as well as to initiate a debate about who is creating the city / what kind of alternative methods of government can occur and work / and who is willing to take responsibility for their neighbourhood. The superwondergroup, founded in 2010 by Frane Bettac, Leo Grosswendt and Wulf Kramer, deals with topics such as participation and interventions implementing them in a mixture of temporary structures, Image: superwondergroup art and space in everyday life. For further information: www.superwondergroup.com 45
  45. 45. Creating ordinary utopia Cochenko, Paris (FR) Each project of Cochenko has a specific communication strategy at different scale. At first, the inhabitant gets involved in a ludic and creative process, such as a teasing of the project, a street game, questioning people in the public space, as many invitations to look at his environment as possible by taking his eyes off everyday life and getting involved in the project. Then, ‘signal-objects‘ are created as a scenographic installation facilitating interactions between inhabitants, neighbours, workers, etc. These objects create surprise and amazement in their everyday environment, and invite them to enter the space of the project on site. Finally, Find a project description of the team in our magazine titled ‘Combine & Link‘. 46 Image: Collectif Cochenko Image: Collectif Cochenko Cochenko’s projects are closely linked with social and urban fields: in order to create an ‘ordinary utopia‘, Cochenko develops a cross-disciplinary approach through the content of the projects as much as in the methodology used and the great variety of skills of its team. Cochenko aims at accounting and developing the uses in building the city, the public and private spaces. Whether the project is about co-designing spaces or objects with inhabitants, experimentation at scale 1, or open urban improvement site workings, Cochenko always pays special attention to the active involvement of inhabitants in the transformation processes.
  46. 46. print outs (posters, postcards, fanzine, etc.  come along with the project out) puts, making for keeping record of the action but also for sharing the story and promoting everyone’s participation. These aesthetic objects also contribute to giving visibility to the project on a larger scale. In order to co-build the city with its inhabitants, Cochenko’s methodology mostly relies on participation, before, during and after the transformations. The objective is to establish a real process of iterative design, especially for urban street furniture, making the best out of user’s instant feedbacks, which allows modifying or reorienting the project almost in real time. Cochenko cares about how inhabitants can be involved, about the process itself as much as the quality of the final product. Cochenko stands for permanent testing as an overriding condition, ensuring adjustment and ownership of all, at any moment. On-site presence activates public space in taking into account, and also disturbing, uses. Cochenko develops several tools, such as the ‘Guitounes’, these are mobile machines with multiple functions: surprising objects, they first lead to meeting, to reactions and debates, and gradually become a signal in the neighbourhood, contributing to its identity. Taking part in the transforma- tion of public spaces like in the project ‘Made In Joliot’ requires the promotion of new tools and testing new uses, which often leads to inventing hybridization and new ways of organising social life. Cochenko aims at accounting and developing the uses in building the city, the public and private spaces. Cochenko’s main partners and sponsors have been so far, cities and local authorities (cultural services, urban policies, social cohesion) and the private sector (social housing landlords, services of social development related with housing issues, architecture agencies, foundations). Depending on the context, Cochenko adapts its approach to answer the concerns of its partners. As an example, the project ‘Made in Joliot’ has been designed in cooperation with the City of Saint Denis following a call for projects aiming at accompanying Joliot-Curie neighbourhood urban redevelopment workings. Cochenko proposed an experimental project on the co-building of social housing collective spaces. As for the ‘Da-ta-place’ project, new participation processes are developed. Throughout this project, Cochenko advises and supports local authorities enhancing their understanding of the districts (challenges, tensions, etc.  ) prior to the implementation of urban redevelopment workings. Established in 2007 in Paris, Cochenko explores various spaces involved with people in a public place, place of living and meeting, in order to build ‘ordinary utopias‘. Further information: www.cochenko.fr 47
  47. 47. Interview with Stefanie Raab from Coopolis, Berlin Levente Polyak: You have a three-step scheme that helps you to establish contact and cooperation between potential users and property owners. How do you coordinate all these actors, how do you handle this amount of information? Stefanie Raab: We have an ingenious database structure that collects information on the empty spaces, the interested people and the informal contacts to politics, etc. We created the software for it ourselves, because there was nothing available on the market for what we do. We make our own research as well, walking around the city, taking pictures, finding out who the owner is and so on. After this, you begin to talk to the owner, to open up to the owner, until the owner says: what do you imagine we could do here? At this moment, you need well-prepared users, with a proper concept. So you have two processes that you have to manage: you have to prepare the user and the property owner for one another. After this, you have a first get-to-know moment, we make these meetings on our Moderierte Objektbegehungen (Moderated Property Inspection), where we have 5 or 6 or 10 properties, after another, and a group of ‘marriable‘ owners and users – whose concepts are so good that you can present them to an owner, because an owner always expects a well conceptualised economic project. And the user only sees his creative idea, so you have to prepare them for one another so that they talk a more similar language and can understand one another. So we are the transporters between them. And this is the secret of ‘Zwischennutzungsagentur‘, this is how it functions. 48
  48. 48. Levente Polyak: You organise a marriage between the owners and the users – how can you calculate the proper timeframe? Stefanie Raab: You can’t calculate it at all. You can have successful processes in a few days, but in a few years as well. For instance, we had a migrant Kurdish woman who wanted to make a bilingual Kindergarten and she needed three years to clear up her concept. Then we needed a half more year to create a good contract for her. In another case there was a woman who makes ceramics and she knew very precisely what she needed. We had a databank, with more then 1000 empty shops, we went through this databank and we found the only possible setting within three hours. She made a perfect little concept with photos of her very nice ceramics and she also said: “I can guarantee 3 euros/m2, but I can never pay significantly more. I will live there and I will work there. In change, I will make a very nice area with a nice little shop window, it will be attractive.” And she made her concept so convincing, that two days later she had her contract. Because she was a very experienced woman, who knew exactly that she will never earn much money, but she wants to do this – so she really went for it. She was so clear with her goals that we could help her within a few days. Levente Polyak: What can you offer the owner, so that he decreases the price? Stefanie Raab is an architect. In 2002 she founded the Berlin-based ‘Zwischennutzungagentur ‘with Maris Richarz. They were pioneers of introducing and consolidating the concept of in-between use to address the problem of shrinking cities and vacancy. Since 2010 the organization is called Coopolis. For more information, visit: coopolis.de 49
  49. 49. Levente Polyak: What can you offer the owner, so that he decreases the price? Image: Coopolis Stefanie Raab: Advice and experience in a special area – this is very important, you always have to be very local. If we have projects in different places, we always have a project manager for each one of them, so that the contact between the owners and the users is enriched by the local knowledge of this person. In fifty percent of the cases, neither the users nor the owners know what they need in the beginning. So we have an open door once a week, a consultation process with the users and also the owners of the real estates. If they [the owners] would know what they wanted with it, it wouldn’t be empty. You have to find it out and give them advice. And if you have an owner who imagines 10 euro/m2 rent, we tell him, that this is a very poor district here, there will be no activity that can bring so much money. So you have to talk to him, so that he can also feel that his goals are unrealistic, because the only reason for emptiness is that there is no market for a product, so you have to create a market and bring someone who creates this product as well as someone who needs this product. 50 The interview was conducted in the frame of the Lakatlan Budapest project, initiated by the KÉK - Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre.
  50. 50. Interview with Jesper Koefoed-Melson from givrum.nu, Copenhagen Julia Oravecz: Your overall aim is to connect makers, doers, artists in order to enhance a different kind of approach to culture and to support a user driven urban development. Supporting temporary use in vacant properties is only a way to realise this. Jesper Koefoed-Melson: We primary want to create user-driven communities, because we see that this is where democratic processes and city life in general starts. This is the way to making more people engaged in society. Our primary focus is empty buildings, but from our perspective, empty buildings are pretty much just a framework, in which these communities can grow. This framework works really well, because we can borrow the buildings for a temporary period, then we can invite people and let them decide which activities they want. The only thing we decide is that it should be in some way a cultural or social project and that they are all obligated to be a part of an association, which is being developed for the place. We also try to motivate the users to take active part in the local area as well. But we also have other strategies to make user driven urban development more visible and accessible for the people. We also create activities in public spaces – which is of course a completely different thing, because its much more temporary. We make an annual conference called Think Space where the goal is to gather everyone we know of, nationally or internationally, with projects that we can be inspired of. This is also a way to make more projects like this happen – to create a movement around them by showing good examples. We like to focus the conference each year on a specific location that we think has some potential – an empty building that has been taken into use or that we would like to be taken into use – by attracting a lot of awareness or resources on this specific site, we can help accelerate a process. By the City Link project, the overall goal is also to create a relationship between two different cities, different project makers, to be inspired by the different perspectives. 51
  51. 51. Julia Oravecz: You often choose huge factories for your projects, that need a lot more effort and investment than, let’s say, a line of empty shops in the inner city. Your very first project was also in a candy factory in Copenhagen. Is there a specific reason behind this? Jesper Koefoed-Melson: Factories are quite unique in the sense that they have been standing empty for a longer period, and the longer the period you have to create these activities, the stronger communities you can get. In the case of a shop, maybe it is not that easy to create different activities other then commercial sales, because this is how the room is designed. In a factory we can invite people in and there can be so many different kinds of projects: it’s only your imagination that sets the boundaries – we can have workshops, galleries, ateliers, office places, ceramic workshops, bicycle workshops, urban gardening…This also contributes to a better community: if you have all kinds of different projects, that can learn from each other, that can inspire each other, that can collaborate. Julia Oravecz: What happens more often, that the owners come to you or the users? 52
  52. 52. Image: Giv Rum Nu Jesper Koefoed-Melson: In the beginning we had a lot of attention because we had a different approach to urban development and I think that the owners saw that here was a potential to get some renters into their empty buildings. When they found out that we would actually like money from them, and that they cannot profit, they were not that interested anymore. This is not what we do; we want to create communities that are cheaper and more flexible, so thereby they cannot pay full rent. So now, we don’t have a lot of private owners contacting us, it is more the other way around…much more the other way around. We like this actually, because we’d like to work for the users. And if there’s a user who found an empty building and wants to start something up, it is more likely to be a success, than when we go in and take over the process. From the public sector on the other hand, we get more and more requests to help. The reason for this, I think, is that when we have to develop an area in Denmark we have the words ‘citizen engagement‘ or involvement written all over like a password, everybody has to do it, but nobody knows how. When a municipality gets governmental support for developing an area and for creating a citizen involvement process but they don’t know how to do this task themselves, then they contact us. Sometimes with an empty building, sometimes with a public space. 53
  53. 53. Julia Oravecz: Could you describe how a typical project of yours looks like, what are the main steps? Jesper Koefoed-Melson: First of all, we create the legal framework with the owner, we make a contract so we know exactly what the premises of the use of this building are. We argue that we should get a high degree of independence in defining how to fill these buildings. Then we invite people in and we do that by making open calls in our network. And then by word of mouth, people start turning up and then we show the place to a lot of people all the time, and they say I want that room, I want this room, and all of the sudden we have a lot of users. Then together with the users we try to create an organisational platform, an association, where we find out the purpose of this place. We can discuss what we want with the place, what is our common goal, what is our interest, what are the local area’s needs… Then we create a budget, because of course there has to be some rent. The good thing about rent is when everybody is paying something that can be used for common investments for the buildings as well. So if we are not publicly supported, we can create our own economy. This is what has happened to the Prags Boulevard 43 where they have taken over the contract, they have an association, they are paying rent and they actually have a really healthy economy now. They created a completely self-organised and self-financed community. Jesper Koefoed-Melson founded the Giv Rum Nu (‘Give Room Now‘ in Danish) in 2010 with Christian Fumz, after working together on the revitalization of Copenhagen’s Bolsjefabrikken. Give Rum Nu acts as facilitators to provide artists and entrepreneurs the temporary use of buildings that are currently empty. More information at givrum.nu 54
  54. 54. Julia Oravecz: What happens to a community like this, when a project ends? Jesper Koefoed-Melson: There was a project in a new part of Copenhagen, where when we left, the activities stopped. In that case, we played a role too important in creating the activities. In the candy factory, when my partner Christian left and the community was thrown out from there, they moved on to other empty buildings. This is what we try to work for, that even when the building is torn down, the relationships, collaborations and sense of community remain. We also try to motivate people to invest in things that can be brought to other places.At the case of Prags Boulevard 43, we got the building for two years until the end of 2012, and then we established contact between the owner and the user, and the users took over the contract with the owner and they have had it now for three more years. So we always borrow the place for a temporary period, we also build in the stability of permanent use into the narrative of the place.Someone argues of course with the gentrification theory, that we are just a tool for the capitalists, which may be true, but if we – in a period when there is no money for big investment – can create a framework for alternative communities, alternative ways of organising and creating arts and culture, I find that to be okay… The interview was conducted in the frame of the Lakatlan Budapest project, initiated by the KÉK - Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre. 55
  55. 55. EMBED & ENDURE Daniela Patti, Rome (IT) & Levente Polyak, Budapest (HU) After attempts to establish temporary uses, some initiatives manage to gain permanency, although permanency has to be understood here in a very different manner from how traditional architecture might define the term. In fact, this achievement has to be seen as a phase in a process permanently generating new situations that respond better to the needs of the moment. In order for uses and functions to bypass the temporary phase, a series of parameters have to be in place: stakeholders, funding, human resource, political support and a good dose of luck and passion! The more various and interconnected the parameters are, the 56 more overall aims can also be pursued in changing conditions. This requires the collaborations of all stakeholders involved, putting on the table all the means they dispose of. In recent years we can see that what used to be bottom-up initiatives are now dialoguing with public administrations in order to reduce the conflicts and reach a better result. To embed change with actions and projects so to bring results into the future is a common aspiration of architects, but considerations today look at flexibility and resilience in order to grant stability...
  56. 56. Image: wonderland Mannheim is one of the German cities, which was very much affected by the politics and the military. After being destroyed during WW II, big parts of the city were used as military base for the American Armed Forces and NATO. Those two organisations will leave the city by the end of 2015, leaving a big urban void, partly close to the city centre but mostly in the periphery. The task was to find innovative proposals for urban development and planning strategies, including and enabling citizens to design and improve condi- tions in their city. The workshop focused on the Turley Barracks. The output of the workshop was MACH MANN HEIM, a tactic platform to nourish the on-going process of participation within the context of the conversion process of the ex-military bases in Mannheim. It is based upon three main components, operating on three different levels – the Space, the Digital Platform and the Program. The House is an open space in Mannheim for everybody. A physical, spatial structure as representation of the process of Mannheim’s conversion is suggested so to display all elaborated and realised projects and activities. Further, PROJECT SPACE ACTIVATING URBAN VOIDS 2012 MACH MANN HEIM – MANNHEIM superwondergroup, Mannheim (DE) 57
  57. 57. Image: wonderland the architectural measure is meant to be a contact point and a drop-in centre where citizens can get any information on the process of Mannheim’s conversion. Located close to the actual conversion area, it aims to link the administrative process with local citizens. It is a visible point of reference. MACH MANN HEIM proposes a digital platform to connect all actors of the conversion process. Cities as well as whole regions are nowadays driven and connected by digital networks. The on-going process of strengthening the urban network between Frankfurt and Stuttgart is mostly driven by the virtual network between Mannheim and Heidelberg. The region is already ‘bestpractice‘ in crossing borders on the communal and federal level and has just started to cooperate with other cities and regions along the ‘Blue Banana‘ on a European level. For future urban participation, we recommend to develop an experimental and innovative process empowering the citizens in urban decision-making. New tools are needed so to open the process of urban planning and enable a participative co-creation of the city. The relation between inhabitants and citizens, consumer and producer, user and actor, needs to be shifted. To enable this essential shift and to avoid only strategic development or superficial consulting, we need to shape the participation process with emphasis on the empowerment of Mannheim’s citizens. MACH MANN HEIM can be at the same time regarded as a useful case study for many initiatives that are currently taking place in so many places. The interrelation between space, networks and activities is a valuable experience that needs to be further developed in the near future via experience and exchange. For more information about vacancy tendencies have a look at our magazine titled ‘Represent & Reflect‘. The workshop was held between October 3rd -7th 2012 in Mannheim in collaboration with superwondergroup. Participants were Vivero de Iniciativas Ciudadanas, Hot Knödle, Radostina Radulova, Jaro Eiermann and many other local participants that dropped by during the process. 58
  58. 58. Image: wonderland Budapest has suffered more from the economic crises than many other European cities. The recession, combined with the mismanagement of real estate properties owned by private as well as public owners, has emptied a significant proportion of the city from its previous functions and use. Over 30  % of office spaces are vacant in Budapest alone, adding up to an estimated million square meters of wasted space, not to mention the countless empty storefronts, abandoned residential buildings and even commercial complexes. The possible responses given to the problem of empty properties appear at various levels of urban planning and architecture. In many cities, the inflexible planning system characteristic of the modernist era has been gradually replaced by ‘soft urbanism‘, allowing for experimentation and for trying possible functions at test-sites, before fixing them by large investments. This open-ended planning system also gives more emphasis to the temporal dimension of developments, enabling tempo- rary uses and successive phases in the development process. This is the methodology we wish to apply to the Budapest sites we chose for the Budapest Project Space. The economic crisis of 2008 brought an abrupt end to a period of unfettered optimism. Suddenly confronted with a collapsing real estate market and the collapse of the financial institutions it had once relied on, cities faced a situation where the very fabric of its existence was unravelling. Vacancy had begun, and while not unique to the city of Budapest, its position at the very edge of Eastern Europe is also indicative of its position in the progress of economic recovery. The ruthless self-preservation that exposed itself in the frantic aftermath of the crisis had left Budapest behind, suffering at the whim of more powerful economic powers with more mercenary interests in the development of the city. Left to it’s own devices, the situation of vacancy in Budapest has reached a critical point. The continual fragmentation of the urban fabric, coupled with the sustained neglect of vacant properties in the core of the city has made it economically prudent for investors to focus elsewhere for potential development. PROJECT SPACE RETHINKING URBANITY 2013 Vacancy – Budapest KÉK – Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre, Budapest (HU) 59
  59. 59. The Vacant Budapest workshop Leonard Ma / Small Design Office, Helsinki (FI) In early 2013, Wonderland in cooperation with KEK organised a competition and workshop titled Urban Vacancy, to challenge international teams to come up with model solutions for vacant sites around the city. Selected teams of participants were gathered together in a workshop to discuss not only the situations that led to the condition of vacancy, but more importantly to determine why vacancy has persisted and what can be done to counteract it’s effects. The workshop commenced with a degree of expediency as the city of Budapest has allocated funds specifically for interested municipalities in collaboration with NGO’s to renovate vacant sites around the city. Suddenly what ostensibly began as a response to the aftermath of the economic crisis became an opportunity for the radical reconsideration of traditional models of development. The weeklong workshop progressed with a mutual understanding that in order to ensure the diversity required for the revitalisation of the vacant properties, it was vital to create the infrastructure and framework to involve the local community in the process. Throughout the workshop, various social groups came forward with proposals to renovate and occupy these va- 60 cant sites. Though many of the groups had difficulty making a sound economic case for the sustained occupation of the sites, the needs of these groups highlighted an underlying shortage of community spaces in the city. A proposal was made, to not only consider the individual needs of these social groups, but to use the renovated sites as a key part of a strategy to address the broader issue of vacancy. By pooling their resources together into the creation of diverse community rooms distributed throughout the district, the social groups not only create economical models for community properties, but they also create social hubs that bring activity into the district. Following an agency model, the district would support a local agency directed by representatives from the community. This local agency is tasked with the creation and operation of these social hubs, which bring in the critical mass of traffic and activity to make occupation of the surrounding vacant sites viable. The agency is also better equipped to deal with the administration and logistical support of potential occupants in the area, providing the tools required for sustained development in the area. This approach to vacancy not only pro-
  60. 60. tions at its core. These social functions not only activate the community, but help the locals regenerate district life. Image: wonderland vides the framework for a diverse and durable model of development, but integrates community and social func- The workshop took place in Budapest between May 27th - 31st 2013, in collaboration with KÉK- Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre. Participants were SDO (Leonard Ma), SKINN (Goran Vodicka, Jekaterina Porohina, Ivan Rabodzeenko), A01 (Machiel Crielaard), Klara Muranyi, Zuzana Kerekretyova, Urbmath (Mathis Bout, Zico Lopes, Manon Mastik). 61

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