Monday, November 25, 2013

Lifestyle housing

 An article from todays paper. A restaurant, a hotel-like entrance, gym, swimming pool and so on. Just like the hotel but at home.

"130 Gothenburgers live in the city's first lifestyle living. Health and active life stimulated by jointly spa, gym and a restaurant with organic food. If one gets tired of neighbors and activities, many just sit back and look out over Sannegårdshamnen and Södra Älvstranden."

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

squared life

What is the link between today's buildings and today's ideas? If I say the squared thinking, can you see it?

Often we hear linear thinking contra holistic or system thinking. But to think inside the box or outside the box is more than that. System thinking is to see that the forest is built up by trees and connections between. But to think outside the square is to use knowledge from other fields to understand that the forest is not only trees and connection between but from another point of view it can be something else. For the forester, the forest is money. For an architect, a growing forest is most likely seen as something huge, magnificent in or outside a house. For the biologist, the scientific names are important. For a gardener the order and structure and somewhere to walk. For the naturalist is the wild and untouchable. And for a dog owner some privacy. What would happen if all these people would come together to discuss the forest?

Conflict? Some of all is some kind of consensus?

A house is usually built with four similar walls and a flat or leaning roof. Square-shaped. Rooms are squares in different sizes. If you are lucky or unlucky you get a room with a different shape. Maybe a room very hard to furnish. Because book shelves are squared. Beds too. And tables mostly.

What would happen if all people in a multistory building would discuss what to do with the house? Would it be all crazy?

Human is all covered with structures and laws and "this is wrong, and this is right". How exactly sure can we be, and with who's perspective? The collective? Or some people with the master plan or the most powerful?

We are as much as buildings are built as squares, squared in our minds. We know better with buildings, showing a lot of examples here in this blog. Why do not do the same with thoughts? And in the time we work with construction.

Truths is not out there, except some physical laws. But how we work together and how we see each other should and have to change. Because we are no squared robots even if it seems as communities have to be built up very simply to be usable.

A lonely man. Doing exactly the same procedure every day, eating breakfast in the same order, taking the same bus/road at same time, doing same job, calling same people, talking to same... Is mostly more respected, even if he is a bit crazy, than a man with a mess around. Coming too late and so on. Is this because even if we are not involved in any of those two men, we do understand what is going on in the first place but not in the other. We just love simple stuff with easy numbers to measure. That is why this world look like it does. Other things not measurable are not as important, or very very hard things to measure; happiness, ease, comfort. We construct a house or a bike road or a bus line and say "hey!! you have one now. be happy!". Things are not as easy as that. Buses have to be connected to other buses. Bike lines can't be with dozens of crossings. High-rise buildings can not be the solution for a happy life if it does not include social networks.

I think we need complexity around, different thoughts, challenges, interdisciplinary workspaces. Simple is not good enough. Mind is not squared from birth.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Design as you give a damn

This is the cover to the book "Design as you give a damn 2" by Architecture for humanity. If you read about the buildings you will find out how they made these buildings from sand bags. But if you look at the picture it look as a very bad design to me. What happened there at the red building next to the green?

One of the best examples of a good design is in Malmö in Sweden, see some pictures from one of my trips here: Ecocity Malmö and the post from Tübingen in Germany; Französisches Viertel.

The book "Design as you give a damn 2" is full with great examples of design in a collaboration with the people living in the area. And it is worth to see some picture from it here; inhabitat.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Continuously wrong

I dont want to tell you whats wrong in this blog, but want to show examples of how to do it instead. Well, sometimes we need to tell you whats wrong. And that time is now. When wrongs continuous with time, a continuously wrong. 

We are talking about buildings. But buildings are not just something to live in, if so, we could live in small houses instead of big houses. Big buildings are there to be practical. A lot of people close to city center, close to every-day-needs. Big houses also changes the look of a place, it is like a new landscape, a new view. I dont mean now, that we have to build lovely architect drawn beautifully buildings, no its not that, its all about how to thrive, how to grow up as a child, how to live a life around your home. 

And everything else, where to work, how to go there, were to buy food, were to relax, were to walk your dog or to play with your kids.

Buildings nowadays, "modern buildings" looks almost like these pictures everywhere. These pictures shows a new neighborhood in Göteborg city. Everything from scratch as this was an industry area before.

Squared blocks.

 The buildings are so narrow, and I just wonder why is it two different buildings and not one?


 You see, exactly the same view again but two other buildings. Another great view! People can watch each other brush their teeth there in the morning.

 Squared and a broad road in the middle. Is this how we want the kids to grow up? (and I can't imagine really that they would change it to grass or anything like it).

Last picture- "there was the playground, so it was not missed". But really how fun does that look? It is worse than the Million programme (Swedish: Miljonprogrammet) view. If we want to build big buildings with a lot of people in the same place, these people needs to have it great there. The shape of these buildings are not made for a human mind (well, only for an engineer, easy to draw in a computer program). And when they build in this way, people in the buildings have no private space at al (check the picture with the windows so close to the other building), and the surroundings does not give you that either (or can it be "fixed"?).

Ok, now, how to do it instead? Take a look of some of my posts before. You find them in the menu "eco-projects" and here are some of them to click at:

Make'n a good feeling in the city
Move people to build a better world?
Houses and green spots in Copenhagen
Vauban, Freiburg, Germany
Französisches Viertel 
Greening the streets
Let’s build cities for people (not cars)

and a must read:

What is an ecocity?

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

ALMA a film by Patrick Rouxel

Patrick Rouxel France, 2011, 65 mins. The second in a trilogy of tropical rainforest destruction films. Beautifully shot, alternately joyful and horrifying, Alma captures the ecological, and even spiritual, cost of meat, dairy, and leather production in the Amazon. Since 2003, Patrick Rouxel has dedicated his time to making films aimed at raising awareness of deforestation, loss of biodiversity, and the ethical treatment of animals. The multi-award winning GREEN presented a heartrending account of the life of an Orangutan against a backdrop of palm oil production and natural habitat loss. In Alma, Rouxel continues his cinematic journey into the world's forests and the industries that are destroying them, this time heading to Brazil to explore the devastating impacts of the cattle industry. Here he creates a powerful statement about the global industrial economy and the speed with which virgin forests are being cleared for timber and new grazing land. The film offers a unique and visually stunning exposition of a colorful cowboy culture and the millions of animals used to satisfy our voracious global appetite for meat and dairy products. In almost-wordless contemplation, the film wanders from forest to pasture to rodeo to slaughterhouse to market to tannery. In essence, Alma is a journey into the soul of humanity and a testimony of the damage inflicted by humans on the natural world. ~ Rachel Caplan
, San Francisco Green Film Festival