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The Connectors Society public reflections

NOTES ON A WORKSHOP ABOUT CITIES

On 5/4 we joined a workshop about cities. It was hosted by Martin Thörnkvist from The Conference at Media Evolution City, a collaborative space for media & companies in Malmö, Sweden.

 

Objectives
(1) To strengthen the thought you all bring with you to the room
(2) To share ideas in the room + as talks in a lunch seminar
(3) To get ideas on perspectives for a session at The Conference 2016

 

Dynamic
Each participant had 10 minutes where they were asked to present a thought/perspective/insight/idea on the city (city development, interaction between people, architecture, etc). We were sitting in an open circle and interruptions were allowed. 4 of 6 participants used the projector to present. 

Participants
Åsa Bjerndell, architect, White arkitekter
Peter Håkansson, urban mobility strategist, The City of Malmö
Victoria Percovich, freelance + just finished a role as project manager, Malmö Innovation Platform
Kajsa Westman, UX and Industrial designer, Topp Innovation
Gunilla Kronvall, architect and urban designer, Atelier 01 arkitektur
Peter Neubauer, co-founder, Mapillary

Emma Estborn, business developer at Media Evolution City

 

NOTES
-Relations between time and design. What happens afterwards with the spaces we create? How have places evolved with time? Have they remained static? 
-Spaces in context, spaces that connect to their environment
-Having structures are conditions for freedom and allowed creativity
-Spaces and perception in relation to accessibility and mobility (yeah, super abstract but full of meaning)
-Gentrification and power structures: who drives change?
-Segregation vs unity and what's Malmö's identity (reminded me to all the ideas we had at #FMBM earlier this year when we wanted to change Malmö's logo to a rabbit)
-Communication and identity, and how do we communicate an identity

 

Results
Interesting conversations. It was a good space to share different perspectives on things. As a grassroots organization reclaiming spaces, we love to see how others understand urban spaces, their limitations, our limitations and why we need to work together.
It's interesting to think what we give value to as a society and how we translate that value into spaces. There's a lot of things we can do together to re-define our spaces and ultimately, ourselves. 
We keep arguing that spaces themselves should have the one and only objective of allowing users to co-create them based on whatever their needs are. It's not about buildings without purpose, it's about creating structures that trust their users. 

We have 2 interventions coming up in Malmö and an open source book on how to crowdsource spaces. It is important for us to understand how other institutions work and get to know each other so it was great to join this workshop as participants. 
 

 

Resources that came up
"How Buildings Learn" by Stewart Brand (Book) which also made into a doc series available on youtube. It's the same person behind the Whole Earth Catalog. If you are into this check the work of Ted Nelson and Paul Otlet

Richard Senneth who deeply thinks and writes about relations between organisms and urban development. He wrote The Conscience of the Eye, a sociological view on architecture and urban environments and lots lots more. 

Gordon Cullen, architect pioneer of the urban landscape concept. The Concise Townscape (book)

Streets by Vice = exploring gentrification. Also here

South Park episode on gentrification 

99% invisible podcast (HIGHLY recommended it) have many episodes on city development. Episode 204 explores gentrification in NYC.