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Posts in category 'Architecture'

26 May 2011

City as a platform

PSFK
Two talks from the 2011 PSFK conference caught my attention:

City as a platform (video)
In her role as Chief Digital Officer for the City of New York, Rachel Sterne is tasked with strengthening the City’s digital media presence and streamlining internal digital communications.
In her talk Sterne demonstrated recent innovations that are shaping the city’s future. Mentioning how city resident participation is crucial with a real-time approach, attendees were shown “The Daily Pothole,” a Tumblr that tracks the D.O.T.’s progress in filling potholes in the five boroughs and its companion app, the roll-out of QR code technology on building permits, the NYC 311 app, as well as fielding service requests via Twitter.

Industrial Design: ID For The City (alternate) (video)
Duncan Jackson and Eoin Billings (interview), are both partners at Billings Jackson, a design firm specializing in public spaces. They spoke about their work, history and how they bridge the gap between architecture and manufacturing. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, they appreciate and embrace the the urban landscape for what it is. Crafting solutions that interpret design vision in city environments is their forté and the duo explained the value in understanding the intricacies of each place, culture, and its residents before beginning a new project. Their approach is exemplified through their architectural work, with city life exuding from each structure rather then being blurred by it.

> Check also the video and PSFK report on the Microsoft Home of the Future.

7 April 2011

Book: Sentient City

Sentient City
Sentient City: Ubiquitous Computing, Architecture, and the Future of Urban Space
Edited by Mark Shepard
Paperback, 200 pages, 2011
MIT Press in copublication with the Architectural League of New York
(Amazon link)

Abstract
Our cities are “smart” and getting smarter as information processing capability is embedded throughout more and more of our urban infrastructure. Few of us object to traffic light control systems that respond to the ebbs and flows of city traffic; but we might be taken aback when discount coupons for our favorite espresso drink are beamed to our mobile phones as we walk past a Starbucks. Sentient City explores the experience of living in a city that can remember, correlate, and anticipate. Five teams of architects, artists, and technologists imagine a variety of future interactions that take place as computing leaves the desktop and spills out onto the sidewalks, streets, and public spaces of the city.

“Too Smart City” employs city furniture as enforcers: a bench ejects a sitter who sits too long, a sign displays the latest legal codes and warns passersby against transgression, and a trashcan throws back the wrong kind of trash. “Amphibious Architecture” uses underwater sensors and lights to create a human-fish-environment feedback loop; “Natural Fuse” uses a network of “electronically assisted” plants to encourage energy conservation; “Trash Track” follows smart-tagged garbage on its journey through the city’s waste-management system; and “Breakout” uses wireless technology and portable infrastructure to make the entire city a collaborative workplace.

These projects are described, documented, and illustrated by 100 images, most in color. Essays by prominent thinkers put the idea of the sentient city in theoretical context.

Case studies by David Benjamin, Soo-in Yang, and Natalie Jeremijenko; Haque Design + Research; SENSEable City Lab; David Jimison and JooYoun Paek; and Anthony Townsend, Antonina Simeti, Dana Spiegel, Laura Forlano, and Tony Bacigalupo

Essays by Martijn de Waal, Keller Easterling, Matthew Fuller, Anne Galloway, Dan Hill, Omar Khan, Saskia Sassen, Trebor Scholz, Hadas Steiner, Kazys Varnelis, and Mimi Zeiger

Mark Shepard is Assistant Professor of Architecture and Media Study at the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, and an editor of the Situated Technologies pamphlet series, published by the Architecture League of New York.

(via Stowe Boyd)

24 February 2011

Experientia at Ecobuild 2011 in London

Ecobuild
Experientia will be taking part at Ecobuild 2011, March 1-3, in London, UK.

Ecobuild is the world’s largest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment, and with more than 600 speakers, 1300 exhibitors, one of the most influential conferences in the sector.

Experientia, the international experience design consultancy, has extensive experience in innovative user-centred design and is now bringing its unique perspective to sustainable architecture projects.

The company is currently working with ARUP and Sauerbruch-Hutton on Low2No, a major low-to-no carbon impact development in Helsinki Harbour, Finland.

The Low2No project is run by Sitra, the Finnish innovation fund, and Marco Steinberg, Sitra’s head of strategic design, will make a case study presentation about Low2No at Ecobuild (Tuesday 1 March at 11:50). He will also participate in a Jonathan Glancey led panel on the role of design in creating a sustainable world (Tuesday 1 March at 13:00).

Experientia’s contribution to the Low2No project is to understand contexts, habits and beliefs that influence sustainable change in behaviour and design solutions that offer people control over their consumption and allow them to see the effects of their actions on the environment.

Renewable energy, smart grids and sustainable technologies will only make an impact if we also address the underlying behavioural issues of our energy use. Rather than individual smart meter designs, Experientia is therefore working on integrated demand management solutions, that is, a holistic approach in which advanced smart meters actually become an access point for social networking tools and services in the community, by offering things like bookings, deliveries, schedules for communal services, and information about public transport solutions.

At Low2No, Experientia applies its user research methods to evaluate the impact of the architectural and design choices on residents’ behaviours.

Experientia also led the mixed use planning of a regional and seasonal food hub offering a restaurant, cafe and natural/organic supermarket, an eco laundry and a communal sauna for the Low2No block. Engaging prospective residents early in various stages of the design of service and residential design, helped to understand people needs, desire, fears and expectations. This helped in addressing issues such as multi-story timber construction, natural vs centralized/decentralized ventilation systems, flexible layout of living spaces and the planning of smart systems to reduce residential carbon footprints in the post-occupancy phase.

Experientia researched the user requirements for smart systems to design smart home assistants:
– provide contextual real-time feedback
– analyse personal consumption (energy, water, waste…)
– incentivise reduced consumption through social reward systems
– integrate controls – holistic approach
– design intuitive and meaningful interface controls

Experientia can be visited at stand S334 of the Region of Piedmont, Italy. Representatives are Mark Vanderbeeken (senior partner) and Irene Cassarino (senior open innovation expert).

> Experientia profile page on Ecobuild website
> Background on Low2No

7 February 2011

Experientia selected for second stage FredericiaC competition in Denmark

FredericiaC
A consortium made up of Arup, EFFEKT, Experientia, and consultants from NCC Management Group, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (KA), Conceptura, and Ars Electronica Linz GmbH (AEC),* has been announced as one of four finalists in the FredericiaC competition, to design a new sustainable urban space for the Danish city of Fredericia, which will then become home to 25,000 people.

Fredericia was once a strategic defence point of the Danish kings in the 1600s, and has been left with a legacy of historical ramparts surrounding the inner part of the lovely seaside city, with a view as far as the island of Fyn. The new part of the city, which will be located on an old brownfield site by the sea, must fit in character, tone and liveability with the rest of this historical city, while at the same time being daring and compelling in its own right.

It should also concentrate on great quality of life, active participation from the citizens, commerce and culture in Fredericia, and incorporate state of the art in economy, climate and health solutions.

Experientia’s role in the team is to focus on participatory design process, behavioural change strategies, sustainable demand management, service design and mixed use, to create high quality urban lifestyles.

The consortium is currently involved in phase 2 of the competition, making the bid more specific in terms of process and project descriptions, particularly on how to implement the project sustainably.

Experientia is working on refining personas and scenarios for the district, a comprehensive behavioural change strategy for more sustainable lifestyles, a participatory process of citizen engagement and decision making, and temporary use ideas for the site while construction is in process.

The teams will submit their refined proposal by April 2011, and the final decision will be made in June.

* The full consortium is made up of Arup, EFFEKT, Experientia, and Karl-Gustav Jensen from NCC Management Group, Bo Grunlund from he Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (KA), Anders Christian Ulrich from Conceptura, and Gerfried Stocker from Ars Electronica Linz GmbH (AEC).

20 November 2010

Two Experientia presentations in Busan, South Korea

Design Week 2010 Busan
Last week, Experientia was in Busan, South Korea, at the invitation of the Busan Design Center.

As part of its first Design Week, the Center organised two international conferences: one – the Busan International Design Congress – had “Digital Energy” as its main theme and was strongly inspired by the user experience discourse; the other one dealt more specifically with marine design (Busan hosts the world’s fifth largest port and is in the process of turning its seaside into an important lifestyle asset).

Discussions were moderated – in both cases – by Ken Nah, professor in Design Management at Hongik University‘s International Design School for Advanced Studies (IDAS), and Director-General of Seoul World Design Capital 2010.

Mark Vanderbeeken, a senior partner of Experientia and editor of its Putting People First blog, was a speaker at both conferences: a keynote speaker at the first one, and a special speaker at the other.

Both of Mark’s presentations sought to connect with the Korean context and aspirations, so you might find some of its content very Korea-specific. But they are also, we think, meaningful for a wider international audience. When viewing the presentations on SlideShare we encourage the readers to select the Speaker Notes tab next to Comments, so you can read the text that was used to accompany the slides.

Digital design for behavioral change – Engaging people in reducing energy consumption

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing the human race in our era. We cannot continue in our reliance on depleting and non-renewable fossil fuels to power our world. We all know we need to change our behaviours – yet very little seems to happen. Why? Research shows that people are confused about what actions will really have the most impact on reducing energy, and do not have all the necessary information, right tools, and appropriate feedback on the impact of their actions. To be effective, campaigns and technologies to encourage behavioural change must make an impact on our physical environment, and our personal, social and cultural beliefs and norms. But do they? Smart meters, one of the tools hailed as the digital answer to energy reduction, have come under a barrage of criticism for being badly designed, counter-intuitive, and failing to offer enough encouragement, feedback and motivation for real change.

Experientia is currently part of an international team, building a low-to-no carbon emissions block in Helsinki. We are working with the people of Helsinki to design people-centred smart metres, to envisage sustainable services, and to build a realistic, effective framework for behavioural change. Sustainability requires a different lifestyle, but we believe that it is not a lifestyle that requires sacrifices for people – instead it can actually increase human satisfaction, sense of community and neighbourly collaboration and trust. We believe that changing behaviours to achieve a more sustainable future, also implies changing our world to a more enjoyable quality of life.

User experience in yachting design

The yachting market is, on the whole, still product oriented, rather than customer oriented. The focus of the way the industry presents itself centres on the product, rather than on the experience. As the yachting industry has seen its double-digit growth of the past decades diminish in the wake of the economic crisis, it now needs to look inwards, to renew and refresh its own design approach and methodology, and outward, to explore new markets, and to concentrate on how to enter them successfully. This requires a people-centred approach, which considers yachts not as mere physical products, but as facilitators of an experience.

User-experience design is built upon an understanding of and dialogue with the potential consumer, in order to create a more “user-centred” product and thereby drastically enhance the ‘total’ experience of the brand. Yachts are luxury products; their major selling point goes beyond their form or function, but also covers the use of the boat, its rarity and what it expresses about the owner. This fits well with the idea of an experience-driven product: experience is invisible, permeating and memorable. It does not contrast with the production volume. Its very uniqueness and individuality means that it can be offered to many, without reducing the perception of rarity.

Many of the yachting industry’s customers now come from emerging markets, and from a younger demographic base. These new customers often bring with them totally new paradigms, needs and desires. Creating yachts for these markets requires not just product design, graphic design, computer science and engineering skills, but also ethnography, cognitive psychology and sociology, as well as an understanding of interaction design, interface design and service design. Tools and techniques that offer insights into these consumers and how they differ from traditional yacht markets will be vital if the yacht industry is going to go beyond the self-referential designs created for the Western luxury market, and new design disciplines will allow the industry to create experiences that endure across individual, social and cultural contexts. To do so, it will have to address considerations such as the democratization of luxury, the desire for bespoke goods, two-way engagement with consumers, differentiation through service, responsible and sustainable luxury and the integration of web and other developing technologies.

Experientia wishes to express its sincere gratitude to the President and the staff of the Busan Design Center, who have been exceptional, generous and warm hosts and have succeeded in launching a meticulously well organised Design Week, to Prof. Ken Nah for the great hospitality and commitment shown during Mark’s two-day visit to Seoul, and to the staff and students of Inje University where Mark presented some of Experientia’s project and methodology.

Check also Core77 where Mark posted a broader reflection on Korean design.

Finally, the Korean audience might be interested in this short two minute Experientia presentation video with Korean language subtitles.

7 November 2010

The enabling city

The enabling city
Italian social researcher Chiara Camponeschi has written a fascinating Creative-Commons licensed publication, The Enabling City: Place-Based Creative Problem-Solving and the Power of the Everyday (pdf), an innovative toolkit – also featured on a website – that showcases pioneering initiatives in urban sustainability and open governance.

“I am a firm believer in the power of communities to solve their own needs and contribute to larger processes of change”, says Camponeschi in an article published in The Mobile City.

“The recent graduate of York University based The Enabling City on international research she conducted as part of her Master in Environmental Studies in Toronto, Canada.

“I believe that there are vast amounts of untapped knowledge and creativity out there that we need to unleash to make our cities more open and sustainable”, she continues. The Enabling City exists to document and celebrate the power of inter-actor collaboration and of our everyday experiences in enhancing problem-solving and social innovation worldwide.

The toolkit showcases a total of forty innovative initiatives across six categories: place-making; eating and growing; resource-sharing; learning and socializing; steering and organizing; and financing. Through what she refers to as ‘place-based creative problem-solving’, Camponeschi sketches out an approach to participation that leverages the imagination and inventiveness of citizens, experts, and activists in collaborative efforts that make cities more inclusive, innovative, and interactive.

Through their involvement, creative citizens worldwide demonstrate that citizenship is so much more than duties and taxes it’s about outcome ownership, enablement, and the celebration of the myriad connections that make up the collective landscape of the place(s) we call home. The Enabling City, then, is here to invite us to unleash the power of our creative thinking and to rediscover ‘the power of the everyday.’”

Publication abstract

At its simplest, The Enabling City is a new way of thinking about communities and change.

Guided by principles such as collaboration, innovation and participation, the pioneering initiatives featured in The Enabling City attest to the power of community in stimulating the kind of innovative thinking needed to tackle complex issues ranging from participatory citizenship to urban livability.

We know that markets are no longer the only sources of innovation, and that citizens are capable of more than just voting during election time. We have entered an era where interactive technologies and a renewed idea of citizenship are enabling us to experiment with alternative notions of sustainability and to share knowledge in increasingly dynamic ways. We now see artists working alongside policy makers, policy makers collaborating with citizens, and citizens helping cities diagnose their problems more accurately.

What emerges, then, is a community where the local and global are balanced and mediated by the city at large, and where local resources and know-how are given wider legitimacy as meaningful problem-solving tools in the quest for urban and cultural sustainability.

Here, innovation is intended as a catalyst for social change — a collaborative process through which citizens can be directly involved in shaping the way a project, policy, or service is created and delivered. A shift from control to enablement turns cities into platforms for community empowerment — holistic, living spaces where people make their voices heard and draw from their everyday experiences to affect change.

So be surprised by how walks have the power to make neighbourhoods more vibrant, and how art can be used to convert dull city intersections into safe community spaces. Learn how creative interventions can unleash spaces for reflection and participation, and witness how online resources can lead to offline collaboration and resource-sharing. See how the values of Web 2.0 translate into the birth of the open government and open data movement, and what a holistic approach to financing can bring to local communities and cities alike.

This is what place-based creative problem-solving looks like in action. This is the power of the everyday.

Chiara Camponeschi works at the intersection of interdisciplinary research, social innovation and urban sustainability. She is passionate about the ‘creative citizen’ movement, and is committed to strengthening and supporting networks of grassroots social innovation. Originally from Rome, Italy Chiara has been involved with creative communities in Europe and Canada for over six years. Chiara holds a BA (Hons) in Political Science & Communications Studies, and a Master in Environmental Studies from York University in Toronto, Canada.

28 July 2010

Rem Koolhaas, the Hermitage and the design of innovative experiences

Hermitage
On the way to celebrating its 250th anniversary in 2014, the Hermitage museum in St. Petersburg (formerly the Winter Palace of the Russian czars) hired legendary architect Rem Koolhaas to modernize the art museum experience for visitors in a way that both respects the storied history of the Hermitage and also positions the museum as a leader of 21st century innovation. As part of the reconsideration of the museum’s structure and function, Koolhaas is operating under a very rigid ground rule: no new structure will be put up, nor will any part of the existing architecture be modified.

Read article

8 July 2010

Towards a read/write urbanism

311 signs
Adam Greenfield, Nokia’s head of design direction for service and user-interface design, is the author of this week’s Urban Omnibus feature.

In the piece, he uses software design as a base to talk about the ways citizens call out trouble spots in the urban landscape and how we might redesign the performance of that landscape itself.

Read article

7 July 2010

Habitar – Bending the urban frame

Habitar
Today I received the catalogue of the Habitar exhibition, organised by LABoral Art and Industrial Creation Centre, an exhibition centre for art, science, technology and advanced visual industries in Asturias, Spain, and curated by José Luis de Vicente with Fabien Girardin as conceptual advisor.

“Utopian and radical architects in the 1960s predicted that cities in the future would not only be made of brick and mortar, but also defined by bits and flows of information. The urban dweller would become a nomad who inhabits a space in constant flux, mutating in real time. Their vision has taken on new meaning in an age when information networks rule over many of the city’s functions, and define our experiences as much as the physical infrastructures, while mobile technologies transform our sense of time and of space.

This new urban landscape is no longer predicated solely on architecture and urbanism. These disciplines now embrace emerging methodologies that bend the physical with new measures, representations and maps of urban dynamics such as traffic or mobile phone flows. Representations of usage patterns and mapping the life of the city amplify our collective awareness of the urban environment as a living organism. These soft and invisible architectures fashion sentient and reactive environments.

Habitar is a walk through new emerging scenarios in the city. It is a catalogue of ideas and images from artists, design and architecture studios, and hybrid research centres. Together they come up with a series of potential tools, solutions and languages to negotiate everyday life in the new urban situation.”

The exhibition shows projects by Timo Arnall, Julian Bleecker, Ángel Borrego – Office for Strategic Spaces, Nerea Calvillo, Citilab-Cornellà, Pedro Miguel Cruz, Dan Hill, IaaC – Instituto de Arquitectura Avanzada de Cataluña, kawamura-ganjavian + Maki Portilla Kawamura + Tanadori Yamaguchi, Aaron Koblin, Philippe Rahm architectes, Marina Rocarols, Enrique Soriano, Pep Tornabell, Theodore Molloy, Semiconductor, SENSEable City Lab, and Mark Shepard.

The catalogue contains essays written by Benjamin Weil, José Louis de Vicente and Fabien Girardin, Molly Wright Steenson, Bryan Boyer, Usman Haque, Anne Galloway, Nicolas Nova, and José Pérez de Lama.

Download catalogue

1 July 2010

The cities we need

The Cities We Need
The Grattan Institute, an Australian independent public policy think-tank, has published a new report, entitled “The Cities We Need“, that aims to set an agenda for thinking about the future of Australia’s cities. It asks how cities meet the individual needs of their residents, both material and psychological, and identifies emerging challenges to meeting these needs.

Abstract

The most important characteristic of a city is whether it meets the needs of its residents, both material and psychological. Despite the fact that these needs are central to our lives, they are often at the periphery of conversations about the future of Australian cities. With these criteria in mind, it is clear that while our cities operate well, there is much room for improvement.

We do not propose a set of solutions or prescriptions. Instead we argue that we need to realise that cities are complex systems, and lay out ten questions about our urban future that we must get serious about. As we manage growth and change in Australian cities, how bold are we prepared to be to get the cities we really need?

8 June 2010

A sense of place, a world of Augmented Reality

Sicily
Architectural historian Mitchell Schwarzer has published a two-part essay that explores how technology — especially the real-time, mediating imageries of augmented reality — influences how we perceive and inhabit place.

“We’re in the first stage of a transformation of our sense of place,” he writes, “as momentous as that which occurred a couple of centuries ago, when products from smoke-stacked factories forged modern society.” Today, he argues, the “convergence of mobile phone, camera, wireless Internet and satellite communication — the key ingredients of the digital handheld — accelerates the reconstitution of place from real, occupied space to a collage of here and there, past and present.”

Mitchell Schwarzer is Professor of Visual Studies at California College of the Arts and a historian of architecture, landscape and urbanism.

Read article: Part 1 | Part 2

30 April 2010

Design driven prison development in Belgium

prison
Flanders InShape, the Flemish/Belgian competence centre for product development and industrial design, is supporting a new research project on the development of a requirements programme for future prison design in Belgium.

On 25 March Flanders InShape organised the “Towards a 21st Century Prison” conference in collaboration with the architecture department of the Artesis School Antwerp. The audience of architects, policy makers, designers, lecturers and students was treated to a demonstration of the power of design driven innovation in the prison sector.

British architect Simon Henley (2008 UK Healthcare Architect of the Year) presented a research project that he conducted together with Hilary Cottam (2005 UK Designer of the Year) within the RED research unit of the UK Design Council. The audience quickly became convinced that an alternative way of looking at existing problems can lead to new solutions.

That’s how the idea came about that this should also be possible in Belgium. With the planned construction of seven new prisons in mind, a research programme on the matter was created within Flanders InShape. The currently running Artesis School research on new prisons provided a healthy starting point.

Flanders InShape is currently looking for additinal participating companies [disclosure: Experientia has also been contacted]. In exchange for participation, the companies obtain limited project influence by being part of the user committee. They also have a strategic advance by sitting at the forefront when new opportunities for their companies are being developed. Because we want to keep the group limited and workable, we ask you to react quickly. We have three slots open still.

Architects, construction companies, furniture builders, suppliers, caterers and service providers of all sorts are are welcome to contact Flanders InShape.

(Dutch press release)

26 April 2010

Eight interaction design and architecture videos

Architecture and UX
The disciplines of interaction design and architecture share a number of common traits—such as a focus on solving problems for people and encouraging people to interact with products and environments in new and exciting ways—and each discipline can learn much from the other.

These eight videos highlight the work of people who see and celebrate the connections between interaction design and architecture.

24 April 2010

Toward a read/write urbanism

Frameworks
What might we gain, asks Adam Greenfield, if we begin to conceive of cities, for some limited purposes anyway, as software under active development?

What if we imagined that the citizen-responsiveness system we’ve designed lives in a dense mesh of active, communicating public objects? Then the framework we’ve already deployed becomes something very different. To use another metaphor from the world of information technology, it begins to look a whole lot like an operating system for cities.

Provided that, we can treat the things we encounter in urban environments as system resources, rather than a mute collection of disarticulated buildings, vehicles, sewers and sidewalks. One prospect that seems fairly straightforward is letting these resources report on their own status. Information about failures would propagate not merely to other objects on the network but reach you and me as well, in terms we can relate to, via the provisions we’ve made for issue-tracking.

And because our own human senses are still so much better at spotting emergent situations than their machinic counterparts, and will probably be for quite some time yet to come, there’s no reason to leave this all up to automation.

Read article

6 April 2010

€60m low carbon building project in Helsinki

Low2No launch
Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund and development partners, SRV and VVO today announce a €60m investment for a low carbon housing and commercial building complex in Helsinki.

Work on the development will begin immediately, with completion scheduled for the end of 2012. Through the project, Sitra aims to generate research and evidence that will inform the policy, innovation and practices that will drive future low – and no – carbon development in the built environment.

The announcement follows Sitra’s Low2No competition that challenged five teams shortlisted from an initial 75 to design a building complex for Jätkäsaari, a reclaimed goods harbour to the west of central Helsinki.

The competition was won in September 2009 by an international team led by global design, engineering and planning firm, Arup, providing engineering and sustainability services. The team also includes Berlin-based Sauerbruch Hutton as lead architects and consumer behaviour-change strategists Experientia from Italy.

The building complex covers 22,000 square metres and will provide new residences, office and retail space. Emissions will be reduced through building design and performance, mobility systems and food production. The competition-winning design for the development centred on four objectives:

  • Building energy efficiency – better performing buildings will be designed, with an appropriate mix of end-uses and through the intelligent planning of the spaces between them. Energy demand management tools and techniques such as smart meters and behavioural change prompts will encourage residents to contribute reduce energy consumption.
     
  • Use of sustainable materials and methods – sustainably-sourced timber and materials which have a lower impact on the environment (in terms of toxicity and embodied carbon) will be used.
     
  • Encouraging the community to meet sustainability goals – by increasing their awareness and understanding of the impact of their energy and transport usage, food and consumer goods consumption.
     
  • Develop replicable and scalable solutions that can be adopted more broadly in transforming the built environment to low – and eventually – no carbon emissions. These objectives will be met by coupling solutions with an increased shift towards renewable energy production and new sustainable funding mechanisms.

“Finland has committed to reducing its CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050. With this project Sitra encourages cities and the real estate and building industry to tackle these ambitious goals in their projects. Sustainability is more than just energy efficiency. We seek new solutions for improving energy efficiency, new content for defining and understanding sustainability in building, as well as social innovations,” says Jukka Noponen, Executive Director of Sitra’s Energy Programme.

”Low2No City Block in Jätkäsaari is an important step towards sustainable development. The new marine districts, reclaimed harbour areas offer possibilities for a wide introduction of new solutions, says Deputy Mayor Hannu Penttilä who is responsible for urban planning at the City of Helsinki.

”SRV aims at differentiating as a forerunner in sustainable construction. Low2No is an excellent example of our long-term commitment and efforts. The project team contains top experts both internationally and from Finland. This is well in line with our SRV Approach, which allows us to always seek the best partners for each project, comments Timo Nieminen, Senior Executive Vice President and Deputy CEO of SRV Group.

“VVO Group has been persistent in pursuing the goals set for energy saving in existing building stock and new buildings. This development project in Jätkäsaari builds straightforward on our consistent work on this and will help in keeping VVO ahead in the forefront of this transition. The site location is excellent, offering us an opportunity to build cost-efficient rental apartments, subsidised by the state, in the vicinity of the city centre – and near the sea”, states Esa Kankainen, Project Development Manager at VVO.

“Defining implementable and replicable sustainable solutions is one of the great challenges of our times. We are thrilled that the transitional strategy defined by the Low2No vision has found an implementation framework to carry it into the world. Guided by a strong sense of a common mission the design and development team’s partnership is a real accomplishment. It is now our obligation to deliver on the promise we have captured, and this opportunity excites and motivates all of us to transform the notion of “business as usual” “, comments Marco Steinberg, Director of Strategic Design at Sitra.

“In 1990, Finland became the first country in the world to establish a carbon tax. This ambitious project provides us with a unique opportunity to show how urban design can influence inhabitants to live more sustainably, in balance with the environment. Our design approach will allow the community to become carbon negative within 10 years, providing decision makers, developers and planners across the world with an example of how future environmental challenges can be met”, comments Alejandro Gutierrez, consortium manager at Arup.

“Sustainable developments need a holistic approach within which architecture will play a leading part. As sustainable buildings are dependent upon the cooperation of their users to develop their full potential, they will need to seduce their inhabitants into a proactive role through the pleasure of space, light and material that they offer”, says Matthias Sauerbruch at Sauerbruch Hutton.

“People, their contexts, social networks, habits and beliefs are crucial tools for creating sustainable change in behaviour. We will therefore offer people ways to control their consumption and see the affects of their actions on the environment”, comments Jan-Christoph Zoels, project lead at Experientia.

 

MORE INFORMATION

For more information, please contact Experientia at +39 011 812 9687 or via email at info at experientia dot com.

 

NOTE TO EDITORS

Arup
Arup is the creative force behind many of the world’s prominent building, infrastructure and industrial projects. We offer a broad range of professional services that combine to make a positive difference to our clients and the communities in which we work.
We are truly global. From 90 offices in 35 countries our planners, designers, engineers and consultants deliver work across the world with flair and enthusiasm.
Founded in 1946 with an enduring set of values, our unique trust ownership fosters a distinctive culture, an intellectual independence and encourages truly collaborative working. This is reflected in everything we do, allowing us to contribute meaningful ideas, help shape agendas, and deliver results that frequently surpass the expectations of our clients.
We passionately strive to find a better way, to imagine and shape ideas and to deliver better solutions for our clients.
www.arup.com

Experientia
Experientia is an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first. To design valuable user experiences, companies have to understand how users really live their lives, now and in the future, and to design new products and services that address these insights. Experientia’s approach is based on a thorough integration of a deep user and context understanding into its design and prototyping activities.
Experientia’s client roster features Italian and international clients, such as Alcatel-Lucent, Condé Nast, CVS Pharmacy, Ferrero, Fidelity International, Intesa SanPaolo bank, Kodak, Max Mara, Microsoft, Nokia, Research in Motion, Samsung, Swisscom, Tre Spade and Vodafone, as well as public institutions such as the Region of Piedmont, Italy and the Province of Limburg, Belgium.
www.experientia.com

Sauerbruch Hutton
Sauerbruch Hutton is a Berlin-based architectural practice with projects throughout Europe. The 80-strong practice was founded by Louisa Hutton and Matthias Sauerbruch in 1989. Their ability to combine architecture, urbanism and design with a culturally informed outlook on sustainability has been internationally recognised. Last year, Sauerbruch Hutton completed the Brandhorst Museum in Munich – a building that is exemplary of the architects’ insight into materiality, colour, innovative detailing and a contemporary approach to design that is both distinctive and timeless.
www.sauerbruchhutton.de

Sitra, the Finnish Innovation Fund
Competitiveness and well-being today require broad and far-reaching changes. Sitra gathers information about the future and enables necessary reforms together with a wide range of actors. The programmes and strategy processes of Sitra are designed to meet the challenges Finland is facing. Sitra is an independent public foundation, whose mission is to build successful Finland for tomorrow.
www.sitra.fi/en

SRV Group
SRV is an innovative construction company that provides end-to-end solutions and assumes customer-focused responsibility for the development, construction and commercialisation of projects. SRV operates in Finland in Helsinki Metropolitan Area, Turku, Tampere, Oulu, Jyväskylä, Lappeenranta, and Joensuu. SRV also operates in Russia and in the Baltic countries.
www.srv.fi/home

VVO
VVO is a publicly-listed company providing housing services. From VVO, you can rent an apartment, acquire right-of-occupancy or part-ownership housing or buy a dwelling outright. VVO develops, markets and manages its own dwellings. VVO has about 39,000 rental dwellings in about 50 different municipalities.
www.vvo.fi/en

29 March 2010

The urban age

Lagos
How cities became our greatest design challenge yet.

Justin McGuirk, the editor of icon, the UK’s leading architecture & design magazine, argues in The Guardian that, amid unprecedented levels of urbanisation, designers must be trusted to fashion cities that not only accommodate but also provide a pleasant environment.

“Now that city-making has become a priority, politicians need to have faith in designers. Because if there’s one lesson to be learned from the last quarter of a century, it’s that we need to shift our focus away from liberty and the free market, and move towards equality.”

Read article

16 January 2010

Good: the Slow Issue

The Slow Issue
Good, the collaborative magazine, has published its “Slow Issue” with perspectives on a smarter, better and slower future:

“At its simplest, slow stands for a focus on quality, authenticity, and longevity rather than a mindless adherence to the faster and cheaper ethos.

This issue is about planning not only for tomorrow, but for the next year, and the next generation. Because if progress isn’t permanent, can it even be called progress at all?”

Here are the longer articles:

Hurry up and wait
We asked some of the world’s most prominent futurists — Julian Bleecker (Nokia/Near Future Laboratory), Esther Dyson, Jamais Cascio (Worldchanging), Bruce Sterling, John Maeda (RISD), and Alexander Rose (Long Now Foundation) — to explain why slowness might be as important to the future as speed.

Slow burn
Money—not the paper stuff in your wallet, but the bits of data that whip around the world in billions of instantaneous transactions each day—moves too fast.

Built to last
Designer/inventor Saul Griffith argues that we need to stop buying things and then throwing them away so quickly. In short, we need more “heirloom design.”

Mass reduction
Welcome to slowLab, a collective of designers applying a cradle-to-cradle philosophy to consumer goods.

Turning the tables
Tracing the slow-food movement back to its feisty Italian roots.

Pushing the limits
In Oregon, radical antisprawl laws aim to save the state’s bucolic paradises. But with land-hungry suburbs on the prowl, can these goats be saved?

29 October 2009

Migropolis: Venice /Atlas of a Global Situation

Migropolis
In winter 2006, under the aegis of philosopher Wolfgang Scheppe, a collective of students from theIUAV University in Venice (including Experientia collaborator Miguel Cabanzo) fanned out to subject the city of Venice, Italy to a process of forensic structural mapping.

Out of this field work, conducted in the Situationist tradition, there developed a three-year urban project that produced an enormous archive comprising tens of thousands of photographs, case studies, movement profiles, and statistic data.

In this archive, Venice, the place of longing at the junction of three migration corridors, emerges as a front-line European city and an exemplary prototype of the increasingly globalized city in which a decimated inner-city population meets armies of tourists and a parallel economy supported by illegal immigrants.

In a map cleverly branching out into essays, visual arguments, data visualizations, and interviews, the globalized territory of Venice is microscopically dissected and defined as an urban metaphor: the city becomes an “atlas of a global situation.”

Migropolis is two things in one: A survey on the global city using the urban territory of Venice as an exemplary paradigm that makes it possible to anticipate urban escalations to come. And: An experimental investigation of the means and measures of the spectacle to find out if visual media allow an understanding of society.

Migropolis is a book consisting of two volumes, a series of exhibitions and this webpage as a tool that will continuously be updated.

The book

Migropolis
Venice / Atlas of a Global Situation

Wolfgang Scheppe & the IUAV Class on Politics of Representation

Essays by Giorgio Agamben, Valeria Burgio and Wolfgang Scheppe
Foreword by Angela Vettese

1,344 pp., 2078 ills., 17 x 24 cm, hardcover, 2 volumes in slipcase
2009, Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern

Buy the book: from the publisher / on Amazon

The exhibition

Migropolis
Venice / Atlas of a Global Situation

Wolfgang Scheppe & the IUAV Class on Politics of Representation

Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa
Comune di Venezia

Galleria di Piazza San Marco, Venice, Italy
October 8 – December 6, 2009
10:30 – 17:30
Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays

27 October 2009

A Synchronicity, a book by Julian Bleecker and Nicholas Nova

A Synchronicity
A synchronicity:
Design Fictions for Asynchronous Urban Computing

by Julian Bleecker and Nicolas Nova

Available as a print-on-demand book from lulu.com. Click here to order.
Available as a free download here.

The Situated Technologies Pamphlets series, published by the Architectural League, explores the implications of ubiquitous computing for architecture and urbanism. How are our experience of the city and the choices we make in it affected by mobile communications, pervasive media, ambient informatics and other “situated” technologies? How will the ability to design increasingly responsive environments alter the way architects conceive of space? What do architects need to know about urban computing and what do technologists need to know about cities?

In the last five years, the urban computing field has featured an impressive emphasis on the so-called “real-time, database-enabled city” with its synchronized Internet of Things. In Situated Technologies Pamphlets 5, Julian Bleecker and Nicholas Nova argue to invert this common perspective and speculate on the existence of an “asynchronous city.” Through a discussion of objects that blog, they forecast situated technologies based on weak signals that show the importance of time on human practices. They imagine the emergence of truly social technologies that through thoughtful provocation can invert and disrupt common perspective.

Situated Technologies Pamphlets will be published in nine issues over three years and will be edited by a rotating list of leading researchers and practitioners from architecture, art, philosophy of technology, comparative media studies, performance studies, and engineering.

2 September 2009

Experientia helps Helsinki reduce carbon emissions

Low2No
Helsinki, Finland — Yesterday, Turin-based company Experientia was announced as part of the winning team for a project in Jätkäsaari, Helsinki, which aims to construct an urban zone with low or no carbon emissions.

Sitra, the Finnish innovation agency, revealed that the winning team of the Low2No development design competition was made up of Arup, Sauerbruch Hutton , Experientia and Galley Eco Capital — selected out of 74 initial entries — for their C_life – City as living factory of ecology project.

Experientia bring their unique perspective as an innovative experience design company to the project. With a focus on people-centred design, and people’s real needs, behaviours and experiences, Experientia provides a balance to the architectural and financial parts of the project, and considers the impact of sustainability on people’s day-to-day lifestyles.

The competition jury stated that the multinational team leveraged a particularly promising consumer/behavioural framework to empower citizens in meeting the goal of sustainability.

Marco Steinberg, director of strategic design at Sitra and chairman of the competition jury said “A well developed holistic proposal, the strategy highlighted two important insights: the creation of a carbon neutral district dovetailed with consumer oriented planning, thus supporting Sitra’s objective of empowering citizens.”

While other team members devised the architectural and financial strategies for the project, Experientia’s responsibility was to address the delicate theme of how to initiate behavioural change to support a sustainable style of living in this completely renewed urban district. Starting with the concept that people, their contexts, social networks, habits and beliefs are crucial tools for creating sustainable change in behaviour, Experientia explored ways to offer people control over their consumption and to see the effects of their actions on the environment.

Using their expertise in designing valuable user experiences, Experientia’s strategies to empower people’s change include: developing engagement and awareness programs, through services aimed at creating social actions based on green values; using technology to assist people in making decisions, such as energy metres and dynamic pricing systems; producing positive reinforcement loops (with incentives and benefits) for people who live, work and visit Jätkäsaari; and using the community as a knowledge network to share best practices.

Over the next 6 years, the Jätkäsaari district will be designed, constructed and opened to people. From there, the sustainable ideals that govern its day-to-day life will act as a model and example for the rest of Helsinki, Finland and the world. Through Experientia, Turin will be a vital part of this journey.

See also this earlier post on Putting People First.