The past half year has been very interesting. I have begun to teach and more importantly develop new educational formats with the School of Architecture, Tampere University of Technology (TUT), Finland.
The first step in this process was the two week workshop: Mapping Urbanity with both lectures and talks on perception, appropriation, mapping and urbanity but most importantly a number of hands on exercises on the ground which is rather challenging in the dark Finnish winter. See pictures from the area – or the zone – here.
First we used TUT campus with their interconnected building for mapping and small “on site” interventions in order to prepare for the real thing in a post industrial area to the west of Tampere.
In spite of quite tough conditions it ended well with students making useful maps based on observations and street interviews that was presented to the local press in Tampere. See the maps of the students here – an introduction to the mapping can be found here.
With the same group of students a study trip to Berlin in May was a perfect occasion to discover and discuss urbanity by using the many contrasts in the city that show the spatial products of different political and urban regimes. It was especially interesting to compare the newly build Co-Op housing by Jesko Fezer (and others) with the Ökohaus by Frei Otto.
The trip to Berlin (and later to Venice for the opening of the Biennale of Architecture) was also an occasion to discuss a new initiative: UEL – Urban Education Live – that I have developed with SoA in Tampere and partners in Sheffield, Ljubljana and Bucharest. The UEL initiative has applied for EU support and has just recently been shortlisted for the 2nd application round.
Apart from activities related to SoA in Tampere I have done a couple of lectures: one in Zagreb – Urban Days of Zagreb – on the importance of the urban “Fallow Lands” as the first open experimental steps in an urban food chain: Now the party´s over – you can come home. The other lecture was for students on the university of Ljubljana with Urbanity as the theme.