We were invited to Helsinki in april 2012 to talk about Supertanker as a part of the exhibition “Shorelines” (which again was a part of Helsinki being the “World Design Capital”) It was a good opportunity to go back and reflect on our early work in Supertanker – based in and focused on the Copenhagen Harbour.
Jens has worked with methods to free the possibilities of the city for many years. He is co-founder of Supertanker and the latest initiative is CiTyBee that we prototyped in 2012 in Hedehusene. The result here is several new local initiatives or offshoots, as we like to call it. He is a trained as an architect, but has also worked with visual arts and theater.
He’s very fond of “the local” as the starting point to discuss the city’s dynamics in different contexts. If he was not in Hedehusene in 2012, he was in Oslo, Helsinki, Vienna, Venice or Paris to present CiTyBee and discuss the possibilities of the city. Read more on the personal blog: Urbanizit
This Report from 2006 – in Danish – describes some of our earlier inspirations in Supertanker. Some became part of our network (Citymine(d)) others didnt live up to the expectations (Vauban). The title means: Urban Brackish Zones and Truffle Pigs.
For a number of years Supertanker has organised a workshop for 1st year Students at the University of Roskilde. The workshop tries to include a number of elements into an intensive 2 weeks: Sensing, talking and taking space, from appropriation of their own space (here the old train station in Hedehusene) to spatial interventions in public space.
We also started (again) to work with mapping using technology. In this case we let the students use Twitter and a mashup with bing maps
The Project “Sensing Hedehusene” was not a Supertanker project but by the UK mapping artist Christian Nold. We were engaged in a parallel participatory process that should ensure, that the results were relevant locally. That part was very important since it resulted in the seed for a local offshoot: a monthly market that began the year after.
In short the project placed a number of sensors that measured pollution and noise – and had three buttons that made it possible to vote.
The results of the pollution and noise measurings where shown as colours on a big balloon.
The technology did not really catch on locally but all the buzz created by involving the local mayor and important persons from the culture industry in Copenhagen created a “critical mass” of local people that started discussing the future og the small community.
And the outcome of that discussion was to work for 2 ideas: a local market – this idea was made real the year after in 2010 and is a good example of a local offshoot :
The second idea was to create a local place to meet in the old train station – which is slowly becoming a reality:
The whole process – both the part run by the artist and the involvement of local people is documented on this website (in Danish)
See a short video here – both in English and Danish
CiTyBee is an offshoot itself inspired by many of the experiments done in Supertanker. One of these experiments was a “Camp” – Local Interaction – that we held in 2007 as a way of starting a 5 year project in a social housing area in one of Copenhagen’s western suburbs.
“Local Interaction” set out to research the possibilities for ‘design as a positive catalyst in an everyday context’.
We had invited both local and international artist/architects etc and the 2 day workshop/Camp was a strong inspiration – also for the present ideas in CiTyBee.
Before the Camp we held a workshop with kids from the local school in order to get their stories and ideas. This formed the starting point for the Camp.
This invite outlines the intentions of the camp and this program gives an idea how we structured the Camp.
Some of the sketches from the workshop can be seen here and a more thorough report can be found here. Many of the conclusions in this report are the seeds that led to CiTyBee.