Made in Hamar: A basic proposal for Stortorget Square by Eva Álvarez+Carlos Gómez1. Participation experience
When we noticed about dream
network design process led by Ecosistema Urbano torethink Stortorget Square in Hamar (Norway), we knew we wanted to get involved in thisproject in any possible way… We both are architects and assistant professors concerned withsustainability, gender and participation issues and from the beginning, we were aware it wasgoing to be an important design and social experiment and, simply, we should be close to it. Icould join the online workshop PUBLIC SPACE AND PEOPLE conducted by Andres Walliser from Ecosistema Urbano and, finally, we could get involved in the multiple information cross-cuts. During the online sessions,a) We have noticed about the existing concern about the daily life space design. In fact, theurban space is usually designed oriented to productive functions (paid work) done by a smallgroup of persons (male, white, rich, young, capable, not immigrant…as types) and thereproductive functions (not paid work) -mainly done by all the rest of people typologies - areout of the designers’ focus. In these online workshops it has been possible to visualize thegreat awareness on this unfair treatment.b) We have noticed –again- about Schools/Faculties of Architecture worldwide are not neutralin spreading design concepts and conceptual tools. We have realized that people from diversecountries speak (and think) in a remarkable similar way, and sometimes we use concepts notsufficiently debated as gender topics or class approach. We understood concepts could evolvefrom local reality trying to meet diversity or specificity.c) We have also realized the importance of diffusing all the existing knowledge, trying toconnect it. The previously proposed local approach should be related to international existingknowledge as a way to innovate, since design (or innovation) only is possible on the evaluationof previous work base. And designing is closely related to democracy.We expect dream
design process to deepen in these aspects.
Our basic approach to the place and basic proposal try to understand the Stortorget Squareinside a greater ecosystem formed by geography, infrastructures, economic and social forcesand people. Obviously, we have not done all the necessary analysis but our position is firmlyfounded in
design as analysis
–using Denise Scott Brown concepts-, that is to say the designprocess as a
approach to the solution that incorporates constant analysis. Our processis still open ended and it should remain in this way. The solution should evolve from theconditions of the ecosystem.So from this starting point, we have seen that Hamar is very well located facing Southorientation and the lake Mjøsa at the same time. The lake supports a lot of boat harbours andHamar has two of them; they both are big, with a lot of boats.