Tuesday, 21 September 2010


So, on Friday 17th we had presentations of the concepts people had worked on during the course.

We began with "Pilluralli", a hilarious and intelligent concept by Anna and Hanna, appropriating both space and word from masculine show-off to feminine demonstration: overtake Porin Tori and its nightly "pilluralli" by guys in cars by the event Pilluralli with bikes, skateboards, pedestrians. The concept involved detailed visual outlook for content and products, and Anna and Hanna swore they wanted to realize it. Looking forward to!

Emma and Tuula had focused on personal space - clothing - and especially clothing in hospitals. Pick a color is a concept of enhancing the well-being of both personnel and patients by giving good quality clothes and a world of color to chose from. The effect of present hospital wear was documented and visualized with sharp insight.

Antje, Awa and Hanne had literally drawn a map for "MyPori" - "Tää o mu Pori". The idea is to have hand-drawn maps of the central area of Pori, showing places that have specific meaning to some real life people from Pori. On the back-side of the maps there would be the stories that go with the places. Thus a tourist - or somebone from Pori - could gain a new and different insight into the city. Infinity of further development potential with digital online version.

Antti, Eetu and Niilo had ideated MOOD-e-RATOR, an interactive sculpture and fountain of light and sound to be installed in the Jokipuisto in front of Puuvilla. The fountain/sculpture will respond to movement and can be programmed to react also to light, weather etc. factors in its surroundings.

Anu, Niina and Outi presented a concept for a space for people to feel comfortable alone and an outlet for people who are lonely. Also, a place for relaxation including nature and quietness. You are still surrounded by others, but just taking the time to yourself and not feeling any pressure to network with others around you.  This space should create this understanding that you find in other examples such as going to a church or listening to headhphones in public.

Thank you for the good work guys, I hope you enjoyed yourselves half as much as I did! I'm still waiting for some contributions, but have faith they are forthcoming and have the same quality.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Art as a means of studying space

Pia Euro came to talk about art as a means of studying space. She especially talked about how art is so physical, a reality beyond words - which and with which one can explore and study things one cannot study with methods that rely on words, the kind of things you can see and think through words. Pia also talked about the relation of form and content - when you want to change content, you also have to change form - and, I'd say, when you change form you also affect the content.

Pia gave us intriguing examples, like Tatsurou Bashi's hotelrooms constructed around statues - turning public space into private. Or even more disturbing and fascinating, Atelier Van Lieshoult's works:
Welcoming Center
, 2007
Before entering SlaveCity and becoming an inhabitant of this city, you have to pass the Welcoming Center. In this large building the participants are selected for their suitability to come and work in SlaveCity. Old, cripple, sick and bad tasting people will be recycled in the biogas digester. Healthy, not so clever people, will be recycled in the meat processing factory. Young and very healthy people will be able to take part in the organ transplant program. Healthy, clever people will go to work in the CallCenter.

AVL Workskull, 2005
AVL Workskull is designed for large offices as a secluded place, where employees can work alone undisturbed, have more privacy for phone calls or retreat from the world.

Bodytable, 2005, 2006
For the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen’s Restaurant and KOW architects’ canteen, AVL built tables in the shape of different female torsos. The irregular shape of the tables serves to enhance communication. People will sit closer to each other at the same table – a proximity that tends to ignite a conversation.
Bodytables for KOW Architects, 2006, and the restaurant of the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam, 2005, in combination with AVL Shaker chairs.

Pia then also told about some of her own works in and about space: the kiosk installation with an operasinger reacting to the external world. - And the performance without performers or audience, a group (non)-performance in the Helsinki metro, trying to capture the "gapness" of traveling with the metro, each passenger captured within their own bubble but together staying in a place outside time and space, as if it were.

Rest of the day, likewise next day, Thursday 16th, the students will be spending by working on their concepts - Taina can be consulted! Looking forward to Friday and the reports.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Urban Space

First Taina talked: about the city, urban space - how she sees it, how a few other thinkers see it - and then went through some examples of people who have done research and studies on urban space, what structures it and how it is produced through practices.

Then city planning architect Mikko Nurminen talked about urban space from his perspective and about a few cases, especially Jokikeskus and Veturitallit (and Karjaranta).

Afterwards we walked and went to see Jokikeskus and Veturitallit.

Below the few slides from Taina; and some references and links. Links also added to the link list on the right hand side.

Books about urban space and space in general:
Edward T. Hall: Proxemic Theory, 1966 
Taina Rajanti: Kaupunki on ihmisen koti, 1999
Jane Jacobs: The Rise and Fall of Great American cities
Michel De Certeau: The Practices of Everyday Life
Claude Levi-Strauss: Tristes Tropiques
Michel Foucault: Space, knowledge and power. In The Foucault Reader (ed. P. Rabinow.) Penguin.
Doreen Massey: Place, Space and Gender/ Samanaikanen tila/ The Conceptualization of Space
Eyal Weizman: Hollow land

 Introduction to Edward T. Hall
William H. Whyte: video from The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces
Familiar Stranger
Social Tapestries
Locative media and fieldwork: a collection of links to interesting projects
Anthony Vidler: Spatial Violence
Eyal Weizman: Walking Through Walls
Transit Labour (Article on Waste Economies by Maren Köhler and Bettina Vismann)

And the slides:

I'm also including a tale about occupying a street by a party in Kumpula, Helsinki, provided by Antti:

Monday, 13 September 2010

What is concept design, and who are the users?

Slides summing some basic aspects of concept design. On the right there are links to few texts, a set of more detailed slides by Marjo and an article by Jonna Iljin in Finnish, and an article in English.

The rest of the day went into discussing users and user centered or user driven design; the powerpoints can be seen in Slideshare.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

VKM Concept Design program

Welcome to the course! The basic and simple idea is to study the basics of concept design, what a concept is, what things are good to know and think of when making one. Especially we'll talk about users and user-centered design i.e. thinking about to whom the concept is meant and how can one make it useful and accessible.

This fall I have chosen a theme for the course: Governing and appropriating urban space. The idea is to study some spaces in Pori, and think of concepts that could facilitate appropriation of those spaces. As you can see this leaves a wide range - the concepts could involve action, performance art, design, community art, exhibition, a plan etc; studying the sapce could be through observations, digging into archives, still or moving images, notes, soundscapes... We'll have the architect Mikko Nurminen from city of Pori to talk about the spaces, and Pia Euro will give an introduction to how art work can be used in studying spaces.

The idea is that students form groups, study some aspect of some urban space - we will introduce some specific places, but your choice is not restricted to them. It is suggested you look at either control and structuring of space - or appropriating of space. Think of the space/place in terms of its everyday usage and practices. Who are your users, how do you include them in your study/ concept? You should come up then with
1. either a concept for studying urban spaces with means of artistic intervention
2. or a concept for appropriating urban space through artistic intervention
You need not realize the concept, but make a presentation of it for Friday.

The suggested program is as follows

Mon 13.
10 - 12 What is a concept and what are the uses of concept design?
13 - 16 Users and design

Tue 14
10 - 12 Urban Space
13 - 14 Mikko Nurminen
14 - 16: Visit the places, as Tue afternoon promises to have good weather. Lets

Wed 15
10 - 12 Pia Euro
13 - 16 Ideating study and concepts and visiting the places.

Thu 16
10 - 12 : Taina can be consulted. Otherwise all of Thursday is dedicated to study and drafting of plans.

Fri 17
10 - 14 Reporting studies and concepts, discussion.