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60 617 On Ice. Designing Architectures of Water in Greater Oslo

Emnenavn på English: 
On Ice. Designing Architectures of Water in Greater Oslo
Studiepoeng: 
24
Emnekode: 
60 617
Studienivå: 
Syklus 2
Undervisningssemester: 
2020 Vår
Eksamenssemester: 
2020 Vår
Undervisningsspråk: 
Engelsk
År: 
2020
Maksimum antall studenter: 
24
Emneansvarlig
Sabine Muller
Milja Tuomivaara
Forkunnskapskrav

CAD 2D and 3D (Rhino), Adobe Suite, hand drawing, analogue and digital model making, GIS. Interest and experience in design at the intersections of landscape, urbanism and architecture

Om emnet

On ice.

At the turn of the 19thcentury, Norway exported more than 1,000,000 tons of ice each year, with vessels going to Northern Europe, the Mediterranean, Constantinople, Africa and even as far as India. Britain was the primary market for Norwegian ice, especially when London summers were hot.

This Norwegian ice, world-famous for being crystal clear, was not simply harvested but were goods manufactured in a complex production economy. To meet the growing demand of natural ice for export, creeks were dammed and ponds were constructed in agricultural areas that already had a functioning shipping infrastructure for heavy loads, such as South Norway and the Oslo region. Ice export proved a perfect complement to the existing economic structure of these areas. Exploiting the links between timber, shipping and ice, sawdust from the timber industry was used for insulation during transport. Ice-mining, including draining and cleaning the lakes from reeds, ploughing the lakes from snow, became an in-between income for local farmers and the shipping crews, with winters being the idle periods. Timber ice houses were built to store the ice blocks. Alone in Asker Kommune, there were 22 constructed ice lakes. The skating rinks of Ila and the bob slides of Holmenkollen surfaced as the social side effect of the ice economy.

The first world war and its blocking of sea routes marked the end of the Anglo-Norwegian ice trade. By then, the science of thermodynamics had facilitated cooling machines, and piping water streams were seen as a hygienic advancement. When refrigerators and freezers gradually became common from the 1950s, also local business gradually disappeared. Water was buried and seasons were rendered invisible. Today the ice lakes are overgrown, filled or have been turned into ponds in public parks.

Why follow up with this gone landscape of ice-making? 
In general terms, the ice lakes reflect that ever since, the balancing of both seasonal differences and geographical allocation of resources have been a driver of cultural landscapes.
The gone landscape of ice lakes was multi-scalar and interweaves the spheres of geological, hydrological, seasonal, social, technological, financial, and economic conditions. It was a productive, highly artificial landscape embedding the time and labour of channelling and damming water flows, draining the resulting water bodies, cleaning their grounds and edges, waiting for the winter to perform its freezing action, cutting the thick and heavy layer of cold and solid water, storing or transporting, using the expertise developed in timber export, always with the risk of melting. 
The ice lakes are a case for medium-scale modifications on water flows taking up agency in economic infrastructure. They embody the fusion of natural conditions and flows with man-made forces into an “organic machine”. They deliver “ecosystem services”, while serviced and maintained. It is their hybrid character of orchestrating natural, social and economic dynamics that forges an “environmental imagination” relevant to our times.

In local terms, the ice lakes’ case could be seen as a model to cope with the challenges of the Oslo region in our age of urbanisation and climate change.
Greater Oslo is a growing region. Historically a water-rich area, weather extremes question the functionality of the cultural landscapes present in the Oslo region. While flooding and its impact on traffic, real estate and water quality in intensively used areas start to be addressed in municipal planning, recently occurring droughts shift attention to water supply and agriculture - and with it to the rather extensively used, wider “support” territory. From a water perspective, the levelling of seasonal peaks asks for new cultural landscapes. The need to re-design water flows, their storage, and distribution could be taken as a kick-off to re-imagine the region beyond inevitably short-falling city-nature dichotomies.

In this context, the studio is a call for the imagination of Greater Oslo. In search for exploitation of the almost inexhaustible social and atmospheric potentials of water for the enhancement of the urban landscape’s quality, and with the aim of re-positioning the hydrosphere towards a fundamental role in planning, the studio will explicitly explore how water can both be a structuring and a productive element within a socially conceived territory, and envision landscapes, architectures and a series of figures that act within, mark and organize the wider field of territorial flows while, as Vittorio Gregotti would demand, “giving meaning to the whole environment through its stronger characterization and definition”. 

Læringsutbytte

The design and research studio will provide students with the conceptual categories to address the interrelated issues of sustainability in an urbanising regional context. Based on a systemic view on the environment a focus of the studio will be a hydrological perspective on design, and the understanding of landscape as infrastructure. Tied to a performative approach, form will be discussed in relation to theories of usage, performance and place. 

Concretely, students will develop skills to envision transformation processes of cultural landscapes under development pressure with the goal to ensure adaptability to climate change and to draw on heritage while continuing to be dynamic. Research-driven, multi-layered and multi-scalar in its scope, the studio involves building the capacity to conduct a layered and perceptive analysis of the territorial/ regional context, the ability to reference precedents, to fuse technical and aesthetical aspects of form giving, and finally to frame and argue for a well-resolved design proposal anchored within the scale of the territory. 

The studio’s underlying thesis will encourage the rethinking of urban, social and environmental challenges as opportunities to develop place-specific, lived and just spaces for the future. The studio’s main competence goal is to equip students with the ability to state ideas, translate these into form, and to apply theoretical and technical background in project work. Students will develop the adequate background knowledge to frame their projects in a larger socially and environmentally relevant context, as well as to use the project as an investigative vehicle to address professional and disciplinary questions. 

Both individual and group work will be trained, as well as the learning and sharing from other cultures abroad. 

Praktisk organisering og arbeidsmåter

Individual and group work (2-3 students) is organized around 5 phases. 

These will be supported by input lectures and readings to facilitate contextualisation and familiarization with discourse and state of the art in theory and practice.

  • Mapping: Constructing the context through field and map work, 3D modelling and research (1:20 000)
  • Precedent analysis/excursion: Understanding cultural landscape techniques to modify water flows 
  • Scenario: Development of strategic transformation scenarios and territorial figures on a watershed scale, based on precedent studies and an in-depth understanding of the geographical context, its problems and potentials. (1:10.000)
  • Project: Elaboration of the design strategies into individual public space, landscape and architectural proposals, understood as a systemic object (1:1000 - 1:50)
  • Communication: Visualization and “telling” the proposals to communicate to a broader audience. Production of an exhibition and studio booklet that can serve to advance the imaginary on the Oslo Region as a sustainable territory.

The studio will travel abroad to research how water infrastructures constitute landscapes. The excursion will be accompanied by an expert on water management and permaculture. This trip allows for a great learning possibility between countries that are used to dry seasons, and a new situation in European temperate zones facing draughts.

 

Pensum

Bell, Simon. 2004. Elements of visual design in the landscape. London: Spon Press.

Bell, Simon. 1999. Landscape: pattern, perception and progress. London: Spon Presss.

Bélanger, Pierre. 2009. “Landscape as Infrastructure”. In: Landscape Journal, pp.79-95.

Burckhardt, Lucius. 2013. Rethinking Manmade Environments. Politics, Landscapes & Design. Vienna: Springer

Carlson, D. 2013. “The Humanity Of Infrastructure: Landscape As Operative Ground”. In: Scenario 03: Rethinking Infrastructure, 2013.

Corboz, Andre. 1983. “The Land as Palimpsest”. In: Volume: 31 issue: 121, pp. 12-34.

Dee, Catherine. 2001. Form and fabric in landscape architecture: a visual introduction. London: Spon Press.

Foxley, Alice, and Günther Vogt. 2010. Distance and Engagement: walking, thinking and making landscape : Vogt Landscape Architects. Baden: Lars Müller Publishers.

Gali-Izard, Teresa. 2006. The same landscapes: ideas and interpretations = Los mismos paisajes. Barcelona: Gustavo Gili.

Girot, Christophe. 2016. The course of landscape architecture: A history of our designs on the natural world, from prehistory to the present. Farnborough: Thames & Hudson Ltd.

Gregotti, Vittorio.1966. ”The Territory of Architecture”. In: McGrath, Brian. 2013. Urban design ecologies reader. Chichester, West Sussex: Wiley

Hough, M. 2006. “Urban Ecology. A basis for shaping cities” Chapter 1. In: Cities and natural process : a basis for sustainability. London: Routledge, pp. 5-32.

Loidl, Hans, and Stefan Bernard. Opening Spaces. 2014. Basel: Birkhäuser.

Mollison, B. C. 1988. Permaculture: a designer's manual. Tyalgum, Australia: Tagari Publications.

Picon, A. 2005.”Constructing landscape by engineering water”. In: Adam, Hubertus. Landscape architecture in mutation: essays on urban landscapes. Zürich: Gta Verlag. 

Purdy, Jedediah. 2018. After Nature: a politics for the anthropocene. Boston: Harvard University Press

Reed, Chris, and Nina-Marie E. Lister. 2014. Projective ecologies. Cambridge, Massachusetts ; Harvard University Graduate School of Design : New York, New York ; Actar Publishers

Sarté, Bry and Morana Stipisic. 2016. Water infrastructure Equitable Development of Resilient Systems. New York: Columbia GSAPP. 

Smithson, Robert. 1967. A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey. In: Smithson, Robert, and Jack D. Flam. 1996. Robert Smithson, the collected writings.

Smithson, Robert. 1973. Frederick Law Olmsted and the dialectical landscape . In: Smithson, Robert, and Jack D. Flam. 1996. Robert Smithson, the collected writings.

Spirn, Anne Whiston.1984. “Urban Nature and Human Design: Renewing the Great Tradition”. In: Stein, Jan M. 1995. Classic readings in urban planning: an introduction. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Tvedt, T., and Eva Jakobsson. 2006. "Water History is World History". A History of Water. 1, pp. IX-XXIII.

VurderingsformGrupperingKarakterskalaKommentar
VurderingsmappeIndividuellBestått / ikke bestått The work will be evaluated through oral and graphic presentations as well as digital hand-ins (moodle/box) at the end of each of the different studio phases, with a final presentation of the whole project’s narrative. Final grade will be based on an assessment of all the hand-ins (portfolio assessment), with a strong emphasis on design work (50%). Presence and presenting at 80% of the presentation dates (pin-up and reviews) is mandatory to pass the course.
Vurderinger:
Vurderingsform:Vurderingsmappe
Gruppering:Individuell
Karakterskala:Bestått / ikke bestått
Kommentar: The work will be evaluated through oral and graphic presentations as well as digital hand-ins (moodle/box) at the end of each of the different studio phases, with a final presentation of the whole project’s narrative. Final grade will be based on an assessment of all the hand-ins (portfolio assessment), with a strong emphasis on design work (50%). Presence and presenting at 80% of the presentation dates (pin-up and reviews) is mandatory to pass the course.
AktivitetKommentar
Oppmøte The building of a body of collective knowledge and the exchange of ideas are essential to the studio. All students are expected to work in the studio, not off-school. Studio days are Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. All students will have a desk-crit of research or design-work at least once a week. New work to discuss is expected for each desk-crit.
Presence and discussing work at at least 80% of the desk-crits is mandatory to pass the course.

Forventet arbeidsinnsats:
Aktivitet:Oppmøte
Kommentar: The building of a body of collective knowledge and the exchange of ideas are essential to the studio. All students are expected to work in the studio, not off-school. Studio days are Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. All students will have a desk-crit of research or design-work at least once a week. New work to discuss is expected for each desk-crit.
Presence and discussing work at at least 80% of the desk-crits is mandatory to pass the course.