Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Welcome to Layered Landscapes Lofoten!

BAS, spring 2017

Responsible teachers: Gisle Løkken and Magdalena Haggärde, (70°N arkitektur)
Assistant teacher: Tone Megrunn Berge, (Kaleidoscope Nordic)

Students: Anders, Andreas, Anna Liisa, Arne, Arnulf, Christian, Elise, Eva, Ingeleiv Andrea, Jøran, Kazhben, Lara, Lassi, Livie, Maria Eugenia, Matt, Pernille, Pia, Soheil, Stefanie, Stephanie, Stine, Sum, Sveinung, Teemu, Victoria Helene

….the essence of the deserted island is imaginary and not actual, mythological and not geographical. At the same time, its destiny is subject to those human conditions that make mythology possible. (…) What must be recovered is the mythological life of the deserted island (…) The deserted island is not the origin, but a second origin. From it everything begins anew. The island is the necessary minimum for this re-beginning, the material that survives the first origin…(Gilles Deleuze, Deserted Islands and other texts, 1953-1974)

Studio content:
Context; Lofoten is the history of extremes; extreme nature, extreme weather conditions, extreme natural resources and extreme survival. The archipelago of Lofoten floats in a timeless mythical narration of battling between man and nature rooted in the origin of human presence in these territories. The fact that Lofoten for centuries has hosted the world’s most precious fisheries of codfish, and now the sea bank assumed to hide a prosperous amount of oil and gas, signify a latent and incommensurable conflict that can irreversibly change the landscape, and its conditions. The people living in these territories, connected to the landscape and the resources for innumerable years are now facing not only external threats from global economies and climate changes, but also internal, national political decisions and structural changes in the fisheries which menace to deprive the resources from the local communities. In this context the municipality of Flakstad has started a ground breaking process of re-defining the position of three old fishing settlements (Ramberg, Napp, Fredvang) - still fighting for the right to exploit the surrounding renewable recourses - but also taking advantage of a year by year growing influx of tourists. The intention is a renewed development towards a more holistic and sustainable future that is susceptible to the inevitable changes, but at the same time it is crucial to try to be in control of the changes' impacts on the landscape and the societies. 

Working method; We will follow an analytical approach to the landscape inspired by Henry Lefebvre’s method of progressive and regressive reading. The method is highly spatial and sees the landscape as an intrication of abstract and concrete retrospective and forward -looking bodies, events and factual history. Lefebvre sees regression as a way of understanding the past when especially emphasizing the traces and splints of history being most significant in the present. For us it is a way to evoke the basic conditions that have constituted an area, like ownership, relatedness and heritage, political conditions, geological and geographical forces, trans human ecology and biology, laws and jurisdiction, etc. The past and the present is always provisional, incomplete and in progress, and If you really were to take a slice through time - says Doreen Massey in her book: ‘for space’ - it would be full of holes, of disconnections, of tentative half-formed first encounters. ‘Everything is connected to everything else’ can be a salutary political reminder that whatever we do has wider implications than perhaps we commonly recognise. This means that the regressive investigation sees the past retroactively by emphasizing what has happened and what could have happened by mapping of forces and phenomenon in play. The progressive method focus on the movement which anticipates its completion, which means what have created something new. The regressive-progressive method may be used for spatial understanding of landscape and architecture, and for socio-cultural conditions. It is important to study how people live, use and dwell in the landscape, or in general what produces the meaning of the space. The way the space is appropriated is based on distinctions like differences in classes, power positions, function etc., or is linked to how the space is arranged and inhabited. It is an knowledge based orientation that can be used generating new spaces, defined by Lefebvre in general as:
Conceived space; which is the way space is seen by architects and planners – like the codified and institutionalised understanding of space – where space is abstract and self-referential within the discourse.
Perceived space; which is life the way it is experienced and perceived.
Lived space; which is the heavily symbolic and culturally imbedded space directly experienced through associative images and symbols – and which draws on the culture and the place’s common experiences and interpretations – commonly known as the culture’s loci.

The intention using Lefebvre’s approach is to create a foundation from where we can investigate. Not least the possibility of reading the landscape along his many different notions of imbrication (overlapping information), as: flux and networks / different dimensions and different forms / ages / appropriations / territories (in law, size, time) / rhythm (circulation-rhythm, job/leisure etc.) / management / built and unbuilt space etc.
In addition to Lefebvre we will use a broad source of theoretical knowledge to help us elaborate and confront our findings within a discourse of complex understanding and transcendence. The situation in Lofoten provides a dichotomy of crucial issues that demands a holistic and open approach. But it is unhelpful if it leads to a vision of an always already constituted holism. The ‘always’ is rather that there are always connections yet to be made, juxtapositions yet to flower into interaction, or not, potential links which may never be established. Loose ends and on going stories. ‘Spaces’, then, can never be that completed simultaneity in which all interconnections have been established, in which everywhere is already (and at that moment unchangingly) linked to everywhere else. (Massey, 2005)

Learning Outcome:
Skills, knowledge and competence: We will work on elaborated methods to develop our ability to investigate complex and contested landscapes. We will learn to approach with respect and non-bias to uncover both the obvious and the underlying invisible structural forces in the landscape, the stakeholders, and the interests at stake.

As architects and planners we will encounter these issues and processes based on investigations and theoretical studies – learning to create a relevant foundation of complex knowledge and understanding. The studio will provide tools and measures for expanding the planning process to become comprehensive and relevant both regarding of global and structural forces, and for individual and local interests – not loosing the one perspective in the other. The aim is to slowly develop and confront the planning process for it to become more in contact with the real, and to elaborate planning processes along trajectories developed by Deleuze & Guattari as lines of flight. Manuel De Landa describes lines of flight as something to follow and something expected to redeem new responses – as an operator which transcends the real and ascends to the virtual (De Landa, 2002). The notion of transcendence is even an opening for experimental approaches that can be highly subjective and can give new and unexpected experiences and results - and will therefore require skills and knowledge to become relevant.

By combining investigation methods and at the same time stimulating individual research, we will learn to develop our own understanding and methodical approach. The overall intention for the studio will always be to enhance our individual abilities - preparing ourselves to act in complex and unclear situations.

Studio structure:
The studio will create a studio blog for all assignments and works to be posted. The blog will be used when reviewing the assignments, which will be in a studio-plenum.

The studio is structured along 6 different assignments each with a two weeks working period. The final assignment is regarded more complex and is given approximately 5 weeks working period. In between the assignments there will be a field trip to Lofoten both focusing on comparative locations in Lofoten and Vesterålen, and on our primary field of study in Flakstad municipality (the places of Ramberg, Napp and Fredvang). Each assignment follows a theme-structure based on the studio’s didactic approach. Lectures, assignment texts and literature will follow each assignment, and will be the foundation for the work beside individual tutoring. All assignments will be individually presented every two weeks. In connection with the field trip we will join a seminar in Ramberg on the topic Fremtidens fiskevær (The future fishing community), and the DAV will take place as an further alternative approach to the territory. 

Keywords: new hierarchies / rhizome / schizoanalysis

Keywords: connectivity / layering / overlapping information

Keywords: vitality / global forces / ecosystems

Keywords: space and time / lines of flight

Independent program with artist Anne Katrine Dolven

Keywords: borders and margins / transcendence

Keywords:  points of departure / consolidation

See you all soon!
/GL & MH

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