I ended the last post with the purpose to find some meaningful stories reflecting the identity of Hamar and Stortorget square in order to transform them into design language. I think this is a kind of experience that should be done on place, like the Cultural Rucksack that is going in this direction and I’m so eager to see the photos of the exhibition. Anyway thanks to the precious suggestion of Agata, I discovered this project http://digitaltmuseum.no/ that suits perfectly both the tags Documentation/Archive, as it gather the collections of Norwegian and Swedish museums, and Open P2P Design/Network Design, as it is really a network of cultural institutions working together in order to make their contents accessibile to everyone. Inserting the key words “Hamar+Strortorget” you can find lots of historical photos of the square, so I spent some days looking at the different uses of the square as the time goes by and it reminded me Agata’s post webcam as a tool_stortorget on saturday, with two differences: the tool is not a webcam but photos taken during years and the point of view is subjective.
Looking at the history of the square we can see a “pre-cars” period in which it was really pedestrian-friendly, then pedestrians and vehicles cohabited together until now it is completely occupied by cars, so Dreamhamar project can be seen also as a process of reappropriation of this space.
Another reflection affects the special flexibility of this space, as Christian said in his last post Perspectives on participation – if and then. In these photos we concretely see how “personal preferences and interest are always dynamic and unstable over time” and how an empty space -without architecture (?)- has shown “the level of critical understanding of the system” over the years. It is a fact that in this moment a citizens need has been expressed, that’s to say to have a representative place. When I read Christian’s post I thought if no-architecture was the right answer to people always changing preferences and singular expectations. I know the topics where provocative, but my opinion is that achitecture must give formal answers taking risks. A partecipative process can reduce those risks, but the most important thing that architecture can do is to produce a “culture of participation”. When I look at the photos I see a “culture of civic-mindedness” but it wasn’t real participation. It would be great to know how Hamar people are responding now to the stimulus of the workshops and initiatives developed there.