dreamhamar + bergen school of architecture = creamhamar

Last week was very intense. It was the first workshop’s week – TECNOLOGY WEEK– with two different workshops run by Bjarte Ytre-Arne and our international guest Juan Freire .

Also, we had the pleasure to host 25 3rd grade students from the Bergen School of Architecture. Their stay was short but intense and full of energy. It was a 2 + 1/2 day workshop and the aim was to activate Stortorget, to get people aware of what is going on, to collect ideas, to have fun, to use the space in a different way, to provide the conditions for people to react and become proactive, to make them socialize…

The workshop started Tuesday at 9.30, we knew what we wanted to do but the tools were not as clear as our ideas. We needed to brainstorm and get answers to some questions, like:

– How could we bring people to the square? How could we create and atmosphere so they wanted to meet each other?
– How could we make a mock up of what the final square could become? How can we transform this former parking lot into a public space?

So brainstorming we did. The students had 20 minutes to come up with 20 different possible ideas for Stortorget. Expect the unexpected. Ready?

Chairs, outdoor cinema, stage for music, skate ramp, balloon landscape, talk show, sound installation, free painting on the road, open call to do crazy things (I really liked that one), area for gymnastics, heated pool to take a bath, exchange market as ‘bring a shovel and take a horse’, connecting the square with the lake, labyrinth, celebrating an outdoors mass, storytelling by people, candle light in the evening, dark night dancing competition, temporary public library, relocating the Basarbygningen in the square, making a hole  in the asphalt and filling it with candy, poetry square, rubber customs, build a staircase to see the lake, placing a trampoline for people to jump, creating artificial clouds, making a barbecue, dancing competition on a slippery floor, ski jump, sleepover party or even making Stortorget an independent country with its own king and queen…

Now the visual:


They were all interesting ideas but we selected the Cow and the free public lunch. A cow would provide fresh milk for the coffee and a free public lunch would invite everyone in Hamar to join the event.

The students were arranged into 5 different groups to organize the different tasks:

– cow+food: calling farmers, checking availability of the cow, deciding the best space for her, buying food, cheese, bread, drinks, looking a few coffee makers, preparing sandwiches, bringing food for sale from the farmers, making coffee and tea …
– design: logo design, flyers and poster design, handing out the info,…
– physical design: relocating stones in the square, arranging tables, chairs, table cloths, and setting the tables with glasses, plates, napkins…
– communication: making press release, pictures of the process, pictures of the event, producing a beautiful movie of the whole process
– logistics: coordination work over all the teams’ deadlines for different tasks.

This was the cow. She became the main attraction in no time.

People came, ate, enjoyed, talked, shared, met others, chatted, and relaxed under the sun. The students worked, mingled with the people, took notes of their ideas, handed out info about the workshops, received suggestions for the square….

I discovered, again, that public space is about people. And the future Stortorget should be, above all , a great place for people just to be there.

If you missed creamhamar, you can still watch the video. We promise to do many more activities and keep Stortorget changing until December!