5. INFRASTRUCTURAL AFFECTS: DIFFERENCES

December 11, 2018

Skärmavbild 2018-12-10 kl. 22.58.09

 

While reading Sara Ahmed’s text Happy Objects (S. Ahmed. 2010) I reflect on public space and design for happiness in the sense expected behaviours leading to expected and wanted social order. Gender roles are extra visible in public space. They manifest in who sit where, who looks at who, who walks alone and who doesn’t, and why. In Rosengård centrum, inside the mall, there are two cafés which are crowded with men, socializing. Almost no women sit there. I know women who has tried to sit there and they say they felt uneasy and some were even told to leave, just because they were women. The promise of happiness at the café is not fulfilled, on the contrary one feel alienated.

Another café in Rosengård is located in the public space at Bennet’s Bazaar, a few minutes walk from the shopping mall. Bennet’s bazaar comprise a small scale center and an outdoor public space located along the path way through Örtagården, a residential area in the city district Rosengård, Malmö. Bennet’s Bazaar was designed by Jaenecke Arkitekter as part of a regeneration of Rosengård in 2009/2010. It comprise 12 new premises attached to the already existing residential buildings from the time the district was built in the 1960s- 70s. The aim of was to create opportunities for entrepreneurs to live and work in the same building. The client was the public housing company MKB, also hoping to give the place a better service, a more vivid public life and social control (Jaenecke.se).


The public space in Bennet’s Bazaar is, like the Rosengård centrum shopping mall, characterized by the flow of people shopping and socializing there, but as it is an outdoor space also by those walking and biking through on their way to or from Rosengård Centrum. The architecture has a brutalist style with an asian touch, made of concrete and with green roofs. The square in front of the bazaars is lit by a row of large scale metal outdoor lightning which glow of different colors in the dark. Some benches are placed in the middle and as time has passed plants and trees has grown to give public life some privacy. Opposite the little square and lower residential buildings with the bazaars, several high rise brown brick housing stands. Together the buildings frame the public space and creates a social space where people gather and pass through.

During my visits to this public space I have noticed that there are many men of different ages meeting at here, sitting at the café, chatting, smoking, working in the shops. This café affects me totally different than the “men cafés” in the mall. Here I feel safe, and I am not alone. Other women also come here, to shop, meet and chat. Children and youth also spend time here.


And over us – CCTV – the black eye-ball in the sky.

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