Archive for the '02_Discussion' Category

permanence & power

October 22, 2018

Thoughts on Simone Brott´s ‘Collective Equipments of Power: The Road and the City’ (Task 3):task3_illustration

“’At one end of the roadway, there is the engineer from Public Works—a regulator, agent, and subject of normality,” represented by the engineering school—“and at the other end, the one who is cut off or ‘off-circuit…’”

”The highway, as the equipment of power par excellence, is an investment structure that requires police assistance, but that is policed itself (for Deleuze the “pseudo-assistance” of equipment conceals its primary function of surveillance).”

The metro is the other of the city, a rational system, its tunnels constructed to be functional, not to be seen or inhabited. The stations with its entrance and exit points are intersections where the unpredictable human bodies of the streets are brought into this rational infrastructure, allowed contact under the precondition they follow the rules – rules enforced through design.

Trying to put the term ”equipments of power” to use as a tool for analyzing the metro station, Deleuze’s use of the term as ”the production of subjects under the reign of equipments” can form a starting point.

The need of transportation and communication is a necessity for the system to exist, in other words, the bodies were there before the infrastructure, but the bodies do not control the system – at least not at present or directly. For some of the users, a vague and distant control over the design of the system exists; they have been allowed certain choices through the democratic system. The correlation between elections (the main means of democratic influence) and execution of design is however – to say the least – vague, and at this point in time, the metro system has existed for much longer than most of the bodies, increasing the distance, giving the (infra)structure the appearance of permanence, of always having existed.

The system of tunnels that forms the foundation of what we call tunnelbanan, were constructed in order to ensure the prosperity of Stockholm when the population rapidly grew and land as a result became exclusive goods. The tunnels enable commuters, who in turn enable the system of commerce placed around the tunnel entrances, in a constant flow of servicing and being served. ”Equipments such as the Road turn humans into code to service (hold up), and not merely serve, state capitalism.”

Looking at photos of the station from the 1930s, the additions over time are obvious and yet, the tunnels, the pillars and the concrete platform are the same, and would most likely stay the same in the event of a disaster, when the commercial facilities (train service, gates, ticket machines, stores) would quickly fail.

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These durable structures are already in use, forming a separate system, spatially occupying the same infrastructural spaces as the metro, yet very much apart from its social infrastructure.

”It is by the chain of processes of subjugation that begins with the christening of a category of rebuts sociaux (social rejects), or “les outsiders”—thus separated from a population and from normative subjectivity—that a city and its equipments of power take shape.”

The infrastructures used by “les outsiders” are hence more resilient to societal change and time than the metro, as the homeless sleeping in the tunnels have already been excluded from the vulnerable comforts that form the reward given to the citizens that have been deemed ”legal”. The punishment for not performing according to the rules of the (capitalist) society – by choice or, more often, by exclusion – must be severe, as the system is more dependent upon the bodies it supports, than the bodies are upon the system.

”Evidently, the figure of the pirate or smuggler is not marginal but, rather, essential to Foucauldian equipments. The road emerges as the social borderline incarnate. ”

 

/ÅSE SKALDEMAN

TASK 2. Trusting the CCTV – infrastructural vulnerabilities

October 19, 2018

TASK2

 

– It was so horrible. I came home at half past nine and parked my car, got out and then I saw it, I saw the boy getting shot, Yasmine said, and continued: – He was just a boy. He always sat outside with friends, speaking, and now he’s dead.
– And worst of all, they [the Police] let him lie there for hours, with his brain and all on the ground. A boy.
Yasmine witnessed a 20 year old neighbor getting shot by, likely, a friend. One in a row of tragic shootings in Malmö this year. The killer escaped on a scooter. 

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CCTV can be said to be the infrastructure that only shines when something terrible happens. Otherwise it works in the background, silently, aiming at affecting the way people behave. But when someone has been shot, the CCTV can reveal the secrets of the public space to the Police. Or nothing, depending on its scope. It is there to protect the vulnerable people against crime, one can say. Yet, the criminals are humans too, maybe also more vulnerable than others and at the same time capable of murder?

Judith Butler discusses vulnerability and resistance. She argues that vulnerability is not the opposite to, but part of, political resistance. She is concerned with state power as a threat to vulnerable people like women and minorities, and the paternalistic power of military and police which can force these groups of the streets, out of public space, limiting their right to speak. In a Swedish context this happens rarely, yet when it happens the CCTV cameras are there to witness also this kind of violence. If it happens within their range. 

Is the infrastructure of surveillance in Rosengård vulnerable in some ways? I have no answers, only questions: How does it affect a child growing up in a neighborhood constantly stigmatised by unequal living conditions, structural racism, low income, bad schooling, low trust between authorities and citizens, visible paternalistic norms setting the tone in public space and a societal discourse focusing on connections between crime, CCTV, immigrants and shootings instead of solidarity, empowerment, equality and justice? Can we understand the violence that young boys, young men, practice in their own neighborhood as some kind of communication, without defending it? Can criminal violence be understood as political resistance, even though expressed bluntly and unreflected? 

Infrastructures fails. Roads, rails and bridges breaks. The Internet collapses when hacked. The failures of CCTV cameras might be of another kind, unless shut down by lack of electricity or another, mechanical reason, its failures could be the results of its inability to reach far enough, risking to miss evidence of crime in the public space it is set to monitor. It can mislead us to believe all is ok, but what happens in the shadows of the scope of the surveillance cameras?

Readings: Judith Butler, Rethinking Vulnerability and Resistance.

// Maria Olsson Eklund

Useless love (in memoriam)

October 11, 2018

I walked the embankment again. I flew. I was breathing and smelling all kinds of memories floating from the river. It smelled too good, I felt too good. I was sure I knew all the pavement tiles and wild naughty grasses bursting forth between them. It was insane to love it that much, but I did. I walked and I flew.

Getting closer I was thrilled with content – and I knew it was not special, but it just felt too good. What a scene – melted in late evening sun, orange sky glowing over the town. I stopped by the supermarket – bought some hot, freshly-baked rolls, cottage cheese, two beers. I passed by its dull building and walked into the meadow.

I was sinking in dewy high grasses. It was getting a bit cold, humid, but fresh. I was walking these trampled paths, trying to navigate and not always succesfully, but it didn’t matter. This time I was not flying – I was stepping heavily on moist ground, reaching my destination always a little bit too fast. The maze of paths would finally guide me right. I saw silloutes sitting above the meadow – suspended in twilight. And it was perfect, that I know for sure – it was all we needed and more.

I climbed the heating pipe – some one and a half meter above the ground – I chose the one with a view over the meadow, with my back turned to the supermarket. Those two – how I miss you now that you’re gone…

Meandering like two greasy silver snakes, sneaky, but prominent at the same time, convoluting shapely bodies into pleasent nishes and back – central heating pipes that were no longer heating anything.

Sitting on them you would see stars, grasses, meadow and town – it was always a bit too chilly with cold gusts of wind ruling over open space. Everything could happen, everybody was there.

We all know this love – so different and special for each of us, but the same at its core. Love towards an infrastructure that once used to work for some practical purpose, but no longer does. It is – like a monument – superficially useless, but inspiring and inviting. Love for infrastructure with old skeleton and a new spontanious purpose – small town thing. We all know this love for old rail tracks, iron bridges, weird black unused wells. We all know the roughness of these spaces, the relentless industrial charm, spaces established – with no supporting service, just bear skeleton from a previous life – gathering spots.

Rest in piece, my dear old loves – buried underground with all potential bonds of friendships and adventure.

04 / Kinga Zemła

Infrastructural Love

October 11, 2018

Hi love,

I’ve been thinking so much about you lately. When I’m not with you, I miss being in the warmth of you shelter. It always amazes me how our meetings take us to all these various interesting places, both in actual time and space, and in our minds. Together with you I feel vibrant, alive. Open to see new things in life.

Sometimes we experience trouble, like all couples do. We see things in different ways and want to do things differently, but most of the time we can compromise and solve our problems and differences. And by doing that, it makes me feel closer to you. Makes me feel more certain that I want you, even need you, in my life.

We both have our good and bad sides. I know I’m late to our meetings sometimes, but you always stand there waiting for me patiently with open arms. Well, sometimes it takes a while before you let me in to your warmth, but that is understandable. You have a lot of things to tend to, not just me and my time optimism. I know you have a large social network which is important to you, and your social side is something I really appreciate about you. You are so open to different kinds of people and rarely too quick to judge someone.

I know you sometimes have bodily issues like problems with your joints and your metabolism, especially when you are under pressure, and that can make you a bit grumpy. But I promise you I will try even harder to be kind and patient with you at those times when you probably need it the most. We all have our bad days.

I don’t think I say this enough, but I love you so much. You are one of the most kind, tolerant and trustworthy creatures I have ever met. You challenge me, surprise me and make me see things in new ways. I hope we will continue to develop ourselves and our relationship, grow old together and always be there for each other. Through good and bad, ups and downs.

Yours truly, Helena

Components’ influence on customers’ experience

October 10, 2018

task 3 drawing

It appears that the first store fitting rooms appeared with the spread of department stores. Émile Zola noted their existence in his novel Au Bonheur des Dames (1883), and that they were then forbidden to men. Some years later, when Henri Gervex, who painted Jeanne Paquin in 1906, that was no longer the case.

 

“There is no such thing as an equipment: there is a constellation of equipments: just as, in and of itself, there is no such thing as a city, but a constellation of cities. Collective equipments in the plural form, given by the English translation of Lysa Hochroth, captures Guattari’s and Deleuze’s notion that the city is always multiple; it consists in aggregate structures such as highways, schools, and city buildings.”

Fitting rooms are consist of a series of components and influenced by them in different ways and aspects, also are connected with numbers of same units. Like other infrastructure, fitting rooms shall be plural form as well.

As the internationalization goes by, differences in style, fabric and quality of clothing are getting smaller. In this way, customers care more about how it looks like when dressing which means dressing part is more important.

Different components can provide different experience and the most important part of the components in fitting room is the partition between the room and the public space. Normally the partition is door which can be either lockable or always unlocked. Door with a lock provides the highest level of privacy and it can be reduced without lock or with a gap where people can see if there is anyone in the fitting room. Also the partition can be made of fabric, which has sense of design but less privacy.

The area of the fitting room usually is approximately 1.5 square meters which is a balance between cost and convenience. They want to use more space to display their products. However, some fitting rooms in more advanced store occupy more area because of the issue of money is secondary.

Some furniture is also necessary in the fitting room considering people need to try trousers, it makes it easy for customers. What’s more, some hooks shall be placed beside the chair so that customers can put clothes properly.

Another predominant component in the fitting room is glass which helps customers to understand what they look like. In order to have a full view, the glass should have enough size and distance to the customers.

The quality of the fitting room is also dominated by the light inside because inappropriate light can influence the color and texture of the fabric. To ensure the reality during dressing, fluorescent lamp is required to present the real color.

All parts of components should be focused because altogether they form a simple but integrated system providing stable service for customers.

Class division in fitting room under commercialization

October 10, 2018

task 2 drawing

The fitting room is a basic kind of infrastructure of commercial center nowadays and it has a vital influence on the customers’ shopping experience. Given the complexity and diversity of the clothing stores, it is easier to understand the fitting rooms by classifying them into different categories.

For instance, the fast-fashion brands, such as H&M and UNIQLO, has a fast faced shopping pattern which is decided by its low price and basic design. In fast-fashion store, the low price encourages people to make quick decision and also to purchase more which requires efficiency of fitting rooms to address the problem with more customers.

For traditional clothing stores with moderate price and smaller scale on the store, it will have to deal with less customers which means the fitting rooms can be designed with more aesthetics concerns. Customers are able and willing to spend more time here, and more interactions with clerks are more likely to take place.

When it comes to luxury brands, things change completely. Fitting rooms take a predominant place in the store because the experience of customers matters most there. The fitting rooms are decorated with wood, leather and other luxury materials and served with snacks and coffee. The fitting rooms look more like home or hotel room rather than a simple fitting room. Also more clerks will be assigned to serve one client.

Different consumption level lead customers to different kinds of fitting rooms which they will also use differently.

In the fast-fashion store, the selling pattern is similar with the supermarket, this self-service shopping makes store only has to supervise and manage its own operation. Clerks are needed in cashier and also fitting room to collect the unwanted clothes from customers. Here the use of the fitting room is highly self-serviced.

However, stores in smaller scale are more like boutiques. Once customers enter the store, they will be accompanied by clerks who offer suggestions and recommendations about outfits. Clerks are normally responsible to wait outside the fitting room to figure out whether the size and style are appropriate. Use of the fitting room is usually comes with service from clerks.

The experience of users are determined by the different grades of fitting rooms. Most infrastructures provide same experience for users, however during the commercialization, they are intended to be influenced by the business value behind them. For instance, first class ticket holders have priority in the airport and are able to get access to more convenient and comfortable infrastructure like waiting room and shuttle bus. This is surely a trend of infrastructure being more selective to users and customers, but it is also an aspect showing the vulnerability of the infrastructure because it can be influenced by various social factors.

Jin Gu – task 2

A parallel world

October 10, 2018

facebookThe computer has escaped the box, and ordinary objects in space are carriers of digital signals. […] It might also be the practical answer to quests by Nicholas Negroponte’s Architecture Machine Group and architects exploring Artificial Intelligence, who rehearse interplay between digital machines and the space of the city and the body—reciprocal modeling that enhances the capacities of each.”

 In the text “An internet of things” Keller Easterling talks about how the computer has escaped the box and that the information it carries is way greater than what we can see within the boundaries of its screen. You could almost see internet as its own world, parallel to the physical one we are living in. This world is expanding incredibly fast and have been ever since the start and today we are almost living in front of a screen of some sort, if it’s not the computer it’s a tv or a smartphone.

Over the last decade social medias has become a remarkably big part of this parallel world. One of today’s most popular social medias is Facebook that was founded in 2004. Since than Facebook has grown from an idea to be a gigantic social platform translated to over 71 different languages and being used by about 2 billion people all over the world.

Today most people, with a few exceptions have some kind of relation to social media, whether it’s Facebook or anyone else. In one way we have shifted our focus from the physical world to the world of internet constantly being connected to these social platforms, for good and for bad. The possibilities emerged from Facebook are endless, being able to connect with people from different parts of the world, being active in different kinds of communities and make new friends alike to you are just a few among many examples. But, you can’t disregard the negative parts, that you can follow someone’s life and learn anything about anyone just by looking at their Facebook page. Today we don’t have to meet and talk to our friends to update each other of what is going on in our lives, we can just have a look online.

/Amelie Norén

October 10, 2018

The Signage Guidance System in Public Transportation Space

wayfinding

Butler, Judith said, ‘vulnerability is not a subjective disposition, but a relation to a field of objects, forces, and passions that impinge upon or affect us in some way.’ When I saw this sentence the first time, I think it is very interesting because the concept is very abstract. It true that the infrastructural vulnerability is also caused by many complicated reasons, such as the people who use it, the relevant architecture, the operation of the traffic system. I am focusing on studying the wayfinding signage guidance system since the signage guidance system is very important in our daily life but is also usually ignored by people who are not using it.

As an important auxiliary facility in urban public transportation environment, the signage guidance system is often ignored by people. The signage guidance system can connect people in urban complex traffic with public transportation space. It is a powerful information support in the urban public environment, and it is especially important to improve people’s multi-directional discrimination. When we are waiting for the subway in the subway station, we can see the information on the sign board remained us which train will arrive and how long time does the subway arrive. We can also see the indicator in the bus station, subway station or on the road. Just think about what will happen if there is no wayfinding signage guidance in public transportation since Urban traffic environment is gradually developing in a three-dimensional direction. The suitable use of the system will help the stranger get the information he needs in the fastest time in an increasingly complex space.

The beautiful urban rail transit identification system can beautify the visual environment of the rail transit space and create a pleasant and comfortable ride environment. In Stockholm, every subway station is decorated by different types of pattern, in which you can feel the fascination of the city culture. This kind of design is also a good way to help people remember different station. But the wayfinding signage guidance system is not very perfect in Stockholm. For instance, one subway station has several exports, when we get off of the subway we don not know which direction we should go because there is no direction sign which wastes time of passengers from other city. Therefore, there are still much necessity to improve the signage guidance system in public transportation in stockhlom.

The design of the traffic’s signage system is an important part of improving the transportation construction. The effective and standardized public traffic guidance system is the soul of modern traffic guidance. Reducing passengers’ ineffective stay time plays a very important role in the function of rail transit.

Mengying

Cycling system elements

October 10, 2018

CaptureI believe that cycling is good for everything: for the accessibility of cities, for the environment, for fun and for a healthy life.

 

As for the elements of cycling system, lanes, parking lots are main parts with assistant facilities as the boundary. It is important to realize the boundary of the system to include enough parts so that their relationship to lanes and parking lots makes sense.

When we start from the boundary of a system well, we find the elements relate to the other system like commerce, and see what is going on. Thinking of everything within some boundary as being a system suggests the need to look for certain kinds of influence and behaviour. We should consider the system’s inputs and outputs, the outputs of some parts being inputs for others. Some cases are trying to make an inventory of the roads and add characteristics, such as the quality of the road surface, whether it is paved or unpaved, and information about the surroundings even including benches, obstacles for tandems or cargo bikes, museums, ferries, tourist information centres, bicycle shops and charge points for electric bicycles.

Stockholm is taking smaller steps in parking perspective. They include placing on-street bicycle racks around the downtown and incorporating a bicycle parking area into a city-owned parking garage. This assistant part has all-hours access and also boasts personal lockers, showers, retail, repairs, air-conditioning, a cafe and bicycle- and car-sharing programs. It offers Internet access, and public transit is nearby.

When it comes to the lanes, mixing or separating is the most controversial part during system establishment. We put cyclists and motorists together on the road or we each give them their own lane. Whoever does not feel comfortable on a road because of the cars driving around, soon thinks: give me a bike path. Yet a cycle path or a bicycle lane is not the only solution to make a road more pleasant for cyclists. There are also other possibilities: we can ensure that fewer cars drive by making the road unattractive for car traffic, or reduce vehicle speed. In addition a parking ban or a stopping ban for motorists can also ensure that cycling becomes more pleasant.

Systems are not mutually exclusive. Any part of cycling may itself be considered as a system-a subsystem-with its own internal parts and interactions. Any element is likely to be part of a larger system that it influences and that influences it. The idea of an integral system should be expanded to include connections among all the elements above.

Jiameng Li   Task3

Cycling system as a flow

October 10, 2018

senminar reading-01

‘I take my kids to the doctor some mornings, then bring them to school before I go to work. Later, I help my mother buy groceries and bring my kids home on the metro.’

 

Women have a much more varied pattern of movement. They were writing things like above. In the transportation field, specifically, women are more likely to see the world through a lens that is not exclusively focused on peak commuting hours and maximum throughput on roads. They can relate to the concerns of a woman who must get to and from a night shift, and who dreads the long wait at the dark bus stop. Many of them have, or have had, primary responsibility in their own families for transporting children on multiple trips daily. As a result, they are perhaps more sensitive to how hard it is for people with different needs, schedules, and challenges to get from point A to point B — which is, after all, the whole point of transportation systems.

People never think about how gender related to bicycling. For a long time woman was just a solo cyclist, commuting to work every day out of financial necessity. The majority of men reported using either a car or public transit twice a day — to go to work in the morning and come home at night. Women, on the other hand, used the city’s network of sidewalks, bike lanes more frequently and for a myriad reasons.

For increasing the safety, way finding and infrastructure experience, we need to focus on an integral system establishment. Bicycle system will not only save the physical and artificial barriers but will also make the transportation more flexible and permeable. It will also reduce times and will bring distances. Different from the automotive systems, if we establish an integral circle, cycling lanes will generate and recover public spaces taking advantage of the intersections and nodes.

From the perspective of environment-friendly term, it is self-sufficient and will reduce the energy of electric vehicles and reduce their energy cost. Cycling lanes will absorb elements of the sidewalk with clean the pedestrian space. To some extent this system will contribute to improve the set of soft mobility increase people’s autonomy. It will integrate a system of storage and services, organized by scales, adapting to the bike paths and the different elements, situations and urban and road morphologies.

The whole infrastructure including the assistant part are trying to take advantage of their properties of extension and arterial influence, serving as a latent metropolitan support for facilities, becoming itself a supply and messaging network.

 

Jiameng Li   Task2