Initiative & Institution Symposium

Friday, 07.03.08, 11.00

trigger talks and discussion:
jens brandt (supertanker)
maurice mitchell & annika grafweg
chair: jeremy till

Listen to the mp3 here: Initiative & Institution – Symposium – Exercise – 07.03.08

Jens Brandt

Architect by education (Copenhagen and Berlin), but also with a background in visual arts and theatre. One of my driving forces is the presence in everyday life and people living in an urban environment. I worked with Supertanker and Urban Task Force (two interdisciplinary and independent NGOs) for the last 5 years as a catalyst in the field between urban life and overall urban development. Our methods consist of high degree of receptivity and constructive dialogue, with consideration given to cultural diversity in the city and asymmetric power relations between stakeholders, involving the citizens as co-creators.


Here is a quote:

The paper will use this process to investigate the notion of porosity that Walther Benjamin talks about in his description of Naples, Italy, in 1925

“At the base of the cliff itself, where it touches the shore, caves have been hewn… As porous as this stone is the architecture. Building and action interpenetrate in the courtyards, arcades, and stairways. In everything, they preserve the scope to become a theatre of new, unforeseen constellation. The stamp of definitive is avoided. No situation appears intended forever; no figure asserts it ‘thus and not otherwise’. This is how architecture, the most binding part of the communal rhythm, comes into being here…”



How do we create a porous architecture that both have the aspects of initiative (dialogue and open ended process) and institution (being concrete and physical) and as such being more inclusive and having the potential of becoming “the most binding part of the communal rhythm”.


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