A Creativity route in the Linear city

The tour of Linear city was guided from Foteini, Kyong, Eranda and Claudia.
It has 12 steps and 5 sections, which were about improvisation, green space, cafe cation, semi-public and real intervention.

1 Step : Transition space from private to public

2 Step : Coffee table improvisation
The coffee table is a border of small improvisation.

3 Step : Parking space
The free previous public space is in the use of the cars,
in the time hours the cars are not in the area the people of it use this space
and transformed in small communities corners.
4 Step : Creating stairs
The store is on the basement and the storage is upstairs.
They needed something to connect. 
5 Step : Temporary extra space
The walls are extended to create extra space.

6 Step : Inner garden
The cafe uses green from inside to outside.

7 Step : Demolished buildings
Even though the buildings were already demolished,
the parking space is still alive for public.

8 Step : Renovated from facade
The same building was renovated from the façade that looks on the street,
but was not from the inner yard side.
9 Step : Empty fence
It's a flexible space. During the day, people make a community,
on the other hand, it's completely empty during the night.
10 Step : Chess island
The table in the middle of space is for public space,
but the small bench from outside makes no boundary.

11 Step : From parking to garden
The garden makes private space into public space for local community.

12 Step : benches
The place is occupied from coffee shop excluded this public bench.

Creativity in ‘The New City’

During the workshop days, we organized several walks in the city, to have a more close view to what was going on in Tirana, the capital of Albania. We were all divided in 4 groups, and each group was given a certain area of research.

“The New City” was the last of the four areas, and the guides were Gjergji, Nina, Kiara and Wei-Hsun.  The rest of us were invited on a very interesting tour, labeled as the “Creative Hunting”. The creativity was not presented to us, but we were let free to define it, by using the hints given. 

“The Creative Hunting” consisted of spotting six purple ribbons, one for each creative use of space. The one who would collect the most ribbons, would be the winner at  the end of the tour. 

Stop 1: Passing through
A passage within the bar, connecting two different neighborhoods.

Stop 2: Laundry Square
A common space used as an outside clothe-hanger.

Stop 4: Street Car Market
An ordinary parking space transformed into a car sales market.

Stop 6: Tree Stands
When trees take over the role of displaying public announcements. 

A creativity tour through the garden city

The tour of Michaela, Magdalena and Saimir started by entering the garden city through a "rabbit hole"; a dark passage underneath a colorful facade of an apartment block. The group designed a map especially for this tour to guide us through the area. 

The second stop is the street with the showcases. On this street people are selling all kinds of electric home products, like hair dryers and microwaves. Because of the many showcases on the street, this area is called the electric market. However, this way of selling goods is unofficial, so people bring their goods in the morning and take them again in the evening. The showcases are improvised, made of wood and cardboard. They look quite messy and unsecured. The products are collected in boxes, so that they can be easily transported.

Next to the market is the readers corner. Saimir is reading a book on a staircase in the sun, to show us what a guy was doing the day before. Above the reading spot, the facade says: “Te kam zgjedhur”, which means “I have chosen”. It seems that the guy had chosen the perfect spot to read a book.

As we continue the tour we pass ‘the gold future’. The gold future is an education center to learn foreign languages. The house was initially build for living, but now functioning as a school. The name of the school is promising, because learning a foreign language, is very important in Albania to become successful. 

The garden city gets its name from the many beautifull gardens, which are hidden behind the walls of the houses. As we walk through the area we pass many of these hidden paradises. They are always private, so we cannot enter them, but we can get a glimpse if we take look from up the wall.

We hurry to the next spot which belongs to a love story. The story goes that two loved ones, once wanted to connect their houses and therefore build these pillars in between. Unfortunatly they broke up, and the pillars are the only thing which remains of their love (we wonder if this story is really true). 
We skip Las Vegas and the staircase terrace. 

Magdalena makes us walk a rope, which is placed on the street to make the cars slow down. We think the rope is placed their by the citizens, not the municipality. 

The end of the tour is a dynamic wooden construction called ‘station rabbithole’ It is an imaginary tram station from which we can take the tram to The Hague. A ticket is offered by our tourguides.


On the 29th of November the INSIDE group visited the most important and biggerst polders of the Netherlands: the Noord Oost Polder (North East Polder) and Flevoland.

The most fascinating thing about the polderdag for me was the documentary "A NEW VILLAGE ON NEW LAND". The documentary shows the development of the village of Nagele in the northeast polder. The village is a striking example of postwar planning in the Netherlands.

The village was intended for agricultural workers and was designed and built in one great gesture by architects such as Aldo van Eyck, Gerrit Rietveld and Mien Ruys.
The film showed how the architects planned the lives of the people, who were allowed to live there. Not everyone could settle down in Nagele, the residents were selected according to criteria. Already in the design all efforts have been made to make Nagele a close-knit community. The architects had a clear goal, the village was designed to be successful not only for the current generation but also for many generations thereafter.
I find it hard to understand that these architects were convinced that the future generations did not have different needs and therefore demanded a different living environment.

The documentary showed how controlled life in the polder was.
Everything in the polder is invented, created and controlled by men. Nothing is random, even the nature is planted in a grid.
Seeing this movie made me realize how we Dutch like to have everything under control and keep it that way. To the smallest detail.

Documentary: 'Een Nieuw Dorp Op Nieuw Land'

The Noord Oost Polder (land since 1942)

Flevoland (land since 1957-1968)

A temporary pavillion from wooden pallets

In Denmark, the Arrhus school of architecture, 9 students designed and built 'Be Paletto', a temporary pavillion wooden pallets. The pavillion was meant to become an active element in the everyday-life of the school, and not to be only an object.

The symposium, INSIDE dialogues.

The symposium, INSIDE Dialogues, started in a warm atmosphere after a lunch, in a large room of KABK filled with copies of ancient ruins. It was quite an odd setting where one comes from Egypt another from Greek, but then it somehow reflected the study consists of three discrete studios with each distinct approach. Structured in three parts, each part of the symposium started with a short introduction of each studio's theme followed by a guest's lecture. 

After Hans Venhuizen's introduction, Jan Jongert started the first part, presenting the idea of "flows" with a number of examples. He explained how design process can be started by an analysis of our surroundings in terms of flows and then developed in direction of improving those flows. Kyong Park then introduced APAP(Anyang Public Art Project, Korea) which he directed in 2010. He challenged this city-sponsored program aimed at re-branding of the city, asking artists to focus on intervening existing lives of people there rather than making art objects. If we view the project in terms of flows, we find that the project was focused on a rather unmeasurable layer beyond flows, which, I personally think, raised a valuable question on the inevitably abstract nature of the approach through flows.

A study of flows, 2012Architects

Raumlabor's project in APAP 2010

In the second part, Kristian Koreman(ZUS) talked on their wider perspective on "interior", so to speak, urban interior. With ever increasing control permeating every parts of our lives, the boundary between public and private spaces became blurred, challenging the conventional notion of "interior". His studio will focus on large-scale public interiors of terminals, imagining the network of terminals connected by Highspeed Train as one city. Such imagination became more convincing as Mark Pimlott talked on his study of the Underground City of Montreal, Canada, a huge physical underground infrastructure spreaded over 30km connecting stations, offices, shopping malls.

Interior of Schiphol Airport

Underground City of Montreal, Canada [image courtesy of Placemarketing.nl]

The third part was more of an open discussion on "chance". Anne Holtrop introduced how chance can be embraced into architecture with a number of examples from fine arts and design. Bertjan Pot, a dutch industrial designer, argued his approach, which Anne Holtrop saw as focused on chance, was not about allowing chances but more about being led by process. The discussion continued on if the examples were about allowing chances or about degree of control, then even further on whether a chance can even exist. Although the discussion couldn't be continued because of the time limit, I think the questions should be continued and examined in the studio accompanied with more refined, shared definition of the term, chance.

A given example of chance, 3 Standard Stoppages by Marcel Duchamp

As the symposium was a departure, not an arrival, all other presented ideas will be also experimented and transformed in the studios throughout a year. And no doubt this blog will be a site for sharing its process which I am looking forward to taking part of.

*More information of the symposium and guests can be found on the website.