Saturday, May 5, 2012

'The Strip' from the 3-train

view from the New Lots bound 3-train towards the south

view from the Manhattan bound 3-train towards the north

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Case Study _ Public Infrastructure

This case study picks up some very recent projects in the city of New York that explore the idea of infrastructure as opportunity for new urban places with the need of activating the urban voids by which they are surrounded. Through new design concepts, adaptive re-use, unconventional development strategies and a flexible approach to program can help activate infrastructure for both public use and local benefit.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Presentation KUL Review1 _ Feb 01 2012

Public space is in need for new approaches in the comporary city. Interest shifted towards transport nodes in the network city. Spaces with a high collective character but unutilized possibilities. What is critical in our society is the simultaneous (re)structuring of the urban geography by the competing logics of the 'Space of Flows' and the 'Space of Places' [M. Castelles, 2001]. New possibilities for public design can be found in the growing importance of transportation nodes in the functioning of the city.

At the border between Brownsville and East New York a very exceptional strip is analysed. The construction of a freight railway created an interruption and by this a physical border in the grid. In this strip two possibilities are analysed with a view for the area's future developments of a stronger public tranportation and greener transport in terms of strategic bike routes.

My design will consider both the public transportation and biking issues. The bike route is designed between two existing routes of Liverty Avenue and Belt Parkway running through the strip mentioned above and linking up different surrounding neighborhoods. At the intersection of the L- and 3-train an area will be designed linking up both stations since the North - South connection is growing in importance in the Queens-Brooklyn connection. At this point the stations will be interlinked by the design of a public space giving new possibilities for this area.

In an analysis of the area of East New York and Brownsville different needs can be implemented together with the design of the transportation node and the bike strip. First interests now are urban farming and the provision of a youth center together with after school activities.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Infrastructure Reframed_Queens Plaza

An example of recent infrastructural design in Queens, New York City where mobility's oppression is replaced by new design, making place for pedestrians and cyclists.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Quick Start Proposal _ Future of Public Place?

This Quick Start Proposal proposes a questioning about the future of representative public space in the contemporary city and the city of tomorrow. How to create a place in the virtual connected world of the internet (individualization of communication), a world where everybody is on their way (destination culture) and a globalized culture that follows whatever happens in the market (commercialism)? What can a single local space mean to both local and global participants of today? 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Experiment _ City Experience through Distance and Time

Fulton Street, Brooklyn, is a very diverse street in means of people, vitality, street life, shops,.. But how get people an image of the city by traveling ahead? I Tried. By taking the subway, the bus, bike and by my own feet I traveled along Fulton Street in terms of declining speed. Subway brought me in no time from the Lafayette Avenue Station to Broadway Junction but I didn’t see anything from the city above. Bus was the most boring. Stopping all the time there was no progress and traffic didn’t make any progress. My favorites were biking and walking. Biking all the way down to Broadway Junction I first got the real experience about the traffic in Fulton Street. Driving in between the busy traffic was an experience on its own. By walking the city I started really loving her. Only in this way I got attracted to the city and its vitality, remarking ups and downs in street life. From now on I’ll only walk the streets!

Movies are made by myself and accelerated up to 20 times of normal speed.

Case Study [draft] _ Public Space in Subsurface Areas

In this case study I want to investigate the meaning of 'public' space in underground areas. Questionning the possibilities of New York Subway stations which cope each day with lots of people. Can this places be called public, and how can architects deal with this places to provice quality. Examples of big underground areas like Toronto, Montreal and Randstad (the Netherlands) are investigated.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Transformation Moments _ Presentation at Columbia University September 28, 2011

When talking about transformation, time is a primordial aspect. Change cannot happen in zero seconds so time has been significant for this research about Transformation Moments of New York City.
As a framework, three different scales set up this investigation of New York’s most significant moments of transformation. 

The story starts with the human scale of the young Brooklynite, Klara Schulte. Living in Crown Heights and working in Red Hook where she goes by bike, she meets all the requirements to mark contemporary issues of gentrification, nowadays land use and zoning, and mobility.  

The next scale considers the entire city of New York. In her history three important shifts took place in the Zoning Laws of 1916, 1961 and 2011. Each shift had been preceded by different factors like economy, identity, comfort, migration and safety all with different importance in time.
Two important questions arose. 

Is long-term thinking reduced by the Zoning Resolutions?

Does rezoning change the city’s development or goes it the other way around?

The last scale is about the time scale of all, of the universe and goes back to the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago. In this timeline the importance of our present is shown compared to the history of our existence. So questions came up about the effectiveness and importance of nowadays zoning.

Can we develop a method of proactive waiting for an unknown future?

Can we take in account future evolution in this strategy of proactive waiting?

By questioning these four statements some critiques about past and today’s development can be provoked and pull us up short.
To be continued..

Saturday, September 24, 2011

By the city / For the city: An Atlas of Possibilities for the Future of New York

A compendium of the initiative By the City / For the City as a result of the online inquiry by the Institute of Urban Design of New York. An inspiring atlas of different projects to indicate what's going on in the City and what neighborhoods and their people need.

The Public Space as an Internet of Things

Our information society is entering a new phase. We do not only surf the internet, we live in it. On the street we find ourselves increasingly surrounded by digital devices.

By reading this book I'll try to take a view about the importance of public space in this digital society and how both aspects can go together or even reinforce each other.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Spaces of Uncertainty, 2002

Public space in its traditional interpretations (its social and political ideas) is unable to follow the heartbeat of today's rapidly changing city. This book draws attention to public space in a changing city with a specific view for the in-between and a search for its margins.