a temporary urban installation
Together with Growlab Oslo we were engaged by Oslo Bymiljøetaten to undertake a participatory project that would study the area and community around Kolstadgata at Tøyen and develop some temporary structure to educate and develop ideas for the proposed new torg.
We set up a pop-up office in the container outside Aktivitetshuset K1 and talked to neighbours, passers-by, had meetings with local organizations and arranged open and closed workshops. The research showed that the community was very engaged, wanted change and wanted to help enact that change.
They wanted the new square to be a green oasis, a non-commercial and comfortable meeting place with color and identity, where various activities and events can be carried out by and for the locals. The space should be open and transparent, while at the same time having protected zones for socialising for different groups and individuals. Young people are highlighted as a particularly needy group of good outdoor spaces on Tøyen.
With limited budget and time, we transformed Tøyen residents' input into three structures and a big information board, that were to be built in four days by unskilled workers. We employed a workforce of six people from the local community. We announced the positions specifically for young people between 18-25 years because the target group itself had requested more job opportunities and we wanted to respond to that. In the team we also had two people from Fontenehuset Øst, which is a workplace for people with mental health challenges. We wanted a working group where one gets to know each other across social groups. The fourth building day was open to everyone, and many came from the local community and contributed with different work tasks, such as painting.
The installations responded to a variety of selected needs. One was designed as a PLATFORM to operate as a stage for example for dancing. The second structure was a SPEAKERS CORNER, and the third a MAKRET STALL that can also be a place for parents to relax while the children play. The main concept was to create a stronger connection between Tøyen Torg, Tøyen's School schoolyard and Aktivitetshuset K1, therefore the installations was built at various locations along the street (that was yet to be completely closed for traffic).
The fourth element, INFO BOARD, was installed centrally in the street later in 2019. The structures have a simple striped color palette that reflects the diverse and complex that make up the local community.
We developed a series of structures, waypoints and signs that would begin to turn disconnected spaces into a connected place.
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