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Europan 14: Productive Cities

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City: Narvik
Title: The ecology of making

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‘The Ecology of making’ is a holistic vision for a development of the technical quarter in Narvik.

The project offers a reading of Narvik as a whole, both spatially and socially, arguing that ideas on productivity can not be limited to a singular, isolated place. The project proposes architectural transformations and punctual additions, building on the eclectic history of the site.

The project suggest an ecology of making: An ecology of programme, space and connections that understand productivity as a living organism. Weaving the project site into the adjacent Bromsgård Park, the project does not propose clear boundaries between leisure and work, nor between learning and researching.

A productive city is not only a question about production facilities, workshops or of ces. A productive city is one where value is produced; this value can be monetary, but also be social and cultural. In a productive city its habitants understand themselves as a a valuable member of society: contributing to a common wealth- that is shared and nourished amongst them.

A city can only be productive if it takes well care of and reaches out to its citizens in a generous gesture. This generosity produces pride and sense of identity – which we think is essential in handling the challenges Narvik is facing and setting local potential free.

The proposal suggests layering a variety of programmes throughout a variety of sections. A mix of public functions, spaces for teaching and learning, for being and making – from amateur to professional, creates a living enviorment.The different programs friction with other users, professions and citizens encourages the sharing of knowledge and ideas, building a sense of community that forms the basis of the ecology of making.

Making doesn’t stop when you leave an office. Making begins in the street: It flowers in conversation and observation. A productive city is a place, that sets one free to seek for moments to thrive.
The city must give space and opportunity for this search, allow for one to wander trough and talk and settle down.

A productive city is not a city of buildings, but a city of spaces for the cultures of making.