Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Rethinking Economic Growth

Tre grånande herrar

Christopher Alexander er noko so sjeldant som ein arkitekt som meistrar tekning, språk, matematikk og fysikk på høgste nivå. Alle desse evnene har han nytta til å skapa eit nytt teoretisk grunnlag for arkitekturen. Fyrst gjekk Alexander til historia for å sjå kva ho har å tilby, og han dokumenterte 253 tidlause ”pattern” i klassikaren A Pattern Language. Seinare gjekk han til naturen for å læra, og han fann at orden og heilskap i naturen og arkitekturen er eit og det same, dokumentert i The Nature of Order.

Anton Schneider er den tyske bygningsbiologien sin far, betre kjend under termen ”baubiologie”. Han starta ein forskings- og utdanningsinstitusjon i Neubeuern i 1976, og Tyskland har i dag eit velutvikla nettverk av bygningsbiologar. Det er i stor grad deira fortenest at Tyskland har eit rikt utval av økologiske byggprodukt, som naturmaling, naturfiberisolasjon og bygningsplatar av mellom anna leire, og sjølv dei store byggevarehusa tek dei seriøst.

Bill Mollison er grunnleggjaren av den internasjonale permakulturrørsla. Permakultur var opprinneleg ein samantrekning av orda permanent agrikultur, men ville famna vidare og redefinerte omgrepet til òg å gjelda ein permanent kultur, og omfattar soleis både Alexander og bygningsbiologien. Målet er ein ny kultur i harmoni med naturen og dens prosessar.

The Deep Truth of a Sheltering Roof

The roof plays a primal role in our lives. The most primitive buildings are nothing but a roof. If the roof is hidden, if its presence cannot be felt around the building, or if it cannot be used, then people will lack a fundamental sense of shelter. - Christopher Alexander
Traditional farmhouse from Løten, Norway
So, the question is, why not? Why does this taboo exist? What is this funny business about having to prove you are a modem architect and having to do something other than a pitched roof? The simplest explanation is that you have to do these others to prove your membership in the fraternity of modern architecture. You have to do something more far out, otherwise people will think you are a simpleton. But I do not think that is the whole story. I think the more crucial explanation -- very strongly related to what I was talking about last night -- is that the pitched roof contains a very, very primitive power of feeling. Not a low pitched, tract house roof, but a beautifully shaped, fully pitched roof. That kind of roof has a very primitive essence as a shape, which reaches into a very vulnerable part of you. But the version that is okay among the architectural fraternity is the one which does not have the feeling: the weird angle, the butterfly, the asymmetrically steep shed, etc. -- all the shapes which look interesting but which lack feeling altogether. The roof issue is a simple example. But I do believe the history of architecture in the last few decades has been one of specifically and repeatedly trying to avoid any primitive feeling whatsoever. Why this has taken place, I don't know. Christopher Alexander
This is a modernists taboo, after 100 years of modernism they still suffer from a severe phobia for pitched roofs. Could any fancy-full ego-form make these houses resemble more with the surrounding mountainous landscape? The picture is from Evanger, Norway.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Commons Law Project: A Vision of Green Governance

Image: Commons Strategies Group
It is our premise that human societies will not succeed in overcoming our myriad eco-crises through better ‘green’ technology or economic reforms alone; we must pioneer new types of governance that allow and encourage people to move from anthropocentrism to biocentrism, and to develop qualitatively different types of relationships with nature itself and, indeed, with each other. An economics and supporting civic polity that valorizes growth and material development as the precondition for virtually everything else is ultimately a dead end—literally. David Bollier
The Commons Law Project: A Vision of Green Governance
It might be claimed that green governance is a utopian enterprise. But the reality is that it is the neoliberal project of ever-expanding consumption on a global scale that is the utopian, totalistic dream. It manifestly cannot fulfill its mythological vision of human progress through ubiquitous market activity. It simply demands more than nature can deliver, and it inflicts too much social inequity and disruption in the process. The first step toward sanity requires that we recognize our myriad ecological crises as symptoms of an unsustainable cultural, socioeconomic and political worldview. - David Bollier

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Seksti år med kjøpesentret

Etter privatbilen kan eg knapt tenkje meg noko som har bidrege meir til amerikaniseringa av den norske kulturen enn kjøpesentret. Men desse to er òg uskiljelege. Om ein her skal dra ein parallell med den gamle gåta om kven som kom fyrst, høna eller egget, er svaret enkelt. Privatbilen kom fyrst, kjøpesentret vart gullegget, særleg for dei store kjedebutikkane. Etter kvart som dei vart klekte har dei utvikla seg til store og blodtørstige dinosaurar, som trampar ned og riv i filler alt og alle som kjem i deira veg. Attende ligg eit livlaust øydeland.


Paradokset er at folk søkjer seg til kjøpesentra for å oppleva urbant liv, som nettopp desse har vore med på å utarma. Dei som driv kjøpesentra forsvarar seg med at folk sjølve vel å koma til dei, dei tvinger ingen. Truleg har dei som planlegg desse sentra mykje større kunnskap om folk sine rørslemønster og urbane behov enn dei fleste byråkratar. Men det er ikkje ekte urbant liv dei tilbyd, som so mykje anna i dag er det berre eit substitutt, og kjøpesentret har i so måte mest til felles med eit horehus. Enda meir alvorleg er at kjøpesentret er ein innkapsling av urbant liv, noko som tyder ein innkapsling av sjølve menneskelivet. Kanskje den største forbanninga som har råka det moderne mennesket, er innkapslinga av stendig fleire aspekt av livet.
But there's a problem. We have fractured these urban networks, and rebuilt much more dispersed, “dendritic” systems, connected not by pedestrians, but by automobiles, dispersed suburban campuses and parks, and single-family monocultures, supplemented by telephones and now, computers. The majority of us lives in encapsulated houses, in encapsulated neighborhoods, and travel in encapsulated cars to encapsulated work places, stores and other destinations. Michael Mehaffy
Og slik lev dei so kalla frie menneska av det tjugefyrste hundreåret liva deira, innkapsla, utan moglegheit til å sjå verda frå perspektivet til ein utsprungen sumarfugl. Vår fridom er berre ein vits!

Det moderne mennesket vert stendig meir innkapsla og segregert

I Amerika har dei ein eigen evne til å dra parodiane på menneskjelivet inn i det absurde, der dei som ein respons på kjøpesentra sitt dalande rykte har bygd opp kulissar av gamle bymiljø, men der alt er eigd av "senterleiinga", og der alt vert avstengt når shopping-dagen er over. Dette vert sjølvsagt endå kvalmare, då parodien på ekte urbant liv vert endå meir skjerande. Men hjernedaude konsumentar sveltefora på urbane opplevingar er lette å lokka. Ikkje det at eg er noko betre, eg òg kjenner på draginga mot kjøpesentret. Forskjellen er at eg veit at det eg får er ikkje ekte kjærleik.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Propriety of Scale and the Standard of Ecological Health

I was so gratified to see Wendell Berry’s remarks in a recent interview (“Wendell Berry: Landsman” with Jim Leach in Humanities magazine, May/June 2012) where he makes a point about economics that is overlooked in these days when divisiveness rules the political roost. The general view is that the economic battle is between capitalism and socialism, but as Wendell observes, “both are industrial systems and they have made the same mistakes in some ways.” Both have ignored “the propriety of scale and the standard of ecological health.” Gene Logsdon

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Great Chemical Reaction: Life and Death of Gaia by Ugo Bardi

Read the whole article by Ugo Bardi:
"We can't hope that the silicate thermostat will save us from CO2 caused warming. This reaction
is damn slow by our standards. It will, eventually, remove from the atmosphere the CO2 we have emitted, but it will take tens of thousands of years, at the very least. Look at thesesimulations by Dave Archer and you see what the problem is:
See? part of the CO2 we have emitted in the atmosphere will still be there in 40,000 years from now. Actually, it will stay there much longer. So, you see how important it is the reaction that I showed to you. The silicate weathering reaction is what keeps "Gaia" alive - better said, it is Gaia. And don't make the mistake of thinking that Gaia is a goddess and that, somehow, she cares about us. No, it is more correct to say that Gaia doesn't give a damn about us - which is what you'd expect from a chemical reaction, after all. It is us who have been tampering with this chemical reaction and it will be us who will have to face the consequences.
In the end, we can't hope to force the planet to do what we want it to do. So, we must learn to live with the flow of the Earth's cycles. For that, we must know a little chemistry my idea today was to show to you a bit of this chemistry. But more than chemistry, we must learn our limits, otherwise we won't survive for long.
This is our Earth, not a fantasy planet, let's try to keep it the way we found it."

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hvem har rett, Charles Eisenstein eller Erik Solheim?

For ikke lenge siden var Erik Solheim i Aftenposten og hyllet skyskrapere, og ønsket flere høyblokker i Oslo for å redde Oslomarka. Denne gangen er han ute og hyller økonomisk vekst for å redde verden. Det slår meg at begge forslagene er like urealistiske, og sannsynligvis er det den samme mennesketypen som støtter begge disse ideene. Men ingenting kan vokse inn i himmelen, hverken økonomisk vekst eller skyskrapere. Sannelig godt at han ikke lenger er miljø- og utviklingsminister! 

Erik Solheim er et godt eksempel på en skyskraperfetisjist, mennesker med denne legningen er gjerne også giret på økonomisk vekst som en mirakelkur for alle verdens problemer. Jeg har tidligere også sett han hylle Kinas omfavnelse av kapitalismen. Underbevisst tror jeg det er alle skyskraperne som bygges i Kina han er forelsket i, da Kina ferdigstiller en ny skyskraper hver femte dag. Foto: Nordic Council

Den beste vi kunne erstattet Erik Solheim med er trolig Charles Eisenstein, forfatteren av boka Sacred Economics: Money, Gift & Society in the Age of Transition.
Sacred Economics argues that what economists commonly refer to as growth is the expansion of scarcity into areas of life once characterized by abundance. Fresh water, which was once abundant, has become scarce following its transformation into a commodity we have to pay for.

The fractional reserve banking system, which allows bankers to create money out of thin air – through loan generation – accentuates the pressure to convert more and more of the commons into commodities. Because the debt and interest created is always greater than the money supply (current global debt is estimated at $75 trillion, in contrast to global wealth of $30 trillion), there is always constant pressure to produce more goods and services to repay it. This explains why there are always people willing to cut down the last forest and catch the last fish.

As natural resources, such as fossil fuels, minerals, forests, fish and water, are rapidly converted to commodities, a similar transformation occurs in the social, cultural and spiritual commons. Stuff that was free throughout all human history – stories, songs, images, ideas, clever sayings – are copyrighted or trademarked to enable them to be bought and sold.

According to Eisenstein, the main reason for the world’s current financial crisis is that we continue to face mountains of increasing debt – yet have run out natural, cultural, social and spiritual capital we can convert to money to repay it. Stuart Jeanne Bramhall 
- Conceptualizing Post-Capitalist Economics

Friday, May 18, 2012

Broene over Hunnselva

Dette er Gjøviks vakreste bro i dag, ingen stor bragd, men så er heller ikke konkurransen så hard i toppen innen denne genren i byen vår. Litt konkurranse kunne gjort seg! En større oppløsning av fotoet er tilgjengelig her.

Innen genren Gjøviks styggeste bro er konkurransen derimot beinhard, og dette eksemplaret hevder seg godt i toppen, dvs. et absolutt bunnmål. I tillegg er dette den siste brua over Hunnselva ned mot Mjøsa, en svært uverdig avslutning for denne elva som tross alt har lagt grunnlaget for byens eksistens. En større oppløsning av fotoet er tilgjengelig her.

17. mai på Gjøvik 2012

En liten 17. mai hilsen fra Gjøvik

Brilliant from Kevin Carson's Upcoming Book

Hierarchical institutions, on the other hand, are almost uniformly successful because everyone’s scared to tell the bosses how stupid their policies are and how shitty their products are. Failure is in fact a byproduct of the process by which success is achieved: most products in the corporate economy are only considered “good enough” because customers are powerless.

The problem, to repeat, is that no matter how intelligent the people staffing a large institution are as individuals, hierarchy makes their intelligence unusable. Given that the institution does not exist as a vehicle for the goals of its members, given that there is no intrinsic connection between their personal motivation and their roles in the organization, and given that the information and agency problems of a hierarchy prevent consequences from being fully internalized by actors, individuals simply cannot be trusted with the discretion to act on their own intelligence or common sense. That’s the whole idea behind standardized work-rules, job descriptions, and all the rest of the Weberian model of bureaucratic rationality: because someone, somewhere might use her initiative in ways that produce results that are detrimental to the interests of the organization, you need a set of rules in place that prevent anyone from doing anything at all. - Kevin Carson
This is at the very core of why Norway and the world is going to Hell. Nothing is made out of LOVE and THRUST. Just look at the ongoing destruction of Oslo these days, take a especially good look at the Barcode Wall.

The Desktop Regulatory State Chapt. 2: The Systematic Stupidity of Hierarchies

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Husmannsplass på Toten

Husmannsplass på Østre Toten

Ubeboelige høyblokker og skyskraperfetisjister

Framtida ser meget stygg ut for Oslo, da AHO er fullt av skyskraperfetisjister. Også Erik Solheim er en av disse, så det var en lykke at han ble sparket fra regjeringa. ROM Eiendom er som et pornokonglomerat, som ser det som sin oppgave å bygge flest mulig skyskraperfalloser for de "tower-in-the-park"-nymfomane. Bare så synd at de på død og liv skal påtvinge oss alle vulgærfallosene sine. Kunne de ikke holdt seg til noe litt mindre, som fikk plass under dyna?

Les mer hos Better! Cities&Towns:

Uninhabitable high-rises

Tenk om skyskraperfetisjistene kunne vært fornøyd med dette. Men neida, de eier ingen blygsel, de har ingen skam! Foto: Eva K.

Good News from America

Why Young Americans Are Driving So Much Less Than Their Parents

Watercolor by Hy Sandham, aquarelle print by L. Prang & Co., ca. 1887

Happiness Research Ranks Commuting Lowest: My Car-Free Alternative


Related reading (in Norwegian):

Placemaking as a New Environmentalism

But we will also be asking new questions:
  • Is it enhancing life, both natural and human?
  • Will it maximize the potential for creativity and broad social changes?
  • Does it reflect love and care for our surroundings (environmental, community, social, cultural, historical, and economic)?
  • Does it support the broader ecological and social systems of which we are a part?
  • Is it the best we can do to nurture nature, communities and people?

Related reading:

Max Keiser Talks with David Graeber

Max Keiser talks with David Graeber, author of Debt: The First 5000 Years, about weaponized debt and the origins of May Day:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Strømmen kirke, mot strømmen

Strømmen utenfor Oslo er et helt borti natta stygt sted, og for å understreke heseligheten har de bygget landets kanskje styggeste kulturhus (her er konkurransen ekstrem), en parodi på Le Corbusier. Med andre ord, Strømmen er Le Corbusier, den store byødeleggeren, sitt paradis på jord.

Midt inne i dette helvetet finner man en flik av lys fra himmelrik, Strømmen kirke. Var ute og kjørte i går, hadde med kameraet, og stoppet som ved impuls for å ta en titt på denne flotte natursteinskirka.

Strømmen kirke. Full oppløsning her.

Vår på flatbygdene

I fjor var det bare høst og høst og høst. I år er det bare vår og vår og vår. Tro om vi i år får noen sommer, eller går bare våren over i høst? Er vi i ferd med å få kun tre årstider, vinter, vår og høst?

Uansett, her er noen bilder fra flatbygdene på Toten som jeg tok i går kveld. Eller de duvende bygdene på Toten.

Totenvika mot Balke

Balkeåsen med Balke kirke

I hjertet av totenlandet. Bildet er tatt fra Hovsvangen mot Lensbygda.

Samme motiv som panorama

Hjemme igjen på Gjøvik. Min svigermor har laget en flott blomsterbedinnramming med trepinner fra avkapp. 

It's Time to Move from Democracy to Pluriarchy

In a hierarchy, all communications between members or between local nodes must pass through a limited number of central nodes. The only communications which are allowed to pass from one member or local node to another are those which meet the standards for distribution of those who control the central nodes. Only a few nodes within a hierarchy have the power to transmit; hence the use of the phrase “one-to-many” to describe its topology. The version of local news that appears in the local newspaper under the byline of a local journalist may be far superior in relevant detail and analysis, but it is the wire service version—even if far inferior in quality—which appears in local newspapers all around the world. It is only the communications approved by the Party Secretariat that are heard by all local cells of a party. [de Ugarte, The Power of Networks]

In a distributed network, on the other hand, every node has the power to transmit, and any two nodes can communicate directly with each other without passing through a central node or obtaining the approval of whoever controls that node. A network is “plurarchical,” in de Ugarte’s terminology, rather than democratic. Instead of the individual members simply selecting who controls the central nodes, “[s]omeone makes a proposal and everyone who wishes to join in can do so. The range of the action in question will depend on the degree to which the proposal is accepted. This system is called a pluriarchy….” Democracy is a “scarcity system” in which decision-making power is rivalrous: “the collective must face an either/or choice, between one filter and another, between one representative and another.” In a distributed network, on the other hand, decision-making power is non-rivalrous. Each individual’s decision affects only herself, and does not impede the ability of others to do likewise. “Even if the majority not only disagreed with a proposal, but also acted against it, it wouldn’t be able to prevent the proposal from being carried out.” “[I]n the blogosphere,” de Ugarte writes elsewhere,

a space where the social cost of an extra post is zero, any blogger’s publishing his or her information does not decrease anyone else’s publication possibilities. The marginal cost is zero. The need to collectively decide what is published and what is not simply disappears. As opposed to scarcity logic, which generates the need for democratic decision, abundant logic opens the door to pluriarchy.
In such a universe, every collective or hierarchical decision on what to publish or not can only be conceived as an artificial generation of scarcity, a decrease in diversity, and an impoverishment for all. [de Ugarte, Phyles (pdf)] Kevin Carson

Gaiateorien holder vann

Ny forskning bygger opp under gaia-teorien.
Is Earth really a sort of giant living organism as the Gaia hypothesis predicts? A new discovery made at the University of Maryland may provide a key to answering this question. This key of sulfur could allow scientists to unlock heretofore hidden interactions between ocean organisms, atmosphere, and land -- interactions that might provide evidence supporting this famous theory. — ScienceDaily (May 15, 2012)
Sulfur Finding May Hold Key to Gaia Theory of Earth as Living Organism

Mer enn Gaia

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A View of Lake Bondhus in Norway

A view of the lake Bondhus in Norway. In the background a view of the Bondhus Glacier as a part of the Folgefonna Glacier. Photo: Alchemist-hp 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Vår blå dronning er full av siloksaner

Mjøsa sett fra Eiktunet. Full oppløsning her.
Giftmord på adelige er vanlig kost opp gjennom historien. Men hvem kan være tjent med at vi forgifter vår blå dronning, Mjøsa, med siloksaner? For ikke lenge siden var det bromerte flammehemmere som var i skuddet. Elendigheten vil ingen ende ta. Vi ofrer vår blå dronning på skjønnhetens alter, da kosmetikk og maling er fullt av dette drittet. Les hele artikkelen i Forskning.no:

Giftstoff fra hudkrem i fisk fra Mjøsa

Vestbanespøken

The work of Nikos Salingaros shines a light on the instinctive workings of every human’s internal architecture critic. His explanation of why certain buildings and places speak to our hearts illuminates much of our old assumptions about taste. With Nikos as our guide, we see through the invisibility of the emperor’s new clothes, and we laugh (or cry) all the harder at the joke played on mankind by modern architecture. - Umbau Verlag

Det nye Nasjonalmuseet. Illustrasjon: Statsbygg

En nyere modell

Dessverre er dette en ekstraordinært dårlig spøk! (I guess this is what Nikos calls a "cube virus".)

Se video av det nye Nasjonalmuseet her.

Book-in-Progress by Kevin Carson

Extremely important book in progress by Kevin Carson: Chapter One. The Stigmergic Revolution (First Excerpt)

[This is the first of a series of excerpts from my book-in-progress, tentatively titled Desktop Regulatory State (click the link for a free online version of the latest manuscript]

II. Distributed Infrastructure and Ephemeralization

The larger and more hierarchical institutions become, and the more centralized the economic system, the larger the total share of production that will go to overhead, administration, waste, and the cost of doing business. The reasons are structural and geometrical.

Repair Manifesto

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Skyskraper-Kina

Kineserne vil bedras! Stakkars idioter! Dere gjør meg kvalm!
The situation with the new Asian states awakening from their competitive slumber is absolutely tragic. They are swallowing all the deceptions that originally sold city-destroying, soul-destroying, and culture-destroying architectural and urban typologies to the West. If this were the 1950s, then OK, we might excuse this error as a lack of experience. But we have several decades of mistakes, endlessly documented, endlessly discussed and debated. Why are the new Asian states copying the worst that the West did to their own people and to their own cities? Probably, the reason is that the West itself is still promoting the same destructive typologies — only a minority of us are condemning them, whereas the system is still stuck in a heroic city-destroying mode. - Nikos A. Saliongaros
Se video om Kinas skyskrapere (jeg advarer mot sterke sener):

Helt hekta på skyskrapere


Relatert:

Etter norsk lov er disse tre fotografiene ulovlige å frigjøre for allmenheten

Jeg ble akkurat klar over at norske kopirettighetslover er helt borti natta! I går lastet jeg opp tre fotografier av offentlige statuer i Gjøvik sentrum på Wikimedia Commons. Dessverre måtte de slette disse fotografiene, da de strider mot det norske lovverket. Ved neste valg stemmer jeg piratpartiet!

Lovene det siktes til kan du lese om her.

Jeg laster herved opp disse tre fotografiene på blogger og frigjør dem for allmennheten, helt fritt for restriksjoner, m.a.o. jeg frasier meg alle rettigheter til disse fotografiene:

Staue av Niels Ødegaard foran Gjøvik rådhus


Statue av Niels Ødegaard foran Gjøvik rådhus. Ordfører i Gjøvik 1923-1967

Statue foran Kauffeldtgården til minne om glassblåsertiden på Gjøvik


Statue til minne om glassblåsertiden på Gjøvik, i perioden 1807-1843

Statue av "Kornelia" ved Kauffeldtgården på Gjøvik


Statue av "Kornelia" ved Kauffeldtgården på Gjøvik. (Kari Rolfsen 1975)

Med dette har jeg tatt steget over i de kriminelles rekker, men jeg blir gjerne martyr for en god sak.

Kjønnsforskjellene ligger bak alt

Grunnleggende er det kjønnsforskjellene som ligger bak alle verdens kriger og miljøkatastrofer. Kriger og overforbruk skyldes mannens higen etter status, slik at han kan tiltrekke seg kvinner.

Uten kampen om kvinnens gunst, hvis kvinnene plutselig forsvant fra jordens overflate, ville vi menn ikke lenger ha noe å slåss for. Vi ville sette oss fredelig ned rundt bålet og fortelle historier, mens verden umerkelig gjenopprettet sin økologiske balanse omkring oss.

Dypest sett er mannen tilfreds med en gapahuk og en jakt i ny og ne. Alt dette statusjaget som tar knekken på oss skyldes ene og alene kvinnen! - Min kommentar
Dypest sett er mannen tilfreds med en gapahuk og en jakt i ny og ne. Foto: Nigel Davies

Voices from the Commons

Suicide Economics

Suicide economics gets it wrong on nearly every major issue because it is built on a foundation of fallacies.  It ignores natural limits, confuses means and ends, uses the wrong measure of value and the wrong unit of analysis, and it relies on a single improperly defined criterion function. David Korten
For most of the last century, economic growth was fuelled by what seemed to be a certain truth: the abundance of natural resources. We mined our way to growth. We burned our way to prosperity. We believed in consumption without consequences. Those days are gone.

In the 21st century, supplies are running short and the global thermostat is running high. Climate change is also showing us that the old model is more than obsolete. It has rendered it extremely dangerous. Over time, that model is a recipe for national disaster. It is a global suicide pact.

So what do we do in this current challenging situation? How do we create growth in a resource-constrained environment? How do we lift people out of poverty while protecting the planet and ecosystems that support economic growth? How do we regain the balance? All of this requires rethinking. - The secretary general of the UN

Permaculture is Purpose in Life

Surely, permaculture is medicine. You might also say that purpose of life is purpose in life. Permaculture is both!

Greater Purpose in Life May Protect Against Harmful Changes in the Brain Associated With Alzheimer’s Disease

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Det urbane mennesket er det same til evig tid

Ellen de Vibe hevdar 4. mai i svaret sitt til meg at måten menneska brukar og erfarer byrommet på, endrar seg over tid. På overflata kan nok dette vera rett, ein såg ikkje ungdomar koma farande på rullebrett i det antikke Roma. Men når det gjeld den djupare strukturen for rotekte urbanisme, det vi kan kalla den menneskelege skalaen, vil eg hevda at den er grunnleggjande uforanderleg. Dette gjer eg fordi eg har lese klassikaren A Pattern Language av Christopher Alexander, ei av dei viktigaste bøkene i det tjuande hundreåret. Med unnatak av nyurbanistane er dette ei forakta bok mellom planleggjarar og arkitektar, og dei har såleis freista anten å forteia eller latterleggjera dette banebrytande bokverket.

I A Pattern Language har Alexander dokumentert 253 såkalla ”pattern”, eg har inga god omsetjing for denne termen på norsk, kanskje mønster som inngår i ei form for ”vevspråk”. Eg vel å bruka det engelske ordet. Poenget er at desse ”patterna” er arketypiske eller universelle, dei er å finna att i mange kulturar over eit lengre historisk tidsrom. Dette fordi dei tek vare på menneskelege behov og den menneskelege skalaen på ein unik måte, uavhengig av tid og rom, der dei knyter menneskelivet til den urbane livsveven. Det er lov å læra av historia, og framtidige osloborgarar vil vera lite tente med at vi ikkje ville læra av visdomen hennar.

Menneska vert abstraherte når dei nedarva biofile instinkta deira ikkje vert tekne på alvor. Essayet av Salingaros eg nemnde i det førre innlegget mitt, var henta frå boka Biophilic Design: The Theory, Sciense, and Practise of Bringing Buildings to Life, redigert av Stephen Kellert, Judith Heerwagen & Martin Mador, New York: Wiley, 2008. For vidare innsikt i temaet biofilisk design vil eg visa til denne glimrande boka.

De Vibe skriv: ”Kun historien vil kunne bedømme om det vi bygger, har et fattig formspråk”. Igjen, svara ligg ikkje berre i framtida, vi treng ikkje venta på at historia skal openberre rett og gale for oss, det har ho alt gjort. Det mest frustrerande er likevel at de Vibe so enkelt avfeiar Christopher Alexanders monumentale bokverk, The Nature of Order, med eit enkelt pennestrok. Trass i alt, Alexander er ikkje berre ein smågut ein brydd feiar til sida.
The Nature of Order is not only a summa summarum of what Oxford University Press has called "The World of Christopher Alexander", but it is surely one of the most ambitious books ever published. If its profound argument -- that order in both nature and in what we build are essentially the same -- is ultimately understood and accepted by serious readers, it may prove to be one of the most consequential works Oxford has published in all its 500 years. - William McClung, special project editor for Oxford University Press, former senior editor of the University of California Press
Ikkje mange bøker får ein slik omtale, og eg er viss om at hovudstaden vår ville gått ei betre framtid i møte viss byplanleggjarane lånte Christopher Alexander eit øyra. Dei femten livsverdiane og Alexanders teori om sentra, mellom anna, er ikkje berre tåkeprat henta ut or skoddeheimen. Vi har her å gjera med ein framifrå vitskapsmann og ein stor tenkjar. Historia vil døma oss hardt viss vi ikkje snart tek han på alvor!

Publisert som lesarbrev i Dag og Tid. Nr. 19. 11. mai - 17. mai 2012. 51. årgangen. Side 32.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

P2P Product Cycle

Original article available here.

Larger image here
Production is in fact, you will forgive the term, tribalizing: it is increasingly self-consistent within a niche containing all production stages. The act of consumption itself becomes the act of economically and emotionally supporting your favorite crafter, artist or creative, their communities, their niche and their tribes.
However, crowdfunding is probably only the first among the expressions of a paradigm still being defined: while production costs lowers, the niche needed to support production becomes reduced in size of and, with the narrowing of the audience, users gain an increasingly important voice in defining product requirements, style, use cases. In some cases the niche even participates directly in certain phases of the production.
The design and creation process is transforming every day more quickly into a co-design and co-creation participatory and collaborative process.
In the past, design has often aimed to translate individual needs into general ones: it aimed to build products that were economically viable only because of economies of scale. This habit inevitably reduced the product’s ability to adhere to our personal and unique expectations as individuals.
Instead we’re now seeing the birth of a living process in which, on the contrary, design communities spontaneously emerge from the mass by using collaboration tools – the so-called platforms – to co-design and co-create solutions with general characteristics that, later in the process, will be subject to actual hacking and adaptation cycles producing, only then, the perfect fit.

This approach to production is likely intended to permeate every phase and aspect of the economy due to enormous advantages in efficiency. In fact, innovating in direct inspiration of a community – by definition more sustainable and participatory – is way more efficient if compared to the traditional innovation approach dictated by economic and market criteria.
Rather than create new demands the co-operative design process is about responding to them, rather than seeking innovation in the closed of R&D labs is about helping this ability to innovate to emerge directly by users and communities. This kind of approach dramatically shortens the distance between the emergence of a need (gap), and the formalization of the solutions and throws them immediately on the pitch in a continuous cycle of reformulation, adaptation and improvement, from scratch. Simone Cicero
P2p-production is the opposite of capitalism and modernist liberalism. This is even how our neighborhoods and cities should be designed! Larger image here

Read the whole article:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ecosystem Effects of Biodiversity Loss Could Rival Impacts of Climate Change, Pollution

ScienceDaily (May 2, 2012) — Loss of biodiversity appears to impact ecosystems as much as climate change, pollution and other major forms of environmental stress, according to a new study from an international research team.
Forest fruits from Barro Colorado. Photo: Christian Ziegler

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Glimpse of Hope for Oslo

Two young guys have started a new association called Oslo Restaurering, with the purpose of bringing Oslo back to her former beauty, restoring destroyed facades into their old glory. The names of these enthusiasts are Fredrik Andersen (22) and Joachim Moxon (29).

Avdekker det gamle Oslo

Wholeness Collapsing Transformations

Christopher Alexander often uses the therm wholeness-extending-transformations. This addition to the classical coastal wooden town Risør must definitely be the opposite, what we might call wholeness-collapsing-transformations. A pity, as we don't have much architectural beauty left in Norway.

The ugly buildings on the island are yet to be built, if they are they will become like an invasive and destructive species which doesn't belong to this beautiful coastal landscape. Click on the image for a magnification. Photo: Petter Bogen Arkitektkontor
Read the full article in Aftenposten: 

Kan Gjøvik bli en "Transition Town"

Totnes har klart det, da kan alle klare det! I dag har vi hjernedøde politikere som kun tenker veier, kjøpesentre og bydrepende moderne arkitektur. Det vi mangler er en Rob Hopkins, forøvrig en stor beundrer av Christopher Alexander og Bill Mollison.


Original artikkel her.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Norway's Foolish Detour into Shopping Malls (60 years since the shopping mall was invented)

Almost exactly six decades ago the enclosed suburban shopping mall was invented. It was a wholly new form of development, never seen previously. A B-list architect by the name of Victor Gruen, previously known mainly for designing retail shops and department stores, wrote a treatise on this building type. When his manifesto was published in in the June 1952 issue of Progressive Architecture magazine, it fired up the imaginations of both developers and city officials. Since then, many hundreds of malls have been built on thousands of acres in virtually every part of the country. All of them followed Gruen’s simple but compelling model: two or three department stores anchoring the ends of parallel rows of smaller stores that face towards an interior, covered passageway. Better! Cities & Towns

The World's Largest Shopping Mall:



- America's foolish detour into shopping malls

Commons: For a Policy Beyond Market and State


AMEN!


Just Published: A New German Anthology on the Commons
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