Artek Manifest was a collaborative World Design Capital 2012 project founded by journalist, artist and creative director Tiina Alvesalo. The project made possible through a wide range of corporate partnerships with Artek, Helsinki WDC, Diesel S.p.A, Volvo, Upm Profi etc.

Thinking about the home – this is a good beginning for an International dialogue. This is why we asked twelve thinkers and design professionals in Finland and around the world to write their own manifestos. In this magazine these twelve apostles write about the home, each from his or her perspective. We who made this magazine all have a home, but there are more than 100 million homeless people in the word.

Despite of different corporate partners the content was produced based on journalistic point. Everything from visual storm, hand made touch and bold lines made Artek Manifest one of the kind Magazine in WDC 2012. It’s about art, design, journalism, communication, sustainability and content marketing,

The result of the intensive project was 48 page bilingual (Finnish/English) tabloid format publication, which was distributed in selective events and design fairs in Helsinki, Stockholm, London, Berlin, Milan, New York, Tokyo and Sydney.

In short time Artek Manifest was a temporary home for different writers, architects, journalists, artists and activists. The magazine featured manifests by Felix Burrichter, Antti Nylén, Marco Velardi, Suvi West, Jane Withers, Marcus Miessen. Mark Kiessling, Daniel Golling, Mirkku Kullberg, Carlotta de Bevilacqua, Kaj Kalin and Reijo Pipinen.

Manifest was published by Artek. Total amount of copies: 20.000. Printed by Sanoma. Founder and Editor-in Chief, Tiina Alvesalo. All the Right Reserved.

Founder & Editor-In-Chief Tiina Alvesalo, Published by Artek

Stop.

What happens when a person does not have a home in which to collect design objects? Or if the person has a home but for him or her life means just monotonous homeless dragging on?

We live a life of temporary homes at airports, in hotel rooms and workplaces. We work very hard in order to close ourselves in our homes at the end of the day. We collect and hunt for things in a hurry. When did we forget the original meaning of home and became homeless hunters? Why should we buyany more new chairs when a person can only sit on one chair at a time?

Thinking about the home, I think, is a good beginning for the manifest and for an International dialogue. This is why we asked twelve thinkers and design professionals in Finland and around the world to write their own manifestos. In this magazine these twelve apostles write about the home, each from his or her perspective. We who are making this magazine all have a home, but there are more than 100 million homeless people in the word,

Manifest is a collaborative design project made possible through a wide range of corporate partnerships. Manifest is published in Finnish and English, and during the design-theme year it will be distributed selectively in Helsinki, Stockholm, London, Berlin, Milan, New York, Tokyo and Sydney.

The purpose of the magazine is to make you stop and think, and to inspire you to act so that coming design generations can have a good life. For a moment, Manifest is the home we share.

In Helsinki, 27th March 2012, the year of the Helsinki Word Design Capital.

TIINA ALVESALO, FOUNDER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

BY TIINA ALVESALO

Hyvinvointiyhteiskunta ja moderni, eleetön muotoilu. Siinä kaksi asiaa, jotka liitetään pohjoisen Euroopan maihin. Täällä kasvaneet tuntevat myös myytin toisen puolen: korpikulttuurin, propagandan tekijät ja kapinamielen.

Kapinamieli, anarkistinen asenne ja halu ravistella vallitsevia yhteiskunnallisia arvoja ovat aina synnyttäneet kulttuuriin yllättäviä asioita, olipa kyseessä sitten design, arkkitehtuuri, muoti – tai kokonainen kaupunki ja sen muuttuminen.

Tavallisesti kapinamielen taustalla on pitkään jatkunut staattinen tila, joka toimii lopulta muutokseen johtavana laukaisevana tekijänä.

Yhdistävää muutoshetkille ja -liikkeille on se, että niissä mukana elävät ihmiset eivät voi koskaan olla varmoja siitä, mihin julistus lopulta johtaa. Usein kapinamielisiä yhdistää myös romanttinen usko ja halu toimia, jotta heidän unelmansa jonain päivänä toteutuisivat.

Helsingissä vallitsi 1980-luvun alkupuolella tasapäistävä, jäykkä ja vaatimattomuutta korostava ilmapiiri. Siihen kyllästynyt joukko alakulttuurin radikaaleja – lähinnä taideopiskelijoita ja musiikintekjöitä – synnytti kaupunkiin yöelämää ja klubeja, joita täällä ei oltu aiemmin nähty. Suuren yleisön tietoisuuteen ryhmä tuli muun muassa uudenlaisen musiikin ja taidegallerioissa järjestettyjen performanssien muodossa.

 

Kaupungista tuli radikaali – hetkeksi

Samaan aikaan kulttuurissa ja taloudessa kuohui. Yleisradion monopoli murrettiin radioaalloilla ja uusia lehtiä perustettiin. Jack Helen Brut -niminen poikkitaiteellinen ryhmä ilmaisi itseään liki alasti spektaakkeleissaan ja punkkarit marssivat rauhan puolesta.

Kaikki alkoi oikeastaan vahingossa Uusi laulu -lehden järjestämistä juhlista Helsingin Klippanilla heinäkuussa 1981. Juhlan julistus kuului: ”Tyyli on köyhän perusoikeus”, ja se tunnuksenaan synkkäasuiset radikaalit taistelivat kohti sallivampaa tulevaisuutta.

Mielikuvituksellisiin vaatteisiin pukeutunutta ryhmää alettiin kutsua muun muassa futuristeiksi, uusromantikoiksi, gooteiksi ja mustahuuliksi. Tyylin lähtökohtana oli, että jokainen yksilö oli oma taideteoksensa. Perusväri henkistä kodittomuutta tunteneille oli musta.

Tämä tyyliniekkojen liike antoi siihen kuuluneille tunteen uudesta kodista ja vapaudesta kuulua joukkoon, olla sitä mitä haluaa. Kapinan taustalla oli ehkä tasapäistävän suomalaisen kulttuurin synnyttämää ahdistusta ja halu luoda uutta: muotia, taidetta, omaa muotokieltä ja rockelämää.

Hetken Helsinki oli kuin Berliini sotien välillä: erilaisten ihmisryhmien kohtaamisia, ideoita ja yöbileitä kylmän sodan ja George Orwellin 1984-teoksen sävyttämässä tunnelmassa.

Mustanpuhuva liikehdintä ja uho kesti kuitenkin vain lyhyen aikaa. Aatteet ja vaatteet vanhenivat pian ja futuristien katumuodista tuli osa valtavirtaa.

Kuusi vuosikymmentä aikaisemmin, 1920-luvulla, Suomessa oli vaikuttanut vastaavanlainen joukko nuoria kirjailijoita, muusikoita ja taiteilijoita, joka kapinoi itsensä eroon sen aikaisesta korpikulttuurista ja pyrki määrittelemään suomalaisuuden urbanisoitumisen ja modernin taiteen kautta.

Tulenkantajiksi itseään kutsunut joukko imi itseensä Euroopassa kuohuvia muoti-ilmiöitä, esimerkiksi Filippo Tommason julkaisemaa futuristista ja Tristan Tzaran dadaistista manifestia, kunnes jäsenten yhteinen taival päättyi 30-luvun alussa.

Hieman tämän jälkeen kolme nuorta kapinamielistä idealistia, Alvar Aalto, Maire Gullichsen ja Nils-Gustav Hahl, päättivät perustaa yrityksen, josta tulisi uuden asumisideologian propagandakeskus. Artek oli syntynyt.

Samalla syntyi aikansa anarkisteja inspiroinut liikesuunnitelma, joka oli jaettu kolmeen osaan: taiteeseen, arkkitehtuuriin ja designiin sekä propagandaan. Joukon unelmana oli luoda arkiympäristö, jossa eri taidelajien synteesit vaikuttaisivat arkkitehtuurin ja muotoilun kehitykseen.

Harmaata arkea 1960-luvun lopulla ravisteli Helsingin akateemisen sivistyneistön piirissä syntynyt kulttuuri- ja opiskelijaradikalismi. Tuon ajan hipsterit ilmaisivat itseään boheemin pukeutumisen lisäksi protestilauluilla ja pasifismilla.

Meidän ajassamme 2010-luvulla on aika jälleen ajatella, julistaa ja toimia. Olemme palanneet yhteiskunnallisesti aktiiviseen ilmapiiriin, jossa politiikka, ympäristö- ja ihmisoikeuskysymykset kiinnostavat ja nostavat hieman kapinamieltäkin.

Helsinki näyttäytyy kulttuurien monimuotoisena näyteikkunana, jossa katutason julistukset ovat arkipäivää. Ilmapiiri on inspiroiva, kun nuoret suunnittelijat, muotoilijat, muodin tekijät ja designyhteisöt luovat uudenlaista estetiikkaa, esineitä ja kokonaista kaupunkia.

Minun Helsinkini on muuttunut avoimeksi maailman designpääkaupungiksi, jossa tyyli, muoto ja visio ovat vapaita. Kaupunki on kuitenkin kaukana maailman energisistä keskuksista – ehkä siksi henkinen ilmapiiri on myös jossain määrin jäykkä ja sisäänpäin kääntynyt.

Designin olisi mielestäni jälleen radikalisoiduttava. Se on ajatus, jossa tulisi nykyistä olla enemmän sydän mukana. Tarvitaan rohkeutta ja julistusta. Hyssyttelyä ja kuoliaaksi halaamista olemme nähneet tarpeeksi.

Meneillään oleva designvuosi kaipaa älykästä sisältöä ja oikeaa asennetta. Valtavirran sijaan meidän tulisi jälleen suunnata katseet pienten marginaalisten ryhmien suuntaan ja inspiroitua ja oppia heiltä.

Designanarkiaa. Älykäs anarkia on vastustamaton yhdistelmä. Meillä on siihen kaikki edellytykset.

Edessä voi olla jotain, mitä kukaan ei pysty ennustamaan.

Tiina Alvesalo is founder and editor-in-chief of ARTEK Manifest Magazine.

HELSINKI, Photography by SARI POIJÄRVI, All Rights Reserved.

HELSINKI,Photography by SARI POIJÄRVI, All Rights Reserved.

New Romanticks At Helsinki, Photography by Stefan Bremer. All Rights Reserved.

New Romanticks At Helsinki, Photography by Stefan Bremer. All Rights Reserved.

 

The Right to Leave Home

By ANTTI NYLÈN The difference between home and prison is that you can leave home.

One viable definition for home could be: a place that can be abandoned. All homes, like animal lairs, are temporary. Homes are born where human or other beings consent to live. Prisons are absolute; homes are relative. One houses objects, the other subjects. When children play with toy animals, they like to build them cages and pens, stalls or coops. For surely an animal shouldn’t just roam around. An animal must have a home. But if you point out what has been specifically built, the result is a prison. Well, children are children! (It is also possible that they identify with animals and put them in the position where they themselves are too. From the day they are brought into the world, they are told: this is your home, you mustn’t leave here on your own!) When adults, normal and intelligent people, play with real animals, they often act precisely like children with their toy animals. Or, they claim, they don’t play, they… do what? They trade. Make money out of beings – living beings – who have freedom and a will of their own.

One modern expression of gender politics in meat is that animals are shut up in facilities where the conditions are splendid and safe, as defined by law – quite similarly to how women in the old world were shut up in their homes, where they had full power but not the right to leave, no independence.

Freedom is too dangerous and difficult for animals, the same as it used to be for women. They need to be freed from freedom, for their own good. In nature, out in the world, they would be left at the mercy of many cruel forces and predators! This kind of talk – we are thinking about the welfare of animals! – is common wherever criticism is voiced towards the animal industry. The reply is: “We would gladly raise our pigs in spas if we got paid for it accordingly. Now we have to keep them in boarding houses with only shared accommodation.” Or: “A ranch fox has a cushy life in its home cage if you compare it to the wild fox. It even gets its food served to it every day.”

The stupidest answer is one of the most commonplace: “Cows would never survive alone in the woods.” Talk that propagates warm images of home covers up the truth and the crime: animals in the animal industry suffer death sentences as innocents in the top-quality modern cells we have constructed. The same could be said for zoos, even if the cells have all the luxury amenities.

Because we are clever beings, we very well know where animals can have a good life, what kind of “homes” are good for them – although the animal protection laws in Finland, at least, pretend to be blissfully unaware of the matter – but there is only one power in the world that makes us lock them up there for the brief remainder of their lives. The power of evil. We must give animals, too, the possibility to have homes of their own. We have to kick them out of our quarters.

May freedom be the fate and fortune of every living being.

The writer is an essayist and translator.

 

Aurora Reinhard, Self Portrait, (Dedicated to Artist Teemu Mäki), 1996 c-print on aluminium, framed, 60x50 cm

Aurora Reinhard, Self Portrait, (Dedicated to Artist Teemu Mäki), 1996 c-print on aluminium, framed, 60×50 cm

 

Manifesto for the Modern Home

Manifesto via a few of Felix Burrichter’s favorite architects and designers:

Doors should always be floor-to-ceiling apertures, so as to not break up the geometry of the wall. ROGER BUNDSCHUH, ARCHITECT, BERLIN

Never paint your ceilings white if the walls aren’t – it’d be like wearing white socks with a tuxedo. And have at least one mirrored wall in your home. RICKY ClIFTON, DESIGNER, NEW YORK

Consider wall-to-wall carpeting. There’s nothing more amazing than a pattern that looks like it’s going to swallow you up. BETHAN LAURA WOOD, DESIGNER, LONDON

Include inglenooks whenever possible. DAVID KOHN, ARCHITECT, LONDON

Have as many statement pieces as you want. And don’t cover up materials. Just let them be what they are and do what they do best.

FREDRIKSON STALLARD, DESIGNERS, LONDON

When hanging pictures on a wall, a Petersburg or Salon style of hanging should always be counterbalanced with a single, large and preferably abstract piece on the opposite or adjacent wall.

JONSTON MARKLEE, ARCHITECTS, LOS ANGELES

Build, install, hang and arrange everything symmetrically. ETIENNE DESCLOUX, ARCHITECT, BERLIN

Never put a nail into a wall. Always use doublesided tape! Stick it, post it! JüRGEN MAYER H., ARCHITECT, BERLIN

Only buy furniture you plan on having and using for the rest of your life. PHILIPPE MALOUIN, DESIGNER, LONDON

Our culture overuses walls. Put your books, art and plants on the floor in an organized manner. Your place will feel taller and bigger. You will have less space for furniture, but the pieces you keep will be more important in your life. BEN ARANDA, DESIGNER, NEW YORK

Always have a sunken room…always! MATT OLSON, DESIGNER, MINNEAPOLIS

Avoid paper towels. Instead use lots and lots of white washcloths and white dishtowels. Also, drink wine out of crystal, not glasses. In the bedroom, always use cool colours — and no electronics! RAFAEL DE CÀRDENAS, DESIGNER, NEW YORK

Don’t buy the furniture that you think you need, just buy/find/steal good stuff as it comes along. Things need to come trickling in, even if that means that for a while you’ll have three good tables but no chairs. SAM SHERMAYEFF, ARCHITECT, BERLIN

Every home should have a built-in espresso machine that serves professional hot espresso at all times of the day. WINKA DUBBELDAM, ARCHITECT, NEW YORK

Aim for improved indoor air quality and calibrated light levels through non-stop electronic air filtering and doses of 2500 lux. VILLE KOKKONEN, DESIGNER, HELSINKI

Avoid overhead lighting, smartly placed floor and table lamps create a more comfortable home. LEON RANSMEIER, DESIGNER, NEW YORK

Pay attention to RCP (reflected ceiling plan), which is all the stuff that goes on your ceiling. SO–IL, ARCHITECTS, NEW YORK

Don’t confuse a House with a Home. Instead, try to create a Houme (House X home). Architects design Houses but people live in Homes. DOMINIC LEONG, ARCHITECT, NEW YORK

Organize your possessions into piles, climb on top and read important books while enjoying the view. ANDREAS ANGELIDAKIS, ARCHITECT, ATHENS

Always hire an architect or a designer. ASHE + LEANDRO, ARCHITECT, NEW YORK

The writer is an architect and the founder of PIN-UP Magazine, based in New York.

 

Jani Leinonen: Kerjäläiskyltit (Beggar signs) (2009–)

Jani Leinonen: Kerjäläiskyltit (Beggar signs) (2009–)

 

Viaggio verso a Casa

MILAN – MARCO VELARDI

As I was growing up during my teenage years in Italy, I’d always imagine that having my own home would be such a natural and straightforward thing. Like something you would graduate to after going to university – purely a matter of passing a final test and there you would be, sitting in your living room reading a book from your carefully organized and dust-free bookshelf, cooking tasty recipes out of an endlessly filled fridge and having a wonderfully loving cat who wouldn’t scratch any of your record covers. Well, probably this wasn’t my exact picture of life as a grown-up, but I was definitely ignoring a lot of the things that I would later have to come to realize.

After all, finding a place that you can call home is not that easy a task, and it doesn’t come without a good dose of mistakes and possibly a few headaches. It took me three years, a painful breakup and lots of self-questioning, but in the end there I was, sitting in an empty flat wondering how to fill it without spoiling the freshly painted walls. I realized that I didn’t really own much besides way too many boxes cramped with books and magazines, a mobile phone and an old laptop – still no bookshelf or fridge in sight. I wasn’t ready for the idea that the apartment would begin to get older. That, after time, the walls would show the signs of their inhabitants, that plants could get overwatered and die from one day to another. I always questioned whether it was me being careless, or if everything that was happening was just the slow daily process of transforming a house into your own personal space. And even if thought I had it all sorted in my mind and I was making room for tiny errors here and there, I realized I wasn’t even close to the bigger picture until last year, when all of a sudden it was two of us calling these four walls a home. Life as I knew it completely changed, toothbrushes became two, mugs multiplied, and breakfast in the morning didn’t taste the same anymore: it was actually much better. I slowly rearranged life around our new formation, and it got me thinking of all the new unexplored aspects of life I didn’t even know existed. A home is both fun and exhausting, it involves a lot of sharing and giving, but more than that, it is an endless possibility of journeys, which is what makes it special for me.

The writer is the editor-in-chief of the magazine Apartamento and a creative consultant at his own design agency SM Associati in Milan.

 

Peter Fankhauser: Poor Animal (2011) Still from colour video TRT 3:00 minutes, looped Image courtesy of Phillips de Pury & Company

Peter Fankhauser: Poor Animal (2011) Still from colour video TRT 3:00 minutes, looped Image courtesy of Phillips de Pury & Company

 

Stack Them!

BY MARK KIESSLING – Unlike the bookshelf, a pile of books is rather demanding, aggressive and always in flux.

It keeps loitering on your desk, stands in your way, gets dusty and conceals titles you may have been looking for some time or may have long forgotten. A good pile of books will keep you busy. It can be a spark of inspiration and will always remind you of something you were about to do or have done.

Going through a good pile of books is perfectly pleasurable and never a waste of time.

Since I am in the business of future readings, piles of books influence my life more than ever. I have never been a very orderly person, but since running do you read me?! it really exceeds acceptable levels. They are everywhere. Piles of samples. Piles of review copies. Piles of printed matter that promote the ones to come. Piles of readings that we decided not to include in our range, which have found their way to us nevertheless. Piles of titles that I have put aside for myself. Piles of treasures that I gathered when researching other bookstores. There are beautiful piles of books with an almost architectural appeal, and then there are ugly ones. Some you long for to go through, and some you want to get around.

Mark Kiessling is founder and co-owner of the magazine and bookstore »do you read me?! in Berlin, Germany.

 

 

An Edible Urbanism

BY DAN HILL

Last summer, Helsinki witnessed two culinary insurgency movements in quick succession. One was fixed in space and had the outward appearance of an elegant van parked outside Lasipalatsi. The other was fixed in time, manifesting itself as a distributed festival of pop-up restaurants, sudden flashes of inspiration appearing and disappearing on a single day. Each would hint that a new city was emerging.

The first was the Camionette, a mobile créperie that – by not being a sanctioned “grilli” or “kioski” (i.e. local street food vendor) – suggested an entirely new kind of street food, and street life, in the city.

The second incursion was Restaurant Day. This started with a small group who were frustrated at the paperwork required to start a café in Helsinki. So they set themselves the lowest bar possible; they simply declared that a certain day would be Restaurant Day and anybody could open any kind of restaurant anywhere on that day. And that’s what happened.

From frog’s legs to flat whites, the city’s food palate expanded radically. But more importantly it reimagined the use of public space, demonstrating to Helsinki’s citizens what their streets could do. Although the resulting ‘restaurants’ were right at the edge of the City’s legal boundaries, if not well over, there was little the City could do about it.

For one thing, there was barely any organization there. Restaurant Day is essentially a set of instructions, and you can hardly arrest a set of instructions. It’s a demonstration of the power of an emergent urbanism, enabled through social media and platform thinking, driven by an appetite for participation at the hyper-local level.

The only problem with Restaurant Day is The Day After Restaurant Day. It’s as yesterday never happened, and here we see the limits of the intervention, of the tactic as opposed to the strategy; it is too transient and variable to change a system. The original motivation – addressing the inabilty to easily set up a café – has not been addressed.

But can we see these examples of emergent urbanism as ‘lead users’, indicating what a diversifying Helsinki needs to be? Street food is interesting precisely because it is a carrier for cultural change, through its highly visible quotidian accessibility, and the wider systems it sits within, ultimately touching most aspects of modern life. The shift from cold, impassive “grilli”, designed for heavy drinking and poor eating in darkness, to the colour, verve and diversity of Restaurant Day is both profound and explicable.

If we were to write a manifesto for a more resilient Helsinki, would street food give us a platform for prototyping systemic change within the city? Can every day be Restaurant Day? And more strategically, can we use street food systems to sketch a more sustainable Helsinki, with a more active street life, strong service culture and start-up scene, and a diverse set of cultures at play?

As unlikely as it may seem, rethinking the humble hot dog might just unlock a new kind of urban design, centred on citizens, culture and replicable systemic change rather than concrete one-offs.

Dan Hill is Strategic Design Lead for Sitra.

 

Helsinki Restaurant Day, Photography by Heidi Uutela.

Helsinki Restaurant Day, Photography by Heidi Uutela.

Design Moneyfest 2012

BY KAJ KALIN – Nobody needs design.

Globally thinking, design is a rare need.

It’s hard to know anything about it.

In a designer hotel, someone died of designer drugs.

Design: A class trip and status picnic.

The latest cell phone model upgrades a consumption worker.

Design: The rank of nobility for products.

Design: Products whose existence is motivated by looking and talking.

Design:Well-planned desires realized in a disciplined manner.

Good manners are not enough; we need laws.

Imagination is not enough; we need business.

Realism should not be confused with rationality.

The most important things in life don’t require nuclear power plants.

Everyone needs well-designed and safe products.

Especially if you can’t walk or brush your teeth.

Or if you lose a leg, an arm or an eye. Things happen.

A deadly and fascinating combination: Technology.

Technology is not based on progress but on the power of the few,

novelties and greed.

Technology feeds boredom, rage and world-weariness.

Technology invents social styles.

Handwriting is disappearing.

We leave behind radiation waste.

In large companies, designers don’t struggle with their consciences.

Thousands of in-house designers are acting against their better judgment.

On summer vacation, everyone carves a bark boat with a birch rind sail.

Made in Nuremberg: They were only following orders and doing their duty.

Question: When does the age of design begin?

Answer: When a child learns table manners.

The goal of life is not happiness but other people.

No matter how seductive products may be.

In spite of it all, we are mortal.

Whatever appeals to emotions touches.

Half of memory is smell and skin.

Only touching can make the feeling of existence reality.

Touch is a fundamental sense; it anchors us to the world.

The strength of the squeeze of a newborn baby’s fingers is startling.

The first dialogue with the world takes place through squeezing and sucking.

Awareness of touch is the first mental capacity of humans.

There is no authenticity in the world of products and art.

Just authentic pieces of copies.

The painting guarded in the museum was a disappointment.

The colours were not the same as in the poster hanging on the wall at home.

Publicly authentic mostly means… how to phrase it… generally fasist.

When art is real, the person who creates or experiences it has a moment in heaven,

when no one else is around.

What makes something real can hurt,

and it may not necessarily be pleasant or beautiful but is absolutely good.

Esthetics is a question of belief. The only supernatural experience.

The only possible miracle. Successful resuscitation on the side of a highway.

Big and complex questions can be answered by simple means.

As long as the right preconditions exist.

It is a question of the human need for safety.

This means a state that strengthens concentration and allows

a degree of peace and quiet.

Made it, home.

Characters with Spaces:

Event is the space between two people, humanity.

Come closer!

Go through!

Kaj Kalin, Cultural journalist and design curator. Honorary member, Finnish Association of Designers Ornamo. Nordic Design Prize 1998. Kalevi Jäntti Foundation Literature Prize 1994.

 

By TIINA ALVESALO

TWO DIFFERENT HOMES FAR AWAY FROM EACH OF OTHER.BOTH WITH THE PURPOSE OF GIVING COMFORT. BOTH MEANT FOR JUST SPENDING MOMENT THERE AND THEN RETURNING TO SOMETHING PERMANENT.

TEMPORARY HOUSING IN JAPAN’S EARTHQUAKE AREA

Last spring the tsunami that hit Japan swept over the harbour town of Onagawa, destroying the whole town centre in a matter of five minutes. The people there lost everything.

Architect Shigeru Ban, renowned for using recycled materials and cardboard paper tubes, wanted to help the victims of the earthquake. Ban is known for his earlier humanitarian work in, for example, Haiti, Japan’s Kobe and Turkey.

Now Ban has built temporary housing for nearly 200 families. A total of 188 apartments were built into nine buildings. A library and an art hall were designed for collective use.

All of the building materials were recycled or recyclable. The temporary apartments were built out of containers piled on top of each other and held up by steel poles. The Finnish company UPM ProFi took part in the reconstruction work by donating deck composite made of recycled material to Ban’s project. It was used for building the interior corridors and 30-meter-long terraces outside the houses.

The apartments have one to three rooms, electricity, gas and plumbing. Two colours have been used in the terrace decking to show which way the doors open and where it is safe for children to play.

Shigeru Ban, where did you get the idea for using recycled cardboard paper tubes for temporary houses?

“I used paper tubes for the first time as an alternative material for wood, which is generally expensive, in 1986 when designing the scenography of an Alvar Aalto exhibition.”

What is the most important thing that must be taken into account when designing and using paper tubes?

“How to combine the shape of the tube and the structural system in design.”

What kind of feedback have the people living in the temporary houses given?

“Warm as wood.”

 

BY TIINA ALVESALO

The Chapel of Silence built in the middle of the busiest section of Helsinki offers comfort to those who need it the most, regardless of creed and wallet size. The chapel is open from morning to evening, and visitors can meet employers of both congregations and social services there. Questions are answered about anything from bus schedules and spiritual matters to how to seek help for the problems of homelessness.

The chapel is simple in design. It is built of wood and has a sculptural form. It is a place where people and an important theme for World Design Capital 2012 meet: permanent improvement of the cityscape through service design. The chapel is one of those design year monuments that will remain a part of the Helsinki city landscape.

Mikko Summanen, why did you want to build a chapel in the middle of the busiest city center?

“The aim was to create an alternative to the restless buzz and the commerciality of the city.”

What did you need to take into account?

“We wanted to design a humane building.”

How do you think citizens experience the building?

“The chapel brings order to a busy square and reorganizes the space so that it becomes more functional.”

 

Photo: Arkkitehtitoimisto K 25, All the rights reserved 2012

Photo: Arkkitehtitoimisto K 25, All the rights reserved 2012

Founder & Editor-In-Chief Tiina Alvesalo, Published by Artek