Category

Urbanism

Sissel Tolaas: Smelling Your Way Through The City

Smell artist Sissel Tolaas

Born in 1961 in Norway and living in Berlin since the 1980s, Sissel Tolaas has devoted more than 20 years of her life to the sense of smell. She wears her personal scent as perfume (and the odor of money on business meetings – for good luck) and has, amongst many other things, created a “Swedish smell” that uses IKEA, H&M and Volvo as ingredients. People like her remind us of the power of smell and make us wonder why such nosy business has still not found its way to city marketing and urban planning.

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The Little Spaces Left Between Canal Houses

Photo courtesy of Jarrik Ouburg

1m wide, 10m deep, 12m high… These are the dimensions of an alley between two houses, at Herengracht 127/129, in the canal area of Amsterdam. This alley has been forgotten for years. Closed off for safety reasons. Hidden behind a metallic door. A metal junk yard ignored in favour of the surrounding narrow buildings classified as monuments.

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  • Urban Routines — Everyday Life In The Big City

    Fence kiosk in Moscow

    Urban designers and architects almost always focus on future scenarios for cities. We tend to forget that, at the same time, many, many city dwellers are just living their daily lives. They drive their cars through over-populated streets, they sit in front of computers in offices, and they buy their daily groceries in the supermarket around the corner. Shouldn’t we take a moment to look at the things that are happening now in our cities? The Strelka Institute in Moscow hosts a new program around the theme Urban Routines — everyday life in the big city.

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  • Hamburg District Becomes A Playground For City-Makers

    The Energiebunker.

    The prestigious Internationale Bauausstellung (IBA) has set up shop in Wilhelmsburg, a district in the south of Hamburg that struggles with the legacy of its heavy industrial history. The main theme that IBA applies to Wilhelmsburg is the shift in the way Germany wants to manage energy — a shift from energy consumption to energy production. As always, this big ambition is connected with innovation in building techniques and architecture, but also with culture, experience and just fun. These last elements in particular make this piece of urbanism stand out. A playground for city-makers will eventually turn into a playground for everyone.

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