Life between buildings
The group must deal with 60 house plots, located on a protected meadow with apple trees and the Delta channel as a neighbour. A requirement for the new houses is that parts of the building must have two levels which in return will create an urban atmosphere. Between the neighbourhood's buildings, the children should be able to run and play in safe paths. Cars should drive slowly in the area, because the roads should also be used to hopscotch, football matches and neighbour interaction. They are part of the shared areas, all of which everybody should be able to use safely. Their group assignment is to prepare a proposal for the neighbourhood's shared green areas.
Frederic brings to the table product development capabilities within construction calculations, material and manufacturing process and business technique that can be translated into reality. Tobias and Julie from E-design are working on a daily basis with entrepreneurship, design and innovation. Through e.g. idea generation, design processes, prototypes, economics and communication, they develop design solutions that can be translated into local concepts such as what they are working with this week.
Here, Tobias, Julie and Frederic shares with us how things are progressing in their group:
Julie: "We have worked in groups for two hours now, and it's crazy to think that it might be finished in one year. I think it's very exciting that it has the potential to be implemented. Large cases are exciting. As E-designer, I am used to working with short project, but they are usually longer than this."
Frederic: “We call ourselves the Delta clique (after the movie of the same name about the wild life at a university in the US, starring John Belushi, Ed.) since we are working with the Delta neighbourhood. The Delta neighbourhood is named after the large delta-like streams, which the area's rainwater is collected in. We are working on something that can bring together people who live next to a large shared green area."
Tobias: “We brainstormed a lot - it's a very open process. With regard to the project, we work with everything that is open – all things natural and open where children play and by using natural materials.”
The living delta
Vinge's nature is both in the middle and around the neighbourhood. Small ditches which can be used for kayaking. Throughout the area, you can pick from cherry, apple and pear trees, and the grass mixes with wild herbs, blue cornflowers and fragrant oregano, says the project material from Frederikssund’s Municipality. This requires a solution where you have to be able to use nature while preserving it:
Tobias: "Nature is there already, so one must cherish this nature. But it's exciting to have so much freedom to experiment with the area."
Frederic: "We want to make the nature the main character and take it into the process. We are very focused on the details, and that it possesses a human angle. Just as we saw in the great film Life Between Buildings by Jan Gehl in Empire Bio yesterday - where planning is to be tackled from the human point of view and not from the helicopter perspective. The scale of this area is quite small, so it is a very tangible task and it must be pretty, but also practical. I think it's a really nice combination of art, nature and city. "
A rigorous program of presentations and company visits
Tobias, Julie and Frederic agreed that the presenters in Empire Bio were very exiting: "They were very good at communicating their knowledge about Vinge, they were extremely good at presenting, and it was super exciting to hear about how they've built an entire city," they agree.
After Monday's program of lectures and the opportunity to meet local companies, the group has also gained inspiration for the task from external stakeholders. Tobias says: "On the first day today, we had a fairly lengthy presentation from CADO (Danish supplier of quality playgrounds and outdoor environments for institutions, businesses, housing associations and municipalities, ed.) about the requirements for playgrounds. How much security you must have, which materials you'll need, but also about innovation."
For Frederic, the involvement of the companies is also something that inspires ambitions: "It's the greatest springboard, even with all the companies who were at Vinge yesterday, who are part of the project, and who might be ready on the other side for us. The fact that it may be something, which we can move into in a few years, when you have children is crazy to think about: That something we have been doing now, will be finished in twenty years. We are the right age group - and perhaps target group. Imagine that you can tell your children that ‘when I was young, we built a new city’."
Whether they can see themselves live in what they have helped develop, Julie says: "I come from Holbæk, but it could definitely be something to consider moving into, when I have more time to appreciate the nature. I also think Vinge's interesting that way - that Vinge actually is a potential place to move into."
Tobias also sees an opportunity that the group can use it to their advantage, participaing in the Vinge project, both in relation to businesses and to writing it on your CV, and especially making Vinge part of their own career development.
This Friday, we will find out if Juliet, Tobias' and Frederic's project is one of the three solutions to be pitched to Frederikssund municipality, but they have so far all agreed that it is a springboard which they intend to use as best as they can.