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Form Follows People? – Copenhagen’s Ny Nørreport as a Post-Participatory Project

Form Follows People? – Copenhagen’s Ny Nørreport as a Post-Participatory Project Abstract Following the dictum: “Form Follows People” two Danish offices used patterns generated from pedestrian movement to create the infrastructural layout when redesigning Copenhagen’s Nørreport train station. A choice that was praised by a unanimous jury and municipal client who were eager to present the winning proposal as being shaped by “the people.” However other readings are possible, the design can also be seen as a striking architectural gesture where the public is both framed as a vital prerequisite yet at the same time as the unaware producers of space. In order to understand this reasoning, this essay looks at the “human oriented approach” the offices adopted for the Nørreport project. This entails discussing the project as somewhat participatory and tracing its references back to the research on pedestrian movement done by Danish architect and urbanist Jan Gehl in the 1960s. An approach that now 50 years later can be seen coinciding with a shift in city planning where municipalities and planning offices readily embrace designing for more loosely defined subjects such as pedestrians or simply “people.” As the argument for the design only formally maintains the social agenda of participation, this essay asks whether the project could instead be read in terms of system design and its participatory practice understood in a cybernetic sense as feedback and input, and as such, if the project ultimately could be perceived as a “post-participatory” project. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Architecture and Culture Taylor & Francis

Form Follows People? – Copenhagen’s Ny Nørreport as a Post-Participatory Project

Architecture and Culture , Volume 10 (1): 18 – Jan 2, 2022

Form Follows People? – Copenhagen’s Ny Nørreport as a Post-Participatory Project

Architecture and Culture , Volume 10 (1): 18 – Jan 2, 2022

Abstract

Abstract Following the dictum: “Form Follows People” two Danish offices used patterns generated from pedestrian movement to create the infrastructural layout when redesigning Copenhagen’s Nørreport train station. A choice that was praised by a unanimous jury and municipal client who were eager to present the winning proposal as being shaped by “the people.” However other readings are possible, the design can also be seen as a striking architectural gesture where the public is both framed as a vital prerequisite yet at the same time as the unaware producers of space. In order to understand this reasoning, this essay looks at the “human oriented approach” the offices adopted for the Nørreport project. This entails discussing the project as somewhat participatory and tracing its references back to the research on pedestrian movement done by Danish architect and urbanist Jan Gehl in the 1960s. An approach that now 50 years later can be seen coinciding with a shift in city planning where municipalities and planning offices readily embrace designing for more loosely defined subjects such as pedestrians or simply “people.” As the argument for the design only formally maintains the social agenda of participation, this essay asks whether the project could instead be read in terms of system design and its participatory practice understood in a cybernetic sense as feedback and input, and as such, if the project ultimately could be perceived as a “post-participatory” project.

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References (29)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
ISSN
2050-7836
eISSN
2050-7828
DOI
10.1080/20507828.2022.2027637
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract Following the dictum: “Form Follows People” two Danish offices used patterns generated from pedestrian movement to create the infrastructural layout when redesigning Copenhagen’s Nørreport train station. A choice that was praised by a unanimous jury and municipal client who were eager to present the winning proposal as being shaped by “the people.” However other readings are possible, the design can also be seen as a striking architectural gesture where the public is both framed as a vital prerequisite yet at the same time as the unaware producers of space. In order to understand this reasoning, this essay looks at the “human oriented approach” the offices adopted for the Nørreport project. This entails discussing the project as somewhat participatory and tracing its references back to the research on pedestrian movement done by Danish architect and urbanist Jan Gehl in the 1960s. An approach that now 50 years later can be seen coinciding with a shift in city planning where municipalities and planning offices readily embrace designing for more loosely defined subjects such as pedestrians or simply “people.” As the argument for the design only formally maintains the social agenda of participation, this essay asks whether the project could instead be read in terms of system design and its participatory practice understood in a cybernetic sense as feedback and input, and as such, if the project ultimately could be perceived as a “post-participatory” project.

Journal

Architecture and CultureTaylor & Francis

Published: Jan 2, 2022

Keywords: participation; cybernetics; COBE; Copenhagen; Jan Gehl; urban living rooms

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