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Category Archives: My House Arabianranta
As you are in the process of organising the event, you can make publicity as you go along, but remember that the event itself lasts only a few days and involves a very limited number of houses. You need agility and different kinds of logistics to make everything suit the different locations.
The core idea of the event was to discuss with the house designers, face-to-face and on the spot, the early stages of the building, the solutions that were made back then, and have the opportunity to ask questions and share thoughts. The easiest way to do this is to go for guided tours or to use a common space (a club room, for example) for presentations with a video projector or photos.
It was a pleasant surprise to see so many supplementary activities that came on top of the core content. The idea was to discover the special features of each house and show a multitude of different ways of making use of common spaces. For example, the residents used the common spaces to showcase their skills (dancing) and hobbies (bird-watching), to put up a café… one group arranged themselves along a corridor and recited poems written about the building – the atmosphere was lovely. (more…)
The My House Arabianranta event of September 2012 was organised mainly by volunteers consisting of residents, architects and artists. Other local interest groups (such as students of the local universities) were also involved.
Brainstroming for ideas
It’s a good idea to invest some time and thought into the first brainstorming session. Once the first session is over, you’ll be able to form a project group with those who want to be involved and allocate tasks and responsibilities. It’s good if there is a small team of two or three for each tasks – this is for the project group but particularly for the volunteering residents in the houses that feature in the event. This way there is always more than one person who knows about things, nobody has to work alone and things don’t pile up on any one person. In addition, you get to know new people and get to spend time in good company.
The initiative as a whole needs one contact person who is in charge of the entity. It’s also a good idea to have two contact persons for each participating house who spread information and answer questions. (more…)
The preparations for My House Arabianranta, an event in September 2012 that showcased local houses and their architectural solutions, were started in January 2012. Below you’ll find a bunch of observations that may help someone out there replicate the event and develop the concept further.
For organisational reasons and media relations it’s vital to have one appointed person others can asks for advice and who channels the publicising efforts. In all other respects it’s a good idea to share responsibilities. My House Arabianranta event introduces more than one residential building to event guests, and so it would be very functional to give to the volunteers from these houses the responsibility for providing content right from the start. The clearest way to might be to have each house put up their own programme and take of any permits.
If you’re like me, in the spur of the moment you take on way too many tasks and then hope that you could have more time to really concentrate on each one.
In my hand I have a printed version of the programme of My House Arabianranta, an event showcasing different residential buildings. It looks great and colourful, and it lists a handful of addresses already familiar to me and more shows and acts than I can count with my fingers.
In 2012, Lahti, Helsinki and the rest of the capital region were some of the World Design Capitals. In autumn 2011 Arabianranta-Toukola-Vanhakaupunki district association, Artova, applied for a WDC status for some of the up-coming events. My House Arabianranta was one of the events that were granted the status.
You can make local residential buildings and their architects known to locals and visitors alike by making use of the My House concept developed by Artova (=the Arabianranta, Toukola and Vanhakaupunki district association) during World Design Capital Helsinki 2012.
The initial plan in the Spirit of Artova initiative group was to create a free-to-use concept for six projects/events that would be based on self-direction and spontaneity. The volunteers would have the power to use the working methods they see fit and can pull off without any special skills, and the projects would look like the volunteers behind them.
How to make blog entries into a meaningful entity? By making a rough plan, preferably beforehand. And by writing often but little.
One of the duties in leading Spirit of Artova WDC projects that describe the spirit and attitude to work here in Arabianranta, Toukola and Vanhakaupunki was to blog about the twists and turns of process development or management (like group dynamics, activity or agreements). A great deal of blog entries has sprung up for the visual modelling of My House Arabianranta, a project that showcased local residential buildings as a part of Spirit of Artova.
Blogging is a valuable tool but it’s oh so difficult to prioritise it.
Pleasant writing conditions are the first prerequisite for putting words on paper. For example, words flow the best at mbar where the beat of the bass is everywhere and there’s a steaming cup of tea or a glass of grapefruit juice to fuel the thoughts. It facilitates things to have people around you, others who are busy working. At home, the only time writing is easy is if the apartment is clean and there’s good work music in the earphones and a possibility for a solitary moment that isn’t away from your night’s sleep.
Even when you’re working together, there’s always some work you end up doing alone.
It’s a Saturday afternoon in September and some 200 people are scurrying around an impressive courtyard, independently or guided by a designer (an architect, artist…) – My House Arabianranta is in full swing. There were a lot of people organizing the event: about 90 residents, a bit over a dozen designers and tens of other partners. Are you surprised to hear that most of the organizing was done by individuals working alone?
In my work, I’ve interviewed people who participate actively in the affairs of their district or neighborhood, and I often hear that you sometimes feel a bit lonely especially if you’re co-ordinating large crowds. You are lonely even though you’re surrounded by lovely people.
The feeling of loneliness probably has to do with independence and the fact that none of the people around you knows or does the particular tasks you take care of. Or they work from home. You’d get more companions by putting some time into the delegation of tasks… but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to arrange some kind of concrete peer support for this kind of projects.
I don’t live in the Arabianranta district myself. I was on unpaid maternity leave and took care of my tasks sporadically and at irregular hours. My situation was such that it would have been impossible for me to participate in the first place if Artova didn’t make such good use of different electronic online tools.
I believe that the distance between me and Artova grew because of my stiff civil servant background. It hasn’t been once or twice that I’ve wondered at how I ended up doing so much work from home with this Arabianranta project when in Arabianranta there are such wonderful people and such great spirit. One of the most important things I learned over the course of the project was that all face-to-face interaction made everything easier and more fun. That’s something I intend to keep in mind the next time I get to choose where my desk is.
Janne, who co-ordinates all six Spirit of Artova projects, introduced me to many local individuals and companies. Having me and the other volunteers meet even more other people who do similar work might have lightened the workload and tied me better into the lively Artova network. It wasn’t until things were looking pretty sombre that I realized I should actively look for peer support.
I felt the support I needed was “stealing” time from more important things because there is always so much going on in Artova. It would have been useful to have some specifically allocated time, at regular intervals, for on-the-point mentoring sessions. Every time I talked about the project with others valuable tips and lessons came up, things that I wouldn’t have thought to ask.
Over these years, a lot of skillful people have found their way into Artova. It might be a good idea to start drawing up a list of potential mentors and arrange mentoring meetings where old hands and newbies could talk. Something like “night of dumb questions” where everyone is welcome to join, as is the case usually in Artova anyway.
Peer support and advice enables you to make things happen, big things, and at the computer in the middle of the night if need be. It’s important if we want to complete projects like this outside office hours, regardless of where everyone is.
Translation Pigasus Translations.
I was one of the first ones to sign my home building, Posliinikatu 4, up for the My House Arabianranta event. The event had a fresh concept and it seemed exciting. I like the building I live in and I like the Arabianranta-Toukola-Vanhakaupunki district, they make me feel at home. So why not participate and give my home building a moment or two in the spotlight.
My building is a home for many active people who are involved in the affairs of the area and work in different local organizations. The events we have organised in the building usually draw in a lot of residents, and our club room is in active use – it’s used by the residents, and sometimes by the organisations residents are active in, a bit of this and that.
Our resident committee has organised a lot of different events, around Christmas, for example. The committee convened, complimented with a few non-members, to discuss the matters related to participation in My House Arabianranta.
Our newest contact with the surrounding communities is the residents of the new building at number six. The residents of no. 4 and no. 6 visited each other’s club rooms and mingled. Another new contact was the people behind a gallery, run by Kolmas Kerros association, in Hämeentie 135. Kolmas Kerros joined us and put up a drawing workshop. The association’s gallery is well-known in Arabianranta, you can see them doing their thing during the annual culture event Night of the Arts, for example. The artist, Eeva Kaisa Berry, whose work is incorporated in the Posliinikatu 4 building as a part of percent for art scheme and Eeva Lindholm, an artist with Kolmas Kerros association, ran the drawing workshop with great skill, and the resulting drawings brightened the hall for the next fortnight.
The house at Posliinikatu 2 joined the My House Arabianranta event later on in the spring but the residents there are our old friends to whom we have already given a tour of our club room and invited them to join in our gardening bee. The unofficial afterparty was at the club room for Posliinikatu 2 during which there were a few spontaneous guided tours in one or two of the flats as well.
The main event contained a workshop for children, which was an instant success to the extent that we ran out of food even though we had plenty in the beginning. Participation in My House Arabianranta taught us a lot about the planning, design and art involved in the nearby buildings and helped us to get to know our neighbours.
We have fond memories of the event. The drawing workshop was very popular, and the young and the old alike loved the theatrical act by students of Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. As a tip for those planning a similar event: a play is a very good idea.
Keijo Lehikoinen / Posliinikatu 4
Picture by Tapio Rantala.
Translation by Pigasus Translations.
Even though I’ve moved a lot in the Arabianranta area and theoretically known the concept, it wasn’t until Tuula Isohanni’s guide (a pdf in English), all these recent visits to numerous houses and the guided tour by Kotikaupunkipolku that I realised how massive this thing really is. There is art everywhere, for anyone to see! There must be countless of different interpretations of these works in the minds of the area residents.