Sunday, September 12, 2010

Constructive Chaos: Resilience to Space Acquisition

Resilience refers to the capacity of an individual or community to cope with stress, overcome adversity or adapt positively to change. The ability to bounce back from negative experiences may reflect the innate qualities of individuals or be the result of learning and experience. Regardless of the origin of resilience, there is evidence to suggest that it can be developed and enhanced to promote greater wellbeing. Resilience is not regarded as a quality that is either present or absent in a person or group but rather a process, which may vary across circumstances and time.

The work is a reflection on how the formal efforts of planners attempts to mask the city, yet the notion of resilience simply breaks-down under the pressure of cultural norms that are more than often stronger than the written law. The work thus tested the tendency of a dynamic community to acquire space as a resilience action towords a static system. The instillation is a flexible interactive space, defined by light moveble walls where the user walk into the space and have the freedom to reset, expand and extend the space to attain a desirable space for himself, but without trespassing the margin which was in my case, the pavement. Different settings were mapped by documenting from the process to the final design by taking shots for the space itself and public space surrounding it.

Each user was totally free to adjust, extend and acquire space to accommodate his/her needs of space by pushing cardboard Partition from inside. Extending the space accordingly affected the street space, so street user – as a reaction – pushed back the partitions into the inner space again.

This three armed relation between the order I put, the user from inside and the street user outside was my interest. The mapping reflected user’s attepts to acquire a public space and turn in into private, where user interacted with the space as an owner for a couple of minutes. Most of the users pushed all partitions to be fully streched structure, breaking the pavement margin. The structure acquired 20% of El Moez Street and 40% of Borgwan’s way, which affected the street flow, specially in rush hours. Surprisingly most of street passers got stuck in the bottle’s neck which the structure formed. Passers reacted with this very light structure as if it is a stone structure which can’t be moved although the wind is always giving a slight motion to the partitions. But with a time interval of about every one hour, one of the passers gets angry with the affect of the structure on the street, pushing it all inside again.

Results of mapping showed that in such a space where the authority is very strong because of the street identity turned to be a touristic area, community resilience is very weak, accepting any ununderstandable structure and be very aware to not approach it. Decay of the structure was another interesting result to state my point, where the structure was destroyed from the inner partitions, while partitions facing el Moez street, were totally safe.

Resilience is not regarded as a quality that is either present or absent in a person or group but rather a process, which may vary across circumstances and time, where in all ways Community Resilience is an Indicator of Social Sustainability... but still there are questions which were not answered, How can a designer measure the critical mass of resilience before breaking down the system? Can an Equilibrium state occur between community and system?