READINGS ON THE EDGE
[…] Tallinn is a city in which many different layers of history seem to be glued on top of each other, so closely that one can almost touch medieval times, 1920s independence, Soviet features and market economy all at once. ‘Now’ and ‘Then’ are both there and in use. The city, being so fragmented and continuously undergoing change, called for an intuitive, site-specific reading of various scales, picking up details and comparing characteristics of contrasting urban phenomena. The Tallinn project began with an attempt to grasp the city by moving through it at different speeds: by car, on foot, stopping intuitively at fascinating spaces and objects, searching for identities that could be revealed by maps, photographs and writings. The maps offer a series of exposures to phenomena, events and situations encountered in Tallinn’s urban structure. Considering the huge impact of the ‘bulldozing’ forces of capitalist developments in Tallinn, it is noteworthy that these exposures were taken within a narrow time slot. They offer readings of a specific moment in time, identifying traces and starting points that might offer relevant material for future scenarios. […] Whereas the first reading of Tallinn was influenced by the multiple speeds with which the urban setting was investigated, ‘spatio-temporal’ edge conditions emerged from the reflections upon these first encounters. Thus temporality became both a method of observation and a notion with which to define the urban conditions of the city. An almost invisible system of spatio-temporal edges was revealed by means of maps, photographs and writings. Intuitively, the edges where different time periods, socio-political systems and spatial structures collided, had been identified, constituting the most challenging sites for research and intervention. Such edges were sometimes very sharp and narrow, with strong visual contrasts; sometimes they consisted of larger spaces of urban wasteland.
MSc studio BC, semester 05, July 2004
Participants: Klaas Kresse, Sander Laheij, Aukje Litjens, Max Rink, Niels Tilanus, Thomas Vande Casteele, Bert Vording.
Mentors: Micha de Haas, Klaske Havik, Lars Courage, Jan Engels.