Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Sports and the city: unprecedented images as type generators

Sports and the city:

unprecedented images as type generators

How poststructuralism confronts phenomenology

for the emergence of a synergetic design toolbox.

With an image showing a skater using a handrail as a “skate-rail” I indicate both the impetuous force for my observation and the thematic frame of this paper.

This essay comes up as a result of continuous observation, intuitive interest in gyms, parks and public spaces with intensive physical motion, that led to a creation of a personal collection of images of the sport-city. Intrigued by innovating use of construction sites, temporary occupation of parks, a sport spectacle while shopping and struck by the limits of paradoxical interpretation of possible spaces into sport places, the interest is transformed into research that aims to the extraction of a design toolbox based on a synergy of phenomenological view and structuralistic breakdown analysis of public space.

- Image-nary

In an everyday route in the city, traditions of existing typologies are open to reconstruction, constisting one layer of reality, as Giddens defines a de-traditionalized society. Cityscapes form one level of the urban real where every individual myth can apply. “Spatial forms”, as Ledrut puts it, “and their relation to social practice are replaced by the idea the inhabitants have of the city”, forming Walzer’s “open-minded” space, where Beck’s individuals are released from structures and must redefine their context of action under conditions of structured insecurity in forms. Heidegger’s claim that idealistic and realistic view are inseparable in the lived experience meets Lacan’s dual relationship between viewer and observer. A “stage” is defined as a host infrastructural platform:

- Stage as part of an activity

Among cityscapes are places attributed with the same parasitical activity over the city. What are their special characteristics? Streetstyle Skaters’ slogan “symbiosis is an intrigue” emphasizes their search for elements for re-appropriation.

- Stage as period of development

Emergent type, according to M. Hays understands type not only as transcription from a catalogue but also as built configuration determined by habits of social use. It constructs a “third typology” which estranges the representation of what is represented and with the help of the architect through a “mise-en-architecture” operation, builds up a functional context for signification.

- Theatrical stage

Synergy of phenomenological and structuralistic analysis is attempted in Vondelpark of Amsterdam and the skateroute maps of Amsterdam.

In this context and while using the concluded instrumentality, I will analyse two projects, S-Port Terminal in Amsterdam and an urban analysis for Zeeburg in the Netherlands.

The research "Unprecented images and the mirror stage" (1999) tries to examine how sports and physical motion are facilitated in public space and interact.
It borrows an experiment from the optical science,used by J. Lacan in his 'mirror stage' theory, to examine the relationship between cityscapes and social use in an organization of infrastructure for re-appropriation.

Three cases are examined:
Mapping of 'host' parts of the city
Introduction of Sports in Port terminal Amsterdam
Examine possible intrusion in Java-Sporenburg-Borneo

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