The Pop-up City

•December 7, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The Pop-up city is a Dutch online magazine devoted to exploration of temporalities within urbanism and architecture and how urban spaces of today and tomorrow are exploring flexibility, augmentation, technology, fluidity, and accompanying interventions.

NoMadSpaceLab is in its nature very interested in aforementioned topics and therefore delighted for contributing to The Pop-up city. As we are based in Shanghai our main focus will be on pop-ups in China and immediate surroundings. We are looking froward to a long collaboration with the Dutch guys from Golfstromen, behind the Pop-up City Project, and the magazine’s international contributors.

“Network society of bad space” in On Site 24

•November 21, 2010 • Leave a Comment

On Site, Canadian independent journal on arts and architecture, issue 24 on migration is hitting the streets. As we are excited to get hold of some copies here in Shanghai, NoMadSpaceLab is also proud of contributing once again with written work to the journal. “Network society of bad space” is a comment on settling with something that never really satisfy you, while building castles in the sky.. or in Croatia. And once more we would like to remind that if you do not yet have a subscription it is time to get one.

Building China and workshopping UN Pavilion

•November 8, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Even though the blog is hungry for new posts things are not standing still in NoMadSpaceLand. Among the stuff that has kept us busy are a few new publications and workshops.

UN ESCAP and GrAT organized the ICSAD workshop on developing ideas for a sustainable residential program for the Philippine homeless community in San Isidro. The workshop took place in the UN Pavilion of EXPO2010 Shanghai. Samo Pedersen was honored to participate as table host and being able to get inspired by the many creative solutions proposed. The day was also used to celebrate the participants and winners of the 3rd International student competition on sustainable architecture and design leading up to the workshop.

A visiting group of around 45 Danish architects were introduced to architecture in Shanghai at the Building China seminar organized by the Copenhagen Urban Network, Innovation Center Denmark, and the Danish Consulate in Shanghai. Samo of  the SpaceLab was invited speaker at the seminar and contributed with a presentation of the title ‘Speed and Story’. Among others the seminar also offered presentations by the architects Lars Gitz (Lars Gitz Architects) and Jonas Berglund (Kragh & Berglund Landscape Architects).

Even though we get to update the blog a bit in the next couple of days this does not mean that we are retiring from our space travels in the late fall. Therefore keep visiting our blog. Thank you.

50.end presentation for On Site party in Toronto

•July 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

A short reading of my article in On Site review 23, made for the release party in Toronto.

Watch the movie at:

On Site blog


50.END from on site on Vimeo.

Expo through a fake Holga lens

•July 18, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The Holga camera was designed and first sold in China in 1981. Here 29 years later Shanghai EXPO 2010 is aiming to be the greatest world fair in visitors, amount of pavilions, size, etc. Maybe these two things at first seem very distant from each other, but anyway I will argue that they are oh so similar. And so hollow. To spice up this post, with local tradition, I am photoshopping my 21 megapixel digital photos to imitate good old analogue Holga prints. My images are oh so fake!

To start of my comparison the first similarity between the two is that both are strongly developed to satisfy the masses. Where the Holga camera is developed as an inexpensive option for the mass market, the expo is probably not so inexpensive, but highly serves a similar target group. Only the mass market is in this case chosen to serve Expo, in terms of reaching a satisfying high visitor number.

The distortion of the image quality of the Holga camera became a beloved entertaining element within photography and gained cult popularity. An unintended side-effect that proved its quality through its surrealistic representation of the world.

I will not argue that the Expo is very surreal, however the Expo 2010 is very focused on entertaining 70 million visitors on the cost of experimental architectural practice. Today I only focus on the country pavilions. Very few country pavilions are in fact displaying great new architectural qualities and almost no one relate to the underlying sustainability focus of “Better City, Better Life”.

Overall the expo seems to have been very inspired by Disneyland. Overall it is treated more as an amusement park than and educational world fair. I am not arguing whether this is good or bad. In the general Chinese planning and preparation I guess it is alright to have turned towards an event entertaining the masses, since the astonishing amount of visitors probably find more amusement of colorful folklore and souvenirs, than in technical details. However I am quite disappointed with the lack of architectural quality in many of the country pavilions, who seems to purposely have been built only as a tourist office for the respective countries.

Therefore my midterm evaluation of Expo 2010 is that it is a colorful distorted representation of architectural practice. Very low actual quality but nevertheless entertaining and worth revisiting. You will not get bored. I am looking forward to having a better look at the themed pavilions and the “best urban practices area” and hopefully I will have my longing for new architectural ideas and processes satisfied. And of course I need to clarify that the British pavilion does not fit in this post’s evaluation, as it is spectacular and aesthetically very impressive but also very innovative.

Essay in On Site review 23

•May 3, 2010 • Leave a Comment

With the focus on “Small Things” the new edition of Canadian architecture review ‘On Site‘ is out. NoMadSpaceLab is proud of being heard across the ocean and happy for not scaring our  diligent publisher away. Support On Site by getting hold of the magazine and support us by not burning the magazine after reading my essay 50.end.

As additional value our good friends of the Department of Unusual Certainties have contributed to this edition with an interesting piece on Toronto’s parkettes (a tiny park that is… not a wooden floor).

Expo 2010

•May 1, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The Shanghai Expo was yesterday officially blown away, or at least it looked that way. We are expecting some interesting pavilions and events throughout the next six months here in Shanghai. We might post a comment on a later time to what we have, hopefully, learned from the top of the pops in architecture presented on site.