We sat down with Mikkel and Daniel of EFFEKT and asked them a series of questions concerning city building and architecture.
Architecture or the Business of Architecture is entirely integral with planning, land-scaping, system thinking. A “show, don’t tell” motto that is always in BETA.
They describe cities as ecosystems, so when we start to understand the complexity of the inter-relationship between different actors and systems involved, then we can begin to design our systems more like the ecosystems that they depend on, and they connect to within their surroundings. Social interaction with people is an integral part of how they design as aesthetics, materials or functionality or program. It’s these parameters that we evaluate buildings on? Is it? Is it beautiful? Is it static? Is it sustainable? Is it livable? But also can it foster a kind of social interaction between new user groups. Architects have more parameters that they needed to show, and believe will keep expanding as the need to grow in experience.
What is a smart city?
It turns a smart city like has a fundamental problem in that it’s hard to define what that is easy.
I would say what smart is actually shifting towards this, this idea of industrial symbiosis, which is basically like, where all of the waste products in terms of like waste, heat, waste nutrients from like food waste, wastewater, is all becomes kind of input for the next system. So really kind of an eliminating the notion of waste altogether, which is a very idealistic thought. But it’s also kind of what we need to do if we need to design our way out of the problems that we’ve created through modernism and industrialization.
If you focus too much on one element, you cannot have you have to have all aspects of play, to evaluate if you’re doing something useful and valuable to everyone.
I think we have to forget about technology when talking about smart city, which is more or less becoming kind of, like how much how many IoT elements have any connections, systems all at play. It’s more about creating something that works and then works cleverly, such that it doesn’t affect the planet negatively. But I think what we need to do also within our industry also is, is open up more for collaboration between different sectors, because I think a lot of the problems are symptomatic of the way we work very kind of compartmentalized and focused on our own problems within the built environment. But when you start to make new connections with like, like in the IKEA project, the urban village project, thinking about new business models, new services that can be directly integrated with homeownership, then you can unlock a whole new sphere of opportunity within the built environment, and it becomes something much bigger and opens up for me a new kind of configurations and new possibilities. So I think we need some also partner up with a lot of different actors and stakeholders to kind of rethink what cities actually are.
“So it’s really about like coming together as kind of bright minds and experts in different industries and exchanging ideas, critiquing each other and collaborating, forming new partnerships to get to the next step. And we call it “Staying in beta”. So that we’re not so scared to kind of come up with an idea before it’s finished.”
A good example of smart city, or clever city is a way that bicycle mobility is organized in Copenhagen. That is now being replicated all over. We transition from the 50s to today to like, 90% or something that travel to work is a bicycle. They don’t do it because it’s a sustainable choice or it’s the right, healthy choice; they do it because it’s easy. That’s number one reason why people chose a bike; you can take it from right outside your front door to right outside here. And it’s the fastest way to get around. It is annoying when it’s raining, but that’s about I think it’s twenty days a year to travel where you will experience rain. And then the second, it’s the cheapest option. I mean, you can go quite far Copenhagen it’s completely flat. And with the electric bikes, there’s they’re still quite affordable. I mean, mobilities on bikes are getting bigger. And now they’re saying, Okay, well, there’s congestion on biking. So why don’t we just take one of the car lanes and make the bike lanes more prominent? I mean, that’s not smart.
This is kind of this has nothing to do with technology. It’s just pragmatic thinking. Okay, the bikes are cramped, and there are getting fewer and fewer cars. And we kind of want to get rid of the past, why don’t we make even less space for the car, so becomes annoying, taking your car downtown and lock up like close a lot of the speed. So that one way is challenging getting around by car and making it even more attractive to be on a bike because it becomes easier and easier. And there is more room for it. And this highway bicycle highway, kind of the main arteries, to the city where the lights are in line so that you know if you keep fifteen to twenty kilometres, you can get green lights all the way.
It’s because we could build so quickly and cheaply, thanks to fossil fuels. Yeah, and cheap energy. And we didn’t think of concrete, fuel. Yeah, materials, like could be source anywhere. We didn’t think about the consequences of our actions. And now we’re kind of paying the karmic debt for what we the way we built our cities. But I think like the whole mindset is changing because we’re becoming much more aware of how this ripple effect, how things affect each other.
That’s actually how more or less where and they are choosing to end the talk tomorrow is that like, taking the technology that already exists, which has a lot of solutions to the problem. And, actually shaping it through great design, we can create the aspiration and the change of mindset that is needed to adopt these solutions at scale, and create a positive impact needed.