Situated Commonism in the landscape of Umeå : Claiming and Sharing Places

University essay from Umeå universitet/Arkitekthögskolan vid Umeå universitet


This is about acting from a situation, a place, its conditions and its actors.

It is an attempt to understand the ongoing transformations of the city

of Umeå, to grasp how it functions and gain the knowledge to be able

to act within and suggest new possible futures. By looking at Umeå and

the current situation with the parking lot as an index, a tool, a laboratory,

and a possible new common, new ways of building the city while

living within it will be suggested. The non place of the parking lot with

its singular purpose is part of the mechanisms that makes our city, at the

same time it is the effect of this city making and it is also a great place

to start a change of such system. The 2.5x5 meters that makes a parking

lot is small in comparison with the city, and even more so in comparison

with the country or the world, but the size also makes it possible to

grasp, touch and inhabit. The smallness makes it seem rather innocent

and without much importance but the power lies within its multiplicity.

A change within a parking lot might not be much, but the possibility of

spreading throughout the city and the world makes the parking lot a

very powerful place.

Since humans can sometimes be creatures of habit, I believe that it is

extremely important to keep on questioning the way we inhabit the

world together. Widely spread and accepted habits can start acting like

dysfunctional natural laws steering us in a direction we might not have

chosen if alternatives were presented to us. By investigating and testing

the possibilities of such a bland and unquestioned place as the parking

lot, I am looking to find glimpses of alternative ways of making the world

while living it.

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