Thursday, 29 April 2010


Drawing course at school. Started at Lygra, continued at the Bergen Maritime Museum. Trudi is very informative and an interesting teacher, and we've also been doing a thing called 3D drawing, which has to do with "drawing" by the use of sticks and yarn outside.

Tord and I made this piece of art. You're wondering what it is? Well, isn't it quite obvious? When the forest is trying to invade the traditional open cultural landscape, what do you do? You tie it down.

Sunday, 25 April 2010


The weeks of performance are over. Wednesday was the last day, and everybody had their own way of showing us what they saw in the landscape at Almaas. Alexander and Vegar had a performance with a theme of forest vs. the open landscape, which was very interesting to watch, and acted out the never-ending drama of the  the landscape changing between open and overgrown. All in all, doing performance outside was very rewarding. I have actually come to believing that performance as a sort of drama or dance can be helpful in showing the poetic qualities of a place. Our responsibility as architects must, when discovering such a quality, then be to try and make a continuation of it when we execute our interventions in the natural or cultural landscape.

Thursday, 22 April 2010


As a child and youth, I always had gigantic dreams of beautifying my surroundings and make meaningful things happen where there was nothing to be happy about. Not too long ago, I discovered the phenomenon of guerilla gardening, which has a lot to do with this. Guerilla gardening is a very advanced form of vandalism, where you begin gardening on a patch of land that doesn't belong to you. Just a small crack in the pavement next to a wall, the bare roots around a tree in the street or a flower bed with some extra space will do. Then you plan something for everyone to enjoy, and look after it to make sure it always looks and does good to its surroundings. Many guerilla gardeners also think that the things planted should be useful, for example edible or a source of good materials for crafting things that are needed in everyday life. (Rumour has it such a group are starting up their work in Bergen as well, and are planning to plant sunflowers, poppies and apple trees where you least expect it during this summer.) To inspire you:

Monday, 19 April 2010


So, there we were. Magnar holding the disposable camera, and me trying to push open the gates of the Marble Arch in London. He had to take a picture, and I had to try even harder, but they wouldn't open. Still, very nice architecture. I can't resist the barely white marble and black wrought iron ornamental thing going on. Still trying to figure out why almost everyone (including myself) seem to prefer ornamented and detailed surfaces to smooth and hard ones, I do think that the people who are writing about ornament in classical and traditional architecture defining a human scale, may have a point.

Look at the picture, and compare the width of the columns to my width, my hands to the triangles arranged in a circle to my right, the length of my upper arm to the blocks of marble stacked to hold up the columns, or my legs to the vertical and horizontal bands holding the gate together. Isn't there a relation of sorts to be seen that makes the architecture seem more familiar, something it's easy to identify with?

Saturday, 17 April 2010


Back at Almaas, the eerie farm in the countryside where no one lives any more, experiencing the landscape in heavy rain, though without snow. There were lots and lots of small windflowers everywhere that will probably burst into bloom very soon, small creeks running through the fields... and I also discovered these guys. I don't know what they were doing there; but they looked as if they were buried up to their necks, and still sleeping after a winter under the thick snow. They were very quiet, and even weren't even disturbed when Ivar and I started to borrow their hair to use as wigs. I wonder what they'll be up to the next time I'm there.

Friday, 16 April 2010


An assertion: The term "modern church building" is self-contradictory, as churches really only are churches to the extent that they arouse something ancient, primal and extremely un-modern in the people that visit them.

(Picture from Akershus county in Norway.)

Wednesday, 14 April 2010


This is a picture of Lise and I doing a performance of the transition between the contrasts of heat and death. Yes, I'm doing performance. Reading the BAS book (Sorry about the site I'm linking to not being in English; large parts of the book are, though.), one of the things I've not been looking very much forward to, is performance, or Action in Space, as it's often called at BAS. Performance always seemed a bit silly to me, and the main teacher at the art school I went to a few years ago, hated it, so I've had a hard time trying to take it seriously (not helped a bit by the illustrations in the BAS book, mind you).

However, I'm actually appreciating this course alot. Our Action in Space teacher, Carmen, is doing a good job at connecting the rather abstract actions of performance to thinking about shapes and form, which of course is quite relevant to architects. She's also a choreographer, something I believe is reflected in the assignments we are given, and which also helps the connection from the performance to the real world, because she seems to be thinking in forms, not just in symbols, as many artists do.

As mentioned, the picture is from a performance Lise and I did today, illustrating the contrasts (although not opposites) of heat and death. The idea, which was Lise's, was that it would be interesting to use to contrasts that could be found within one object, in this case a warm rock. The assignment was for a pair of people to act out contracts, with one person starting by illustrating a quality like being high, dynamic, organic etc., with the other starting up as more or less the opposite, being low, static, mechanic etc. Then, in acts of movement, we were to change places, and by this illustrate a sort of transition. Carmen seemed a bit disappointed that people didn't spend enough time rehearsing the performance, but I guess a lot of people were a bit unsure what to do, as we had been given two and a half hours for this purpose, including lunch (and the sun was shining). I still found the results quite interesting, especially looking at the forms of what people were doing, and I guess that was a part of the purpose. Looking forward to more of this tomorrow.

Monday, 5 April 2010


This is a picture from a Musgum village in Cameroon. These buildings are built entirely out of earth in the ideal mathematical form to bear a maximum weight with minimal material, the catenary arch.

"Catenary" is Latin for "chain", and the exact method of creating this form, is to hang a chain from two points to create a U-shape of sorts, then make a drawing of the curve, and turn it upside down to make an arch. The Catalonian architect Antoni Gaudí, famous for his characteristic organic architecture, especially the cathedral La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, applied catenary arches widely, and used the technique of hanging strings and chains to create the designs for vaults, roofs and ceilings in his buildings.

I doubt these people are using the same technique, but the result is a catenary arch nonetheless. I think they may be using the principle of the corbel arch, which I've blogged about before, and that uses corbelling to create arches that are sometimes very reminiscent of the catenary arch.

Attention should also be paid to the surface of the buildings. Apart from being beautiful ornaments, the shapes covering them also function as a sort of stairs and platforms to stand on when climbing to the top of the buildings, and help leading rainwater away from the surface. More about these buildings at

By the way, tomorrow I'm travelling with my boyfriend to London, my favourite city! There will we pictures, I promise.

Sunday, 4 April 2010


I've only seen two episodes, but I'm already completely in love. Remember "Popular"? That brilliant teen soap opera, mixed with a large portion of absurdities? The people behind it are back. We're still at a high school, there are still bitchy cheerleaders and handsome jocks versus nerds and losers, there's still a cruel blonde female teacher, there's still humour and romance and drama and passion. But this time, they're singing:

Friday, 2 April 2010


In total disrespect of the graveness of Good Friday, some pictures of things that look like each other. This is supposed to be funny.

This picture is from the movie "My Neighbour Totoro" by Hayao Myazaki from Studio Ghibli. I haven't seen this one, but I've seen lots of other really good Studio Ghibli-productions. They're worth checking out.

This is a picture I took the last time I was in Copenhagen. Striking similarity? I was reminded of Totoro, anyway. Actually, it's not too rare for buildings from the beginning of the last turn of the century to look a bit like faces, masks, animals etc., or have parts that do (like the Batman house I've written about earlier). I this feature is quite charming; it seems to give them a sort of personality and life of their own.

(PS. Sorry about not the lack of activity here lately; I left my camera in Bergen. More soon!)
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