Blog | Christopher Hansen

Dezember 2016

I have finally been able to get back to work which is such a nice feeling. The month has been spent doing a quick self initiated workshop together with a friend that studies fashion, in order to kickstart the masters project and start producing things rather than spending too much time writing and reading. Together we have created a fake company named META, which stands for Martian Everyday Technology Assistance.

The company exists some 50 years into the future, after the first few generations of humans have colonised Mars. We are using the body as our common ground to speculate on how life might be after most of the hardships have been overcome. How will your personal time be? Would you go hiking in the mountains? What does this new society involve?

We have produced fictional products to be displayed in a fictional appropriation of typical japanese lifestyle magazines such as Popeye and GoOut.

The collaboration has resulted in the production of a Boride nitrate nanotube (BNNT) compression suit to help combat the cosmic radiation and the thin atmosphere on Mars. Our idea was that this garment would be used as a sort of everyday item that one could dress over. In this way one progresses away from all wearing the same suit and more towards a diverse and individual society. We produced hiking jackets and pants to accompany the suit, together with business fleece sweaters and a line of mission patches.

The collaboration has resulted in the production of a Boride nitrate nanotube (BNNT) compression suit to help combat the cosmic radiation and the thin atmosphere on Mars. Our idea was that this garment would be used as a sort of everyday item that one could dress over. In this way one progresses away from all wearing the same suit and more towards a diverse and individual society. We produced hiking jackets and pants to accompany the suit, together with business fleece sweaters and a line of mission patches.

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November 2016

Still not quite over the concussion, but I have been able to slowly start writing again and working in short sessions. It does not take much for me to get really dizzy and a headache. I am at home everyday, only going out of the house to walk the dog or buy food at the store. Podcasts have definitely become more important than they were. I listen to podcasts all day. I believe I have found my setting for the masters project, which I think will give me a lot of freedom to work with a range of topics and subtopics within the project. My chosen setting or theme if you will, is Mars. I chose this because it is a futuristic scenario, but not an unrealistic one, therefore not entirely out of reach. Conceptual work, in my opinion, should have a good dose of realism or feasability.

The thought is that we might be able to understand more of who we are by exploring where we might be going in the future. I think that exploring possible futures can help us reflect on the present and essentially on who we are. Starting a new society will involve a lot of questions that we need to ask ourselves, which allows for a great oppotunity to explore the very core issues of humans and human society. I am not quite sure how I will do this yet, but it will involve designing a scenario or situation that someone can experience holistically.

My hopes are to use the future scenario of Mars as a way for people to question what it is that we are doing on earth. I am very interested in the relationship between design and science fiction. It is not very hard to see the indirect and direct effect that science fiction has had on the way that we have designed the future for ourselves. This concept of “the future” is also something I am interested in exploring.

The Tabula Rasa and this idea of a completely fresh start, entirely new life, new world, new structure new everything. We have no historical context to respond to and no societal context to respond to. These are some of the things I will be reasearching. Looking forward to getting back to work soon!

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Oktober 2016

Unfortunately my October month has not been very productive due to a concussion. My doctors have told me not to work on the computer, read, draw or even listen to music. Like an idiot I thought I could just keep working, which has in turn made the symtpoms worse and last longer. This month has been very slow, but I have had plenty of time to think.

It is amazing how much we constantly stimulate our mind on any given day. We almost never leave time for ourselves to be bored or just let our mind wander. The experience has been boring and a bit anxious at times, but it has been nice to slowly turn things off and be alone with my mind.

I have been thinking a lot about what my masters project will be about. There is a qoute from Juhanni Pallasma where he describes the task of art as being to show what it feels like to be human in this world. This has been on my mind as I have been thinking of what the task of design is, or at least on a personal level. I think the idea of focusing on or exploring who we are as humans is an important task for a designer. In some way I will be working with what it means to be a human. Designs task should be to show what it means to be a human in the world of tomorrow.

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September 2016

For the whole of September and parts of the summer I have been working on an architectural competition that is set in Tokyo. The competition was held by Archoutloud and open to both students and professionals. The site was set in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo within a quite strange mix of surrounding contexts. This area is full of pachinko parlors, stripclubs, host clubs, massage parlors, clubs, restaurants etc. In general it is known to be a bit seedy.

The task was to design a cemetery for the area that addresses the issues that Tokyo has with space. In the recent years developers have been buying property and selling off burial spots as this is more lucrative that actually building something. This has been a problem in Tokyo, with cemeteries popping up everywhere. We were asked to design a cemetery that took care of the spatial and sustainability issues that come with cemteries, but at the same time to explore the relationship that the city and especially this specific area would have to a cemetery. We were to explore the relationship between architecture and death, while looking for new ways to experience the cemetery.

In short, my proposal involves a floating roof, embedded with diamonds created from the ashes of the dead. Rather than hide from the city, this structure offers an open public space that forms an efficient mutual relationship between architecture and technology in order to reform the cemetery typology from passive and symbolic to active and informative. The landscape of the dead becomes a landscape of data in the sky, mapping relationships between the decease that inform and engage the city user who take the advantage of smartphones. By absorbing the traces of human life, death and architecture become one.

Coffins are huge space wasters and so are urns with ashes. A company from Switzerland started offering the service of transforming loved ones ashes into artificial diamonds. The high carbon content is compressed and then superheated. This technique allows for an immense improvement in terms of spatial efficiency in a city that desperately needs it. The tough materiality of the diamond allows for an extremely long lifetime and zero maintanence.

The floating roof is a non-hierarchical structure embedded with these diamonds that are connected to a sea of fiberoptic cables above. The light is then received from either the sun or the city. When lit from beneath the light travels back through the roof and into a glowing field of light where ceremonial burials are conducted in the form of planting the diamond and cable.

Augmented reality and cameratracking technology make it possible to experience the dead within the city in a new context and new way. Using our phones we can livemap the decease buried in the sky, seeing relationships between people, relative information and even access the history of our ancestors. The dead have an honorable place within the city but also offer the city user information, shelter and light. Out of 460 proposals, my project Yaoyorozu, was chosen for an Honorable Mention. Check out the entire project here: http://www.archoutloud.com/tok-results.html

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August 2016

During my summer I have dedicated most of my time to reading and doing research in preperation for my masters project that will be delivered this year. My initial ideas and intentions have changed over the past 12 months and I seem to be looking into spaces and rituals as opposed to an investigation into space from a strictly sensory position that involves our perception as individuals. This might of course change again.

I have found one specific text by Foucalt, on what he calls heterotopias, quite interesting. Liminal spaces, heterotopias and the ritualistic activities of humans that tie into these spaces have provoked further investigation into certain typologies like cemeteries, prisons and what we consider sacred spaces. You might say that my interests have taken a slight turn into the anthropological aspects of space and society. Marc Auge's Non-spaces have also been quite thought provoking, in addition to an interest in the massive amount of digital space in which we live our lives. Some sort of study on the relationship between physical and digital spaces could also be a nice starting point for my masters project.

The outcome of this research is still quite unknown, but for the time being I am not too worried and am rather focusing my time on reading and writing. My creative process in the beginning of a project usually involves a lot of research that produces a series of texts which I use to get a better understanding of what direction I am going in. This helps me to frame or focus my thoughts towards a specific problem that needs to be solved or a topic to investigate. If this were to be visualised I like to think of it as a diamond shape. Where in the beginning one gathers as much information as possible until it widens out and then tapers in towards the focused outcome.