Nordstadt Park

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The Boundary of Nordstadt Park in Kassel

Name The boundary of Nordstadt Park
Location Kassel
Country Germany
Authors Tanja Helbing, Yi Fang, Deniz Akman
Comtempary clear view.jpg
<googlemap version="0.9" lat="51.326965" lon="9.505663" zoom="16" width="300" height="250">51.326495, 9.506435, the boundary of Nordstadt park</googlemap>

Short Introduction to the Area of Study

Our chosen area is joined on the south-west side to the Nordstadtpark in Kassel. The area expands parallel to the park. Tree bridges connected the park with our location. Very relevant for the character of the area is a concrete wall on one side and the stream of the Ahna on the other side.

The location can be seen as a place in between, because it connects other main places like the park and the streets. That can be seen as one vital aspects why the area seams to be really interesting to look at. To figure out what kind of potential areas with a pre assumed minor impotence can have for people. Because of the basis of first observational research we figured out that the area is mainly used by younger people and leisure sportsman.

Exercise 1: Sketching the Landscape

Time frame: October 25 - November 15, 2011

Student activities:

  • Creation of analytical drawings and sketches
  • Presentation of results

Please upload a selection of your drawings/sketches/mental maps and add them to the image gallery

Sketches and Drawings

Exercise 2: Landscape Layers

Time frame: November 15 - 29, 2011

  • time based changes and 'landscape biography', and/or:
  • topography, open spaces, built, green, traffic and water structures on different layers. *Definition of zones with coherent character
  • Description of this character.

In the east of the area is the Hospital of Kassel located. Next to the graffiti wall is a presumably private used garage. In the northwest there are some private houses. Regional endemical plants can be found around the area, such as Acer Platanus, Salix or Pinus. Most of the plants deviate along the river side. A contrast between the green and the concrete elements builts up. Predominantly the area is used by pedestrians and bicycle users. Some parts are accessible for cars too. The frequency highly depends on the time of the day. It is especially high approximately fifteen minutes before and after the lectures. The hole area appears to be quite open. If you would stand on one side of the place you could easily get an overview about the reach of the place. The open areas can be divided in those who can be accessed by people and in those you can not enter. On every side of the food path people can enter the joint areas until the wall on the right and the fence on the left side. In addition, there is a little place in front of the path that can be used as well. The areas people can not enter lay behind the fence and the wall (green spaces). Even though you can not access the places there can be well seen and contribute a big amount to the specific character of the place. The occurrence of water, has a secondary meaning for the area. There is just one waterelement: the Ahna. It is a little stream that runs through the place on the left side. It appears to be hidden on some places and is there for marginal recognizable.

Exercise 3: Behaviour Patterns

Time frame: December 6 - 20, 2011

  • How do people behave in this area? How do they use the space? What is important for them?
  • Observation of study area, interviews with local people and mapping of use patterns.
  • Preparation of short presentation

Exercise 4: Communication Concepts

Time frame: December 19, 2011 - January 17, 2012

  • Based on the different landscape assessment approaches students will develop a communication concept for their area of study
  • Which measures would be necessary for enhancing the awareness for the area?
  • Students are free to choose their method.

Trough the process of analysing the landscape layers, as well as the behaviour pattern, we figured out that the graffiti sprayed wall in our case study area has some unused potential to offer. People who would not necessarily walk along the path should be able to discover the values of the way. A Significant characteristic of the place is that the appearance of the wall- and there for the whole place- undergoes a constant change. Therefore the area can be perceived always new.

We discovered that especially the young user group would benefit from our new approach. The history of graffiti goes back into the old Egyptian time. Since than images, lettering and other signs where carved or painted in public spaces. The word graffiti origins from the creek word graphein, which means writing. In most cases it is seen as an art peace, fallowing the tradition of abstract painting, calligraphy or the aesthetic of comics. (vgl. Landeshauptstadt Potsdam. Legale Graffiti-Wände statt Schmierereien auf Gebäuden und Fassaden. [Zugriff 14.01.2012]) Nowadays it became a cultural phenomenon. It is a central tool for the expression of a urban feeling. People find recognition and a group based support trough there spraying. Especially to mention is that everyone can eternalize (if wished) anonymously and without commotion something on the wall.

Because the spraying is not laying under an external political censorship by the law, it is possible to write or paint (even about some delicate topics) what ever you want. A decision, if something is appropriate or not, is only been done by the other users. During our studies we could observe someone chipping a word out of the wall, which properly had an offensive character.

Our concept of communication is based on different rudiments. First (local) people should start to recognize that there surroundings do not look the same way everyday. By taking the chance of changing there surroundings trough themselves, people can make there everyday landscape there own landscape. On way to realize that, is by spraying an own art work at the wall. During that process a communication between the involved parties can be started. Some people will bring along friends to show them there drawings. These ones might take some pictures and show them to other friends. Trough this way possibilities of the place will be spread to a wider audience.

Essential that this can happen, is that people (of the area) know that a place with this qualities (meeting point, doing art) is existing. There for we want to but up a significant leading sign as well as a sculpture at the entrance of our area.

Thirdly our concept includes a monthly hold spraying work shop. Thick, approximately two meter high, paper walls will be but at the opposite side of the wall. These should encourage amateurs to try out doing a graffiti or an other kind of drawing. Guidance could be given from older sprayers that might already have drawn something on the concrete wall or even from some respected artists. The verbal exchange between local and other people will be improved as well as the identification with the area.

Image Gallery


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