The project is an attempt aimed at the dissolution of the singular image of the famed Nordic Model that is today characterised by notion of happiness welfare and egalitarianism. Through articulating existing moments of inconsistency masked by a simplistic understanding of the Nordic territory, the research begins as a move away from the over opportunistic idea of a model. One that dictates living pattern and exported for financial purposes in the today future profit seeking condition.

The research follows the forms of Nordic model of economic development across contemporary financialised territories through its traces of material spaces that it engages on various moments and instances.

The projects argues and reject the simplistic understanding/representation of the Nordic model today. It put forth the reconsideration of the territory as a space in today’s contested notion Nordic model through these assemblages of events builds an image of the region that is no longer confined to a singular representation of the territories but able to manages the urban political transformation within the territories of Nordic model.

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Images of the Nordic Model

On the left is a regular day on July 2011 Oslo, moments before the Oslo attack. On the right is Jan Gehl giving a lecture on cities and people. What is in common in both is notion of how the Nordic model manifested through the idea of an image.

The focus of the research arise from the curiosity that seeks to trace and understand what constitute this image of the Nordic model. Beyond the egalitarian society that comprises a universal distributed amenities, good quality of life and strong labour market, what are the elements that constitute this image of the model/ why do others countries have to learn from them. Why are they trying to export it?

Images of the Model today

In recent years, territories have been progressively financialised and commodified. Such deliberation on recent urban renewal are often associated with sense of optimism, perception of good life and happiness. However it is such careful consideration that oversimplify the underlying implication of social, political, spatial and economic relation to those of exclusivity, hierarchical and disconnection. It is clear policies that are implemented in such region only seek to strengthen such phenomenology of isolation.

Rather than the pursuit of an intensified spatial arrangement that such implications are masked and ignored, the project attempts to address these transformations and differences that are provoked via a series of intervention through the architectures of the territory.

A renew coastal interest

Within these multi-layered movement of capital, resources, goods, people and knowledge, the abandoned brownfield sites play a vital role. As the catalyst for urban renewal and developments, these post-industrial landscape forms the device through which such movement can be manifested and regulated.

These urban environments are stripped clean of their industrial past through a calculated tabula rasa manoeuvre in an attempt to maximise its potential monetary returns. Such ambitious projects are displays of an ideological shift that engages the globalisation of cities, industries, people, and infrastructure; meeting and operates through the local space in name of urban rejuvenation.

How can such deliberate act of redevelopment be sustainable to the Nordic model if its intention is imprinted with ideas of separation and profit-generating?

This system of idealized and optimistic projection of urban regeneration operates in the territory that undermines the Model that it represent. Notion of social mobility, good life and happiness are questionable in such territories defined by its violent transformation.

Moments of contestation and inconsistencies

The image of the Nordic territory is made up of numberous moments of tension, inconsistencies and conflict.

To move away from the growing disparity of these distinctive geographies the project put forth the notion territories as a space of operation that can begin to become the platform for moments of interference in existing context of perceive stability.

Norwegian Coast

As the Norwegian coast becomes more integrated and reliant on the oil industry for its towns development. Investment received will only reinforce such dependencies further through its purpose - built infrastructure and industrial elements.

Reduction in oil dependencies of coastal town through provision of alternative mode of exchanges that can first be address through the reorientation of the towns towards the peninsula with the establishment of cross institutional collaboration.

Gulf of Bothnia

Coastal town that are in decline can be realigned in their industrial orientation through improving infrastructural connection to existing resource towns and further trade connection across the gulf of Bothnia by connecting specific port to relating industry.

Highland inhabitantation

The scheme calls an linear formation, one that would consist of a series of functionally specialized parallel sectors. As the region expands, additional growth would be added to the end of each band.

Potentially of introducing rail network to reduce reliance of Norwegian coast dependencies on oil as well corporate control from the south on the Swedish coast.

Inland city

Realigned growth along the railway line utilising the infrastructure as a delivery backbone where its expansion will be concentrated along its length without getting wider.

Coastal cities

A consolidation of city core could be considered where existing boundaries between the core and its immediate limits can be address through the consideration of such spaces.

The assemblage of inconsistencies

The project does not seek to solve all these moment of conflicts, tension or dependencies. It is an attempt to highlight and make visible these condition that are currently ignored and disregard in the global export of the Nordic model which is no longer confined to renderings or photographs of architectural models. The model today exists in presentation, meeting room, flight manifest of Jan Gehl, school curriculum, booklet, pamphlet of smart cities etc.

It is the ability or capacity in the attempts of encapsulating the parameter of the model for an underlying purpose of pure financialisation that should be rejected. The completely falsification of an idealise life through that a singular positive image of model must be address as it is no longer possible to have a singular image of the model that represent the territory today. There exist many moments of inconsistencies and conflict in this space of contestation.

Moments that are inconsistent with welfare, inconsistent with happiness. Inconsistent with the initial idealise image of the model that can be and should be realigned and re articulated to allow for a more autonomous and self-organising arrangement or re-arrangement of polity.