Flora Kießling
Oslo, Norway
Rethinking processes and governance
Image: Flora Kießling an artistic examination of key locations in open space concerning neighbourhood.

Who actually expects the neighbourhood to have a certain quality? And what kind of quality have residents in mind? Are they aware of their neighbourhood? Are they concerned?
The developed artistic research “GENIUS LOCI NEIGHBOURHOOD - Hjørner i Oslo“ that deals with these questions aims to create an awareness concerning the topic of neighbourhood relation and open spaces.

Phase 0 QUESTIONS helps to achieve an overview on the city of Oslo and important, potential or neglected areas. It sets the basis for a socio-spatial understanding of the city and its neighbourhoods. A collection of places - a catalogue of interests - arises.

Phase I FIELD STUDY + VOICES requires a first selection of 10 to 15 neighbourhoods and continues with an on site study of the shortlist. Again, residents are interviewed and asked about their perception of the neighbourhood. A strategy to condense the knowledge networks. Video serves as a medium to catch mood and rhythm of the place.

Phase II DRAWING is the second level of capturing the atmosphere and overlays of the neighbourhood. With ink and wax pastels, 2 to 3 lively, atmospheric images evolves each neighbourhood.

Phase III POSTCARDS serve as a medium to spread the “Genius Loci“ of the chosen neighbourhoods. A subtle thought-provoking attempt to reach the residents, confront them with the topic of open and public space. Individual questions for the selected areas can be understood as a gentle wake-up call. The distribution of the postcards starts with the opening of the Oslo Architecture Trienniale.

Phase IV MONTAGE + EXHIBITION is the assembly of the collected material. Sound, video and objects are combined and deliver portraits of neighbourhood in Oslo. A base for a discussion on eye level.

The practise is the creation of a basis for communication and exchange. A suggestion for discussions for both residents and planners. It contributes to the lively city as it points to places of collective importance and wants to engage people with space. A sensitive strategy to focus on quality and community thinking.

We need to see our cities a bit different. The interplay and dialogue of residents and space is often neglected in planning practises, but as Jan Gehl says “We shape cities, and they shape us“. Therefore, I want to create a statement to the often missing variety and joyfulness in open space projects and the lack of small practises that take place on the human dimension.


The most essential aspect is the creation of an awareness for the socio-spatial connection of neighbourhood. A realisation that a good neighbourhood contributes to our well-being and the impact of our every-day life. It can be seen as a wake-up-call for underestimated space, as also an emphasis of key-places for neighbourhood identity.

I want to fulfill the aim to create an output accessible and shareable for everyone. Combining different levels of depth, the understanding works on a visual and auditory level, as it is also an initiator for dealing with the topic of neighbourhood and open space in general. What makes the spirit of places? What does a creation of a vibrant and liveable neighbourhood need or miss?
It is also my claim to create an individual project for Oslo. Therefore the practise itself will be unique for the city. I don't want an Architecture Trienniale to look the same all over the world. A statement against arbitrariness and for locally rooted projects.

Flora Kießling

This artistic research is an individual practise, developed on the own initiative by landscape architecture student and freelance artist Flora Kießling. It is supported and supervised by Dr.-Ing. Felix Greiner-Petter and a continuation of the research project „Was kann Stadt - Reallabor“ (What is city capable of - real laboratory) at the chair of architectural delineation (presentation methods), institute of foundations of design and architectural delineation, faculty of architecture, Technical University Dresden.