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Nina

Requiem for a new start and it’s farewell

31. August 2016 | von

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They say our lives are like the waves in the sea, in constant movement, always changing. Right now I can’t help feeling differently after spending one year and one month in Germany and being back home.

 

At start, one year seems an eternity: it is difficult to leave home, leave our friends behind and to arrive in a new place and settle down… It is even hard to imagine yourself back in one year, because we have no clue of how this time abroad is going to be like, and so there is a huge blank in our heads.

 

During this year abroad there is so much to do, to discover, to learn, lots of people to meet (and even manage to survive Uni), that the passing of the time is felt differently and in an intense speed.

 

So after all, this long term experience doesn’t seem so long, or worse, we conclude that it was all too short and that we would like to be able to start again everything from the beginning – mostly because we needed so much time with the settling down part that we wish we could live a little longer the things that we finally arranged, and enjoy the people we slowly got to know, etc…

 

Nonetheless coming back home is also a big deal! The people and the city naturally kept their natural moving speed. And we somehow missed one year of this process. It is very common that many of our friends and people we know seem somehow different to us (and so do we to the others!). Since we’ve got in touch with so many new things, examples, situations, people… we definitely incorporate some of those lived experiences in our thoughts and characteristics, and therefore we inevitably also change in a way… So it is not only hard to accept the idea of leaving behind this “new life” we started, but also coming back to the “old one”…

 

Blended in those mixed bitter-sweet emotions of feeling happy but sad and feeling grateful for meeting again so many great friends and my family but even leaving part of my heart behind in Köln, all I can do is share some nice pictures of my Heimat (in the head picture you see a view of my city, Sao Paulo).

 

As you can foresee, this is my very last post, because life is constant movement, and like the Bloghaus, it is always changing… I’m looking forward to know about the next inhabitants of this amazing WG and to follow their experience abroad. It was a big pleasure to share my most happy and most difficult time during this unforgettable moment of my life.

 

Macht’s gut!!!

 

Cheers,

 

Nina

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(this picture show one of the main characteristics of my city: it’s contrasts)

 

(speaking of contrasts, in São Paulo, furthermore in Brazil, the strong social diference is sadly a big characteristic of our society. In this picture you see a typical Favela, a slum, and a public sports facility)

 

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(very close to São Paulo you can find the coast to the Atlantic sea. There you can find such an amazing nature)

 

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(one very last picture of this amazing place!)

 

 

Playmobil or reality?

20. August 2016 | von

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I remember that when a kid, I used to replay with Playmobil or Lego scenes of the city, that I’ve seen during the day. I particularly liked the stories where very many different types of professions were involved (like police, fireman, rescue, etc.), because then my story seemed more important and more real.

 

Since I moved to Cologne this remembrances are very present, due to the fact that the street where I live shows a great potential for small accidents and conflicts. And very often I have a VIP preview from the balcony of some chaotic situation there in the street. The problem is that the street is actually a reasonable big avenue with constant cars traffic. The tram rails are in the center of this street, separating both traffic directions. And perpendicularly to those two modal fluxes, is a large pedestrian crossing, also with a considerable flux of pedestrians. Not mentioning the bikes and cars driving from a very tiny street that leads to this crossing.

The biggest conflict in there is actually about the two parallels (!): cars and tram. The point is that often some people try a U-turn and forget about paying attention if any tram is coming from one of the directions, and… CRASH! Normally it is only a crash, nothing really serious that somebody would get hurt or something would explode… But anyway it is impressive to observe how such an accident already makes the city (ok… the neighborhood, maybe) stop. Police, Ambulance, the KVB, Fireman, Reporters, and probably some other people that I don’t realize get all involved in the situation. The tram in both lines has to be replaced by bus, as long as the expertise is happening. An the poor pedestrians are not allowed to cross the avenue anymore, having to deviate almost a kilometer in order to find another crossing light.

 

Me, as an urban planner, can’t miss the opportunity in rethinking this crossing, and how would it be safer for the trams, the pedestrians, the bikes…

 

I share some pictures of the last situation I’ve observed. Doesn’t it really look like Playmobil from this further distance?

 

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model disaster

19. August 2016 | von

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I’m almost sure that in our student life in any fields of study there is and will be a particular something that one will hate doing. I can imagine, for example a mathematician who hates calculating, or a journalist who doesn’t like writing. A linguistic that can’t stand reading…

I may be exaggerating, but in my case, I’m an architect who hates building models! For some this is so extreme and shameful as the examples shown above….

 

The point is that by building models a supernatural talent is required: a little similar to Zen energy, like an inner glow and peaceful mind. The process is simple, you start by cutting small similar pieces, than you have to glue them precisely together, and when done, you have to put all parts together to compose your project. And starting by the cutting part is already a nightmare. The pieces are normally small, and you have to be precise in the cut, otherwise other parts won’t fit with each other. And depending on the material after three cuts, your fingers are already hurting because you really have to press hard… (not mentioning the risk of cutting yourself with the cutter, of course…). The gluing part is the worst! Either you need to sing all calming down mantras to be patient waiting the glue to dry while you bizarrely hold the parts your trying to glue together, or if your impatient like me, you can appeal to the flash glue (like super bonder). The problem lay specially on those who aren’t so skillful in handcrafts like me, and end up gluing the fingers together, or sticking or gluing your fingers on your model, or… there are very many possible disasters with this type of glue (!) And the following is the need to use the violence in order to unstick your limb, and you end up ruining something (even you skin, which will hurt for more a month). Finally is the very big moment when you’ll put the parts together – and they won’t fit (minutes of crying).

 

Apart from the hard and dark process, once you manage to finish you model, it brings us naturally a strong happiness. Firstly because it means you conquered this very worse part of designing a project, and secondly, because seeing your project is real, and this sweet small scale is very fulfilling.

 

And since I just passed through this intense life experience, hereby I share some pictures with you. (sadly they lack light, and therefore are not in the very best quality).

 

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starting to cut the raw material and glue all together

 

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cutting and adding the streets.

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streets, surroundings, some trees and even the tram line are already there!

The killing you-know-who

18. August 2016 | von

 

The semester ending is there! A TABU for all students, especially for those (like me) that couldn’t realized how fast the time passes, and before I could start to get a little more up-to-dated with all things I had pendent, it was already time for exams and project submissions!

 

And there starts the drama: non-ending search for a studying place at the library; post-its glue all around your home; a lot of snacks in the bag; the constantly opening the refrigerator (only to get a fresh ideas, you know…), nights of bad or few sleep, and silly exams! The only good part is that I’m not alone in this. In fact, when I see how devoted people are at the Uni, ate the library, and that at all possible seating places somebody is concentrated studying, I actually even feel bad for not being able to be so like that…

 

Yet architecture students are hard workers by nature, and all I can think about those days is about my project. And sorry guys, but of course I am going to share it here, because the data volume in my brain is already full, and there is no other task that I can develop at the moment. Anyway it is a nice and interesting topic, and hopefully you like!

 

I’m researching about temporary uses in the urban space. This means proposing temporary activities in specific abandoned or not used areas in the city, like deactivated industrial buildings, or fallow terrains, non-spaces, etc. These areas are really negative to the city because they normally cause barriers, isolate neighborhood and people, and create a sense of emptiness and even hostility in some cases. They’re inactivity actually “steal” useful area in the city, and dispel people from the city center, creating long distances and the need of motorized transports in the daily life.

 

Naturally this whole topic of (re)activation of unproductive areas in the city is much more complex, this is really a short introduction, that if you get involved with you can even start with the Wikipedia or even asking me!

 

Thus my project consists in studying this neighborhood in Cologne, Mülheim. And projecting a tool for incentivizing and implementing temporary uses in these bad areas in order to reactivate them, and bring back life to them and their surroundings.

 

Here by I share some drawings I’ve made about the difference of a bottom-up and top-down planning (concept that I’ve already explained some posts ago). And the proposal for a temporary use, a cultural center.

 

I hope you like!

And for those who are dying with dead lines like me, I wish you all the best!

 

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and finally summer!

02. August 2016 | von

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Summer!!!!!!!

especially for me this is super amazing. Crazily I’ve been skipping summer for already 3 years because of going back to Brazil, then staying there for 6 months, than coming back to Germany, then staying here for 6 months… And in this confusing schedule, I always had to give up the summer, either in Brazil or in Germany!

 

Therefore, more than ever I feel like being super active, enjoying every late sunset and organizing nice outings when having some free time.

 

Since the weather is now not only super pleasant, but also stable, it is the perfect time for planning a longer trip than just a day outing. Maybe during the weekend, two days away or something like it!

 

Those days I went with the bike into such a weekend trip. We actually didn’t plan so much, we only knew where we wanted to spend the night, and followed a way that wouldn’t be so steeply. Since we were quite without plans, we had some nice surprises concerning the change of landscape and some nice views. Another positive point is that the sunset is now a days pretty late, so the biking can be relaxed and in terms, avoiding the strong sun and temperature around midday and afternoon.

 

Pack some nice juicy fruits, a lot of water, cap and sunscreen and hit the road!

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Strawberry fields (forveveeeeer!) – a great positive point: having fresh snacks on te way!

 

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meeting new buddies! Mééé!

 

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and the beautiful rise of the almost full moon!

 

 

 

spectator of the daily life

24. Juli 2016 | von

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Have you ever placed yourself as a spectator of the daily life? Like, giving up for a moment what you are doing or have to do, and simply observe the other people?

If you do so, you will see so many obvious and natural scenes, but that in a second sigh, or in a more poetic sight, it will all seem part of a big play. Like everything was rehearsed for happening in that way at that moment.

And all of this just for you…

You sit at a public space, leave all your thoughts, your to dos and concerns behind, and just observe.

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CSD Köln

12. Juli 2016 | von

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This Sunday happened one of the biggest events in Köln, the Christopher Street Day (CSD). This mixture of party and demonstrations happens yearly in many cities around the world. And its topic is basic about the rights of LGBT and against discrimination, homophobia and exclusions.

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Stadt Sehen – Trailer-Opening – Invitation!

02. Juli 2016 | von

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(this is a very nice drawing made by Labor Fou)

Hey Ho!

 

Hereby I come to share a nice invitation!

 

Already for some time I posted about this interesting Project organized by the Schauspiel Köln called Stadt Sehen, which one of the main objectives is to experience, develop thoughts and propose together a future for the neighborhood of Mülheim in Köln.

 

This is actually a two-year project, and along this time very many events, workshops, salons, talks, lectures and many other actions play a role…. And as already described, it is all about acting together with the neighborhood. This means that everybody is warmly invited to take part in all the events.

 

At Tuesday the 5th of July, at 18h there will be the inauguration of this construction trailer, which is to be the new dependence of the project. It will be placed under the Bridge in Mülheim, and it will host frequently different activities related to the neighborhood.

 

On Tuesday thou is the inauguration! There will be good music, barbecue, beer, nice people and even nice weather! Nonetheless a research group will present a Performance, another theater group will organize a public rehearsal in which we can take part. And three workshops that explore the neighborhood will also take part.

 

Btw, I’m involved in the organization of one of those, the Raumfähre, where the main objective is to explore and investigate about the mobility, barriers and limits of the neighborhood. The workshop is planned to coarse a track along Mülheim and also probe the different types of transports. I can only say that it is gonna be really nice!

 

You’re of course super invited!

 

See you on Tuesday!

1(this is the Mülheim Bridge, and under it is where this event location)

Stumbling Stones

30. Juni 2016 | von

Stumbling Stone in Köln-Kyffhäuserstraße

 

You probably already stepped by (or even stumbled) on those stones somewhere in Aachen, Germany, or even Europe. And like the majority of the people, you kind of noticed that this stone looks different from the rest of the sidewalk’s pattern. Maybe you even made some effort by pressing the eyes and read some name on it. And if you took some minute more, you noticed that this message graved on the stone it is about honoring somebody, his/hers birth date and death are also marked on it. And in many cases some tough detail of this person’s life is also shared, e.g. “deported to Auschwitz in 1944, murdered”.

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Performing Space in Maastricht

16. Juni 2016 | von

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For about two weeks I took part in an interesting study, and I think due to its concept (and ok, its result), it worth being shared here. We were 5 students from the RWTH and we got a glass container placed in a park in Maastricht, the Charles Eyck Park, and our task was to develop an analysis of the area during one week. The outcome of our analysis would be used as source and inspiration form an artist who would develop a performance that would take part in the park.

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