Older Projects

Ambient Amplifiers


The project Ambient Amplifiers (2000, Birger Sevaldson, Phu Duong) investigated a series of topics addressing soft programming across scales (from city scale to building scale) as a strategy to introduce systemic synergies between the actors found in the field of the location and to provide flexibility and imagined or unimagined responses to unforeseen future change and activities. This global strategy for the unforeseen was composed out of several means spanning from intentionally planned devices (e.g. a programmable street,) semi-planned devices (the pavilion-islands which could be up and downgraded in pre-designed steps) and devices for unplanned change and use ( the grafted and computer generated geometries that allowed for several interpretation and uses).

Though this project does not explicitly state its relation to systems thinking it is in really characterized by innovative contributions to the field. The most important contribution of the project seen in the context of systems oriented design is that it demonstrates a digital design process based on a composite strategy as a response to flexibility and unforeseen change.

See the web version of the project here >>>>>

Rodeløkken Maskinverksted

Diplomaproject 1988, Birger Sevaldson



Rodeløkken Maskinverksted is a metal factory. In the project a redesign of all operating levels of the company was suggested on the basis of economic issues, future market opportunities, utilising the property as a resource for rental which also would enrich the social milieu, other social considerations, like the relation between management and floor staff, built in flexibility for future adaptation and uncertainties.

The project juggled all these issues simultaneously until after an incubation time things simultaneously and synergetic fell in place. The investigation included a large number of visits and open ended conversations with all levels in the organisation. It also included sketching sessions to internalise the place. Exactly measuring and drafting the whole interior and production floor immensely helped to internalise.

For addressing issues of flexibility in the office department a simple geometric system was developed. By cutting one corner of the offices and combining this with office furniture with a 45 degree angle allowed for many different plan solutions. The 45 degree structure allowed for all sorts of service spaces adjacent to offices and meeting rooms. The function of these spaces could easily be changes without violating the overall structure.

Though this project at that time never was considered being a systems thinking project it truly is. It is soft systems thinking and was the first inspiration to what years later become systems oriented design.