Tactical Urbanism for Today

Some three months ago, I was musing about sharing idiocy. That is, wondering about sharing the kind of ideas that are apparently foolish, but which are only silly until they find the right investor to make them a profitable new product.

I was thinking about those ideas that you have in the early morning when you’re quite not awaken. Images and logics that have a strange life of their own, and which immediately vanish as you confront them with some hard logistical truths.

If the idea has potential but the right kind of investor does not come in, the idea will remain the idea of an idiot. And this is not because the idea is stupid, but because somehow there is no ability to make it come true.

In such instance, the lack of networks or connectors is fatal for development –for any kind of development– as the new theorists of the so-called creative industries will be keen to explain, just as it happened in the curious meeting I’ve attended this week at the UK Ambassador’s residence in Lisbon.

Now, if one is not interested in being the village fool, one must stop carrying ideas or treading water for something which he or she can’t find ideal partners. But instead of throwing the ideas to the trashcan, one can always share them with the strange hope that someone with the right means will copycat them…

So, three months ago I was thinking of the contemporary traveler and what does he or she sometimes need when traveling fast on a low budget, courtesy of all the new airline companies that now fill the European air space.

One time or another you go to another city, you go dancing all night and in the morning you go to a meeting and then you go back home. Do you really need a standard hotel? Or do you need a wallpaperish wonder toilet in which you can quickly change, shower, freefii and even fuck?

Maybe the classical capsule hotel should be rethought and revamped as paid by the hour, but with a view as magnificent as the Standard’s in NY.

Such new prime, low budget locations could even be called tools, or dispositifs, or tactical urbanism for the new poor – for instance, the new European 1000€ generation or whatever you may want to call it.

In fact, when I thought of this, on one of my passages through Schiphol I had already spotted something like that. It’s called Yotel and charges 35€ a day.

But this concept is yet only located in three major European airport hubs and, so, I can only imagine it as coming out of a twisted take on Marc Augé‘s concept of non-places – a bit like Alain de Botton living in Heathrow for a full week.

On the other hand, the initial developers of the capsule hotels, the Japanese, are always improving this already historic architectural typology and with the recently finished 9h hotel, they’re already making it wallpaperish, but not yet quite the 21st-century-room-with-a-view.

The 9h Hotel as first seen in Designboom, and now in Dornob.

With the design of the 9h Hotel –a surrealist reminder of a magazine once directed by Wilfried Wang– we’re getting fast to what I’ve first imagined when I was musing about these new contemporary urban needs: what I would call the expandable locker hotel.

What is the concept? An hotel in prime central urban locations based on luxury lounge units connected to six to eight vertical capsule lockers, fully equipped with shower, toilet and workstation. The access corridor could be optionally offered in Alice in Wonderland motifs.

For each 12 hour period use of these freefii locker capsules, you could also additionally book from 1 to 8 hours of the wider space accessible from it, so as to (re)store some of your other bodily (and spiritual) needs.

This would be like buying internet in 15m periods just to briefly exchange flows of information and energy with the network, or, in this case, also with the sewage system or the supposedly mesmerizing city image.

A locker with a view – 5min away from main train stations across Europe.

Something for the coming economy, when everybody finally realizes that the financial stress on the younger generations is here to stay.

One response to “Tactical Urbanism for Today

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Tactical Urbanism for Today « shrapnel contemporary -- Topsy.com

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