Høje-Taastrup Campus Engagement

Creating the blueprints for sustainable hangout spots in Høje-Taastrup

Client: Høje-Taastrup Municipality, Team City and Home Development Høje-Taastrup
Our role: Process design, workshop facilitation, education material, design concept development and building consultant
Location: Høje-Taastrup, Denmark
Year: 2023  
Status: Finished

    "The Cool Hangoutspot"
    As part of Høje-Taastrup’s ambitions to create a vibrant youth environment in the Municipality, arki_lab, in collaboration with Høje-Taastrup Municipality, HETO-BYG, and students from Linie 10 and FGU, designed and built the "cool hangout spot". The process consisted of an educational program with the students, where various exercises guided the students in uncovering their needs and desires for the "cool hangout spot". This included interviews, site analysis, sketches, Design Thinking methods, and dialogue-based engagement. At the end of the educational program, the students presented their design proposals to Høje-Taastrup Municipality and Domea, in order to facilitate a direct dialogue between the different stakeholders.

    Høje-Taastrup Municipality is a municipality with many young people, and it has ambitions to establish a knowledge city environment(Vidensby) with a Neighborhood House that, in addition to several other actors, will accommodate Linie 10, the Evening School, and a Campus that will house youth education. The goal is to bring together young people from the local area and attract education seekers from outside. In relation to these initiatives, it has been important to involve young people in order to uncover their needs and desires, so the development caters to them.

    Uncovering the dreams and needs of the youth
    During the duration of the educational program, with the help of arki_lab, the students went from an abstract idea to a specific design that could be carried out in collaboration with local craftsmen from HETO-BYG. In order to ensure a comprehensive understanding of young people's needs and desires, a wide range of methods and exercises were used; some to create room for discussion, some to help the young people articulate their dreams, needs, and solutions, and some to narrow down and concretize their ideas. An arki_nopoly workshop was held to identify qualities, shortcomings, and dreams for the specific schoolyard, as well as the location and set-up of the final design. After each educational session, arki_lab collected and analyzed the students' responses and organized the next session accordingly, ensuring a direct connection between the students' answers and the subsequent teaching.

    Based on arki_lab's analysis of the educational material, a number of key requirements for the "cool hangout spot" were established. These requirements formed the framework for the final design and were a significant part of the conceptualization. It was crucial for young people that they should feel like they were stepping into "a new world" when entering their design. This description formed the basis for the choice of the cube as the final design.

    Futureproof design with endless possibilities
    The Cubes have many different functions and possibilities, and it is central to their design that they function as modules that can be combined in various ways. The young people placed great emphasis on the possibility of being together while doing their own thing. Therefore, we chose to create several separate cubes, rather than a unified public space, to make room for different forms of togetherness. By integrating the cubes into the surroundings, there is also additional opportunity for stay around the cubes, which would not be possible with a unified public space. A central quality of the finished design, is the ability to upscale or downscale in regards to the amount of cubes, the interior, the spaces intbeween and the materials used, based on the available budget and project size. This ensures that the design remains futureproof, as it can be changed and moved, as the needs and wants change. 

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