19 June 2018
We’ve only been here just a few days and this beautiful little town already has my heart. Our job site is right along Dalsland Kanal, and our studio only a few steps away with huge windows of the incredible surrounding landscape. This past Saturday we spent the day making homemade shingles out of Aspen wood, as shingles are a strong possibility for making up the facade of our designed structures and also hold traditional importance in Sweden. We learned how to split the wood from large logs and shave them down with axes and on whittling horses until we ended up with something like the traditional handmade shingles of Sweden. Our shingles were very rough, it takes extreme skill to make them well and efficiently, so I think we will end up using shingles made from a shingle machine. We then learned about how to lay out and nail shingles on a wall or roof so that it creates a waterproof surface. Visiting professionals and artists have been kind enough to give us incredible workshops like these, and even thus far I have learned so much. I am so excited for the months to come.
We are currently in the midst of our design charrette for our intervention for a sauna, outdoor kitchen, and landmark for our new little home of Dals Langed. We split into groups of three and are preparing for a large community meeting this Friday where we will get feedback from Dalsland residents. I believe that we will have a better grasp of where this project will lead after speaking with them more in depth. The community here is made up of three distinct but interwoven communities, that of the long time Swedish residents, the students of Steneby, and the Syrian immigrants, and all three are very involved and vocal in the project thus far. This is very exciting as I am interested in learning more about participatory design in action and its pitfalls and successes. Photos attached show some early design progress on trace.