Stockholm's Telefonplan Tower: Identity and Design

What do we think of when we identify ourselves with the towns, cities, and suburbs in which we live? Personal possession of the prevailing design of the landscape is essential to engendering urban identity. Especially the world cities in which we live. We feel a need to personally identify with and contribute to the beautification and continuation of the the design of the urban landscape in which we live. We seek to preempt attempts by others to otherwise change that landscape, for fear that it will alter the identity that we possess of that city as a resident. We also seek to recapture lost battles that altered the design of our city.

Take a look at the picture to the right, this is a live feed of the Telefonplan tower in Stockholm. This 50 year old tower is a sign of the corporate-ization of Stockholm. Since its construction, and through its functional use for cell phone research by Ericsson, the residents have felt like this austere tower is an imposition on their landscape, a symbol of corporate influence. Ericsson has now left this tower behind, so three men, an architect, an interactive designer, and a local artist created this open piece of art. In an ironic twist to the growing privatization of Stockholm, they have taken the tower and fitted every floor with 36 lights. The lights are, ironically, connected to a cell phone. Anybody can call the cell phone, and by using a specific code outlined on their website, they can control what lights are shown on every floor of the tower.

People controlling the things that controlled them, ironic justice through urban art and design. Stockholm pride! Virginia is for lovers!

Talk about recapture of identity, residents to controlling their landscape. An artistic expression of public response to the privatization of the city. It is a show of identity and the public aversion to this iconic and landmark tower in Stockholm. Think about 9/11 when the towers fell, and NYC's response. While there was grief over those lost, there was also a prevailing feeling of grief over the marring effect to identity of the city, in parallel to the design of the landscape. What this installation does is express that need for communal identification with residing and being a member of a thriving city. There is pride and personalization involved when one aesthetically seeks identification with where they live. San Francisco has affluent and quaint homes, LA, well, LA has a concrete maze of roads, NYC has surprisingly intricate designs on the tightly packed island, Stockholm has this tower and what it symbolizes to the residents.

Call +46 (0)70 57 57 807 right now, follow the instructions, and watch the live feed.

Listening to Appleseed Cast.

2 comments:

jjcub said...

this is so cool, i remember something like this in new york city, when people did an installation on the screens of times square!

how wonderfully delicious, i could eat it!

brahms said...

is this like the gates exhibit in new york? i dont get it, whats the point of doing all this? isn't a waste of time and money?

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