Diploma 2017: "Strandgaten Through A Gender Lens: A Street Beyond the Default" by Miriam Sharp Pierson

Tutors: Anders Rubing (APP, Eva Kun (DAV), Harald Røstvik (Sustainability), Sigurdur Gunnarson (TTA)

This project is a discursive experiment: a collection of ideas on how Strandgaten, a street in Bergen, can be manipulated to expose the full and varied nature of humans who rely on its spaces to shape their behaviour and lives. It is a feminist project and uses a ‘Gender Lens’ as a magnifying tool to articulate and advocate these different, intersectional needs and behaviours of people to whom modern feminism seeks to provide voice: those who fall outside or want to opt out of the outdated and homogenous definition of the Modulor Man for and by whom our cities have been shaped. And that these people in turn, could paint themselves into the spaces; to insert themselves into the urban narrative and to reset and challenge the standardised, man-made built environment.


So, who falls outside this old-fashioned definition of masculinity; who is the project serving? Those who identify as women, parents, care-givers, children, elderly, disabled people, those who feel vulnerable at night, and those who don’t feel the street is their own, those who feel low in an assumed hierarchy, and who do not feel that they have the power to affect the space around them - much of these can be associated historically with the female role. But, I think, in 2017, most humans can identify with some of this, some of the time and it’s these overlapping groups of people that this project seeks to encourage onto the streets.


The project began with research relating to a woman’s place on the street which then evolved into thinking about equality for the other and overlapping relatively marginalised ‘groups’. The next stage was mapping and observing the behaviours on-site in Strandgaten and then creating a set of proposed conceptual responses in the form of a Design Guide - from sandpits to ‘sky-playgrounds’ - with three proposals illustrated as concept buildings. These responses have then been ‘hyper-implemented’ along the street to illustrate an extreme transformation of Strandgaten from an unpopulated thoroughfare to a dynamic place in itself; animated by human interaction, occupation and mutual participation in the built environment.


Concept Model: Combining the interior functions and objects on the street; Sky Playground in background.


Hyperimplementation of proposed concepts along Strandgaten - fragments of larger drawing.


Toilet Playground! Combining two street necessities which could encourage people onto Strandgaten.
Plan + Section 1:50


A Room of Ones Own: a concept monument to women!  A symbolic and sculptural construction with a simple but very visible space to hire for women to write, draw, paint, sculpt: a dynamic opposition to the domesticity portrayed in Bergen’s statues of women.
Plan + Section 1:50