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Fieldwork in Denmark

Framing architectures

In 2017/2018, I conducted 15 months of fieldwork in and around BLOX in Copenhagen, Denmark. BLOX is a recently opened, mixed-use building, located by the harbour’s edge in the centre of Copenhagen. BLOX houses the new home of the Danish Architecture Centre, BLOXHUB (an urban innovation hub and co-working space for the built environment), residential rental units, a cafe, a fitness centre and underground parking. The building itself took more than a decade to build and BLOX was finally inaugurated in May 2018. Because BLOX had been, for various reasons, a controversial project from the start, the building was framed, seen, experienced, modelled, (re)presented, narrated and depicted in a variety of ways. Therefore, during fieldwork, one theoretical concern - how one might frame architectures anthropologically - was quickly met with a variety of conceptual and/or material frames presented to me by the architects, urban practitioners and other people that I met. My thesis situates BLOX - as a project and building - ethnographically and the photos show a selection of frames that I encountered in the field.

City frames

1.D Hoehn
Before the opening of BLOX, many posters appeared around Copenhagen inviting Copenhageners to come visit the building. A huge poster advertised BLOX as 'the city's and the harbour's new meeting place' on the headquarters of Realdania - the private, Danish philanthropic organisation behind the BLOX project.





Architectural frames

2.D Hoehn

The employees of the Danish Architecture Centre gathered all architectural reviews and critiques of BLOX and exhibited them in their offices as a 'wall of fame' (and as a wall of shame, as one employee added due to the fact that not all reviews were positive).






Data frames

3.D Hoehn

Many of the organisations and companies working in BLOXHUB have a data-driven and technology-focussed approach to architectures, urban planning and the built environment.
To experience what seeing a building through data and sensors might look like, visitors to BLOXHUB are presented with screens, displaying computer models of BLOX with day light analyses or visualisations of live air quality in one of the meeting rooms in BLOXHUB.