sense of place
Since 2004 Feste Grenland AS and Grenland Friteater have had a close and exciting collaboration. It began with the competition Water City, whose objective was to locate, interpret and communicate the places and stories along the river from Porsgrunn to Skien. Later on it continued with small and major projects, of which Stedsans (sense of place) is the most central.
Stedsans is about finding, displaying and stageing places and spaces in the town landscape. This concerns the beautiful and familiar places but perhaps most importantly all the places we do not know about. As the artistic manager of Stedsans put it: If it is too grand, it will not be nice. The heart and soul must be included.
Through annual multicultural city walks the city's organizations, people young and old, commercial property developers and idealistic town conservationists are invited to work side by side with professional artists in order to contribute to the stories about the town.
As landscape architects we work with landscapes, places and people. Our basis for site development has always been to communicate the qualities and the identity of places in a dialogue and collaboration with the local inhabitants.
Through the projects with Grenland Friteater we realize that we reach people in new ways and by new means. "Stedsans" influences people's feelings to a higher degree than traditional architecture or city development projects. This project gives us a considerable dimension regarding attitudes and opinions in the city development debate. "Stedsans" focuses on places and subjects that are important to discuss, while at the same time the artistic dimension provides experiences and knowledge. Because Porsgrunn City Council is a central participant in the project, discussions and processes about city development take place in conjunction with "Stedsans".
The project has in a unique way made the inhabitants aware of the city and created involvement and participation around city development. "Stedsans" has become a concept, an annual event during which the inhabitants get together. People are proud of their own city and the success of "Stedsans".
Project manager and artistic responsibility: Geddy Aniksdal, Grenland Friteater
Client: Porsgrunn City Council
Design team: Grenland Friteater, Porsgrunn City Council, Feste Grenland AS
Collaborators: Groups and organizations, individuals, local, national and international theatre groups and artists.
Supported by: Telemark County (regional authorities)
Project period: 2005-2008