Speed Garden

From a macro perspective, the main texture of a city consists of streets and blocks. These lines clearly define the urban space on the site plan, but is it so true? Recalling some of my experiences, the road was not divided into blocks, but the road merged with the buildings on both sides when I was taking part in a city marathon and running on a regulated car lane. In addition, when I was parading, the crowds spread from the sidewalk to the car lane, and I could not feel the clear boundary. Moreover, pictures taken in the air could not distinguish between the blocks and the streets. Since this existing boundary can be perceived as spatially blurred, how is this boundary defined? What really separates the city, in general, is “speed”. Different speeds can be generated by transportation (bus, light rail, and train) or by a group of people riding road bikes. When certain objects reach a specific level of speed, the effect is an invisible wall. For example, some movie scenes show a high-speed train temporarily separates the hero and villain characters on the two sides.. Even if there are afterimages flickering in front of us, we can see through this wall of speed. However, physical intuition will tell us not to pass.

Cities have existed in human civilisation for a very long time, but the first modern highways appeared after the 17th century, the acceleration of  “speed” that human beings can achieve, begins to evolve strongly with the industrial revolution. Humans used to walk or travel by i.e. horses. Of course, you would not ride a horse too fast in the city.

With the evolution of transportation, the city needed to accommodate expanded traffic. The lanes originally used by people were to be adjusted to the width of vehicles or trains.

Bergen within its 950 years of existence has gone through all these phases. The city is not huge, and its hinterland is limited. It has adjusted repeatedly due to the evolution of traffic. In today's situation, I am curious about the ways how it controls the “speed” with a few simple conditions to affect the space and the feeling of space that is materialised at different speeds. Some historic cities had been built long before modern transportation was invented. At that time, it was difficult to discuss “speed” in urban design, which means that usually, the landscape existed before the speed was added. Nowadays, speed has become the norm, and the landscape continues to change. When you watch the same scenery once from the static condition and with high speed, it will provide different views. If an artificial landscape can be designed with the sense of speed, how will it be presented?

In my work, I used the philosophy of Japanese garden to disturb the geometric European plaza. The intention is not to compare the pros and cons, nor to solve the problem, but to engage in an experimental process of embedding oriental thinking into the Western landscape. I try to experience Bergen at different speeds. The experience of taking the light rail and train has provided an important point of departure for my research.

When you walk in the proposed landscape, you can see the depth of field and details. Through the emphasis on the layers of depth in the landscape, it allows people who are moving fast to realise their own speed.


  1. Luc Besson. ’Lucy’, EuropaCorp (2014) and Ryan Kyle Coogler. ’Black Panther’, Marvel film (2018)