Mainstream approaches to nature, such as tourism, are based on freedom of movement and choices. Freedom is driven by the consumption of experiences: as soon as the meaning we sought is exhausted, we move towards a new one. Constraint can force a different understanding of the things we look at and can trigger imagination, as a way to break the limits of the temporary condition of confinement. What does it happen when one has to stay in a place after doing everything which was pre-scripted? What does it happen when one has to stare at a landscape longer than the necessary time to capture all of its beauty?
A transition occurs: the passive observer becomes an active performer. Even if only mentally, our imagination can re-shape the reality that surrounds us. In this process our emotions play a role, as we project our mood onto the things we look at. In this transition architecture becomes a tool to help the user to frame and re-shape the landscape. In this way the landscape can become something more than the bi-dimensional postcard it is often reduced to. If the freedom with which we normally approach nature has led to a trivialisation of it, architecture can mediate to change this condition, by imposing rules.
Holiday is leisure, and leisure exists in contrast to duties. When the distinction is dissolved, what is left is only an eternal empty holiday. This transformation leads to two possible scenarios: on the one hand the multiplication and fragmentation of experiences, now emptied by their repetition, on the other hand, the possibility of dealing with time without necessarily tying it to a function. The first scenario would bring consumption to the extreme: more and more experiences would be driven by a schizophrenic search for stimuli and from the constant necessity of keeping the self busy with something.
The second case instead offers the possibility of contemplating time as we were never able to do: in its total emptiness. Uselessness is a tool to trigger such a contemplation: as a metaphor, useless architectures can portray the general naked condition of time and experience. The architecture interventions of Eternal Holiday embody different approaches to tackle uselessness. In the way they render the landscape as a surface, in the way they eradicate production from function, or in the way they simply frame an absence of function, those architecture remain ruins, in the sense of permanently unfinished and undefinable.
Eternal Holiday, 2019, Master Thesis in Architecture at Sint Lukas Brussels