Santa Fe - No man is an island
Structures of Freedom | Budapest, Hungary
Modern life and society obliges to keep a continous faster pace, following everyday tasks and working as much as possible; an experience as the Sziget Festival is a moment to drastically stop this routine and enter a vacation of the body and the soul. The opportunity is not banally to enjoy music and environment, but especially to reconnect with other people and also with oneself.
Inspired by the peculiar conformation of the city of Budapest and, in particular, of the island that hosts the Sziget, our proposal is at the same time one and many, a pangea that explodes into several objects, representing the circle of islands that compose an archipelago, where each people can find a new habitat, and above all, the properly dimensioned space calibrated on human scale.
Furthermore, it can be seen as an ensemble symbolizing a house for the people, where the single modules play the role of the different rooms, ready to be inhabited by the visitors of the festival.
The main aim of the project is to recreate different spatialities, studied according to the science of proxemity, inviting users to explore and modify the installation, and to walk through the space, crossing the various modules, lifting the curtains covering them, and possibly lowering them, to restore the conformation of space closed and isolated from the outside world. Canopies have different areas, designed for a two-way trip, through which the single person can immerse in the community, or in reverse, can decide to carve out a space for himself.
To symbolize an ascent to individual meditation, and to dynamize the journey, blocks have varying heights, inversely proportional to the area, so that those for shared sociality will be the lowest, while those for the single user will be the highest.
To enhance the experience inside the canopies are planted several kind of vegetation, according to their perfuming power. The sense of smell is in fact strongly linked to the proxemity, since the intimate dimension is also characterized by the possibility of perceiving the smell of the other person. Smell also helps to recognize people, places, and things, allowing to decide whether or not to admit the other people inside the private sphere. As the intimate distance moves to social distance, the possibility and therefore the ability to perceive and recognize the smells of other people fades.
In order to follow this principle, strong essences (rose, jasmine, anise,...) are planted in the spaces designed for big groups, to cover the smells of people, while in the intimate space, those designed to be alone or in couple, there is a total absence of external perfumes, and therefore of planted essences, to allow the possibility of enjoy the odor of the company; sometimes there can be just some delicate and relaxing plants (chamomile, melissa, eucalyptus).
In the space for small groups is taken a step forward to select the company; in anthropology every human race has its own sample of human smells because of environmental, cultural, biological factors; this characteristic has caused racial discrimination over the centuries, and for this reason, in the context of a welcoming and cosmopolitan festival, it would be interesting to experiment the abatement of this barrier using for this blocks some strong essences and spices used for cooking by different cultures (cardamom, thyme, rosemary, vanilla, saffron, tamarind, sage, poppy) in order to mix it with the smells of people and therefore at least ideally favor the interracial exchange.
Finally the spaces dedicated for 2/3 people are designed to be quiet; this space is a sort of purification area, and, inspired by the story of the plants in the history of society, the essences planted here are those that were once considered curative, able to penetrate the body and heal it, symbolizing the alienation from the crowd and the interior cleanliness (aloe, calendula, lemon, hibiscus, lavender, mauve, mandrake, mint).
The path across the installation is seen as a journey into sociality; you meet in large groups in the larger modules at the margins of the ensemble, and then interacting with the people and the installation itself, raising and lowering the veils, you can move inwards, where the modules go narrower and more private; the stimulus is the exploration of sociality and space, so to favor the encounter with other people, or one in particular, but also to ensure the possibility of relaxing in solitude. In order to respect the acquired privacy, and to push the proxemic experience to sinesthetic levels, involving also the sense of sight, the veils that compose the curtains become gradually more dense, stratifying in multiple layers, and transforming from transparent (in correspondence of the blocks for big groups) to opaque (associated with blocks for individuality), crossing a whole range of translucent scales.
The whole structure is designed in the simplest possible way, so as to highlight the main role of space dimensionality and the sensorial and proxemic experience. The main aim is also to make it easily assembled, disassemble, maintainable if necessary, and completely disposable at the end of the festival, in full respect of the principles of sustainability and defence of the context.
The supporting skeleton consists of natural and untreated wood axes, so as not to use anti-ecological substances; the curtains are made of anti-hail photoselective nets, usually used to protect gardens and cultivations; in this case they will protect the visitors of the festival from weather and insects; the color chosen is white/gray, characterized by a not excessive percentage of shading, to protect the people but at the same time to allow the penetration of the beneficial effects of the sun; all in order to ensure the outdoor confort. The simple system of rods allows a quick and easy use of curtains, allowing a complete interactivity with the public.