Helene Binet’s work is astounding and it was incredibly powerful. She asked us “What is the experience of space? How do we perceive space, how does it influence us, and what can we bring back to analog form?” These were powerful questions indeed and as she began to show us her work, from Liebskind to Zumthor, she brought light of the the darkness and challenged the role of the physical versus the sensory elements of design.
“We hear better in darkness (attributed to Aristotle)” was central to her argument that we create stories through our experiences and sensory perception. The idea that experience is personal and reflective of the spaces we inhabit within us was quite profound. As she showed us her studies of the physical and metaphysical presence of light and voids (of absence), the atmosphere generated in these images and words was a large take-away for me. As a photographer myself, I often forget the many layers of existence and how passionate and transformative the subtleties of the landscape can be. The narrative we present through our designs holds equal importance to the functionality of the designs themselves and creates a sequence of mental and visual paths. The network of materiality and light can serve as a reference, a form of nostalgia, or fire new synapses and create new “universes” as a way of perceiving space.
“What is our role on Earth?” She spoke about the idea of dimension and building a dimension through graphic patterns in a parking lot or the desolate and reflective qualities of a barren desert. She spoke of Berlin: “The city is like the womb in which the building is born.”
Beautiful, tragic, and abstraction in memory. Our role here on Earth is simple: to articulate memory through creation.