(Małgorzata Kuciewicz, Simone De Iacobis)


An architectural object is a moment in time within planetary processes, it is a verb rather than a noun.  Cities are formed of reconstituted geology, a stone wall is made of matter developed by the planet earth in millennia, escavated, cutted, transported and fitted to our use, it is also a future fossil as it will eventually return to the soil which generated it. The raindrop following the curve of a roof is a fragment of water circulating the globe in the variety of its statuses. The shadow cast by a building is nothing but the footprint of day and night light oscillation granted to us by the stars. An architectural envelope is part of the natural processes, it is not a shelter from nature. To think of art or architecture in balance with planetary processes it requires us to fall out of the balance of our comforts.


Discomfort makes room for mindfulness. In the domestic scale of our homes discomfort means inviting nature in, allowing components such as water to freely flow through architecture or accepting the presence of non human inhabitants. We advocate for constructions based on local traditional knowledge, its material awaress, both rational and sensual, informs the way in which we generate microclimates for living.

For embracing discomfort at the urban scale we might have to resign from a core value attributed to architecture which is the one of vitruvian “Firmitas” and accept impermanence, buoyant architecture for instance would have the capacity of fluctuating and adjusting to an ever changing floodscape.

Living in cities has traditionally entailed the possibility of unexpected encounters, meeting the unknown or being prepared for the uncanny. Would it be unthinkable to return to darkness in urban settings? By re-negotiang the too often flaunted concept of security, we would be able to observe again the night sky, adjust our chronobiology and respect the one of crepuscular and nocturnal wildlife.

In architecture that combines an intimate, human scale with the scale of the planet, we see a tool that can help us tune in to the rhythm of the surrounding world. This enhances our feeling of belonging to the natural world and opens us to the experience of disappearing natural cycles.


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Rita Müller