SOLACE – We are alone together
FAV 2019, Festival des Architectures Vives à Montpellier
2019 | Montpellier | France
Could it be that in a desire to connect with others, we essentially forgot how to connect to ourselves?
Solitude is strongly related to a sense of freedom, transcendence, imagination and the ability to
immerse ourselves into our own thoughts. However, the idea of being ‘alone’ is a source of
anguish for many. We live in a society with an incredibly strong focus on stimulation,
engagement and interaction, leaving many of us with no experience or capacity for solitude.
Most of all, we also tend to confuse solitude with loneliness, when in fact solitude is a rather
constructive state, that should be sought after instead of avoided. Being solitary is being
immersed in doing things of our own choice, aware of the fullness of our own presence rather
than the absence of others. It is an affirmative state for the human mind, body and soul.
The installation reflects the idea of ‘beauty in solitude’ and aims to create that moment of
pause, of silence, focusing the senses of the visitor on his inner self, isolating him from the
immediate surroundings and creating a safe space of reflection and solace. The material sitting
at the core of the installation is the emergency blanket, an item itself aimed to bring comfort, to
create a much needed safe space in times of distress. This foil will be used repeatedly to form
the overall surface of the inflatable pods, becoming a constantly moving, flowing boundary,
sustained by a ventilation fan. A colorful light projector inside each of the pods will enhance the
reflectiveness of the Mylar on both the interior and exterior of the surface, inviting the visitors
to reflect on the relationship between the seen and the unseen. A thin slit in the structure of the
inflatable will act as the entrance point to each of the pods, both intriguing and inviting those
passing by to further explore its interior. The lightness of the shapes, the hum of the vent, the
play of color and reflections, will fade out the experience of the courtyard and help the viewers
immerse themselves and experience the fleeting moment of an air-sustained structure.
Sometimes, silence is golden.