Contemporary Design

Reciprocal Choreography

by Luise Arnold
A bent gray shape on a white background

What are physical forms of encounter, between humans and rock, present at the site of the Finnish Parliament building and its adjacent rock formation? 

I am equally intrigued by the diverse solutions and forms of coexistence as I am fascinated by the often brutal nature of infrastructural intervention or collision of buildings with the rock. While it can be hard to not perceive those appearances as loss, they certainly and quite bluntly show the reality of the current and predominant forms of relationship we have with matter. How can theories, that challenge the dominant discourse and idea around matter being inanimate and passive, assist a less anthropocentric storytelling? And what would be a physical manifestation and approach to storytelling, that makes one engage with matter in a surprising and unusual way? During my research, I was interested in the physical characteristics of the shapes, which encounters take, and what they, purposely or unintendedly, convey. In this regard I was extending the definition of “shape of encounter” from accidental forms left in the rock by infrastructural elements, to deliberately chosen shapes integrated (e.g. door handles) within the architectural site of the parliament, which seek to initiate physical encounter.

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