About Building

In this project, I focus on creating miniature constructions by diving into the German architectural style Plattenbau and by using the ideas German philosopher Martin Heidegger. Plattenbau is a systematic construction method, best known from the former GDR (German Democratic Republic). This architecture symbolises not only the monotony and housing shortage of the late twentieth century, but it also had a real effect on the social cohesion of the inhabitants by the imposed housing conditions. I am very fascinated by the way buildings archive human ideas and ideologies, memories and longings and incapacities and potentials.

What are the consequences of living between and dwelling within several places?
How to relate to conservative and practical ideologies about (borders of) framed spaces? Wherein lies the possibility to reconsider the spaces through observation from different angles and perspectives?

In the collection of essays Over denken, bouwen en wonen [About thinking, building, dwelling], I read about etymology and Heidegger’s philosophy of the concept of ‘building’. The etymology shows that ‘building’ has its origin in ‘buan’, ‘bhu’, ‘beo’. These are conjugations of the verb ‘to be’ and thus represent ‘I am’, ‘you are’.

By harking back to a specific section of late twentieth century architectural history that had a great deal of influence on the social environmentI encourage myself to think about what housing is, who can live where, and what the right to a home is. Refugee flows and buildings collapsing due to natural gas extraction or rocket impacts are (unfortunately) order of the day.