Matthew Schlueb’s entry for the Architecture that Reacts competition hosted by Laka

transient vessels
A boat is leaving today, a mayflower across open waters. A family is boarding, stepping not lightly, but with the weight of heavy hearts. They are ordinary people, of the human race, who come from a world no longer familiar. Leaving homeland behind, an ancestral place. Taking this boat to a new land, to start a new future. Their backs carry uncertainty, while arms hold onto hope. They want a better life for their children, hands eager to work, searching for security, dignity, freedom.

We are all refugees, on a changing planet. We continue along a path we find ourselves on. Laying waste to habitats, extracting from the landscape, until forests are deserts, mountains are valleys. Insensitivity toward Mother Earth, she is scolding us. We are not like this, this is not us. And yet, this is what we have done. We are conditioning ourselves for a life without nature, we are preparing for our next evolutionary leap.

The nomadic and homeless are not only the politically and economically displaced, soon we will be sailing for the vacuum of space. Architecture may not know how to react on this planet, but it will need to on the next.

hammock cocoons
Cradled in mother’s arms, feeling hugged. Enclosures, sized to the measure of our being, fitted together for a family. Suspended from portable tripods, lightweight, assembled on site. Layered blankets made of translucent fabric lined in silk, absorbs and releases warmth and light like bioluminescent fish, then folds for transport. A woven architecture, a patchwork quilt. Soft to the touch, contouring to the body, expanding and retracting as needed, offering comfort and stability.

Hostilities are not limited to the body; the vastness of space can overwhelm the mind. A grain of sand in an endless sea of stars, we need to define our space, not be defined by it. Architecture must be malleable, embryonic, subjective. A kinetic structure in haptic dialog, reassuring touch in a world without assurance.

Laka Competition: Architecture that Reacts

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