Starting point for this project is my experimentation with advanced digital design tools. I used 3d and animation software to investigate the notion of geometric variations at a heightened level of complexity, so that questions towards the effectiveness, accuracy and performance of formal systems can rise within a wider context of exploration ongoing in contemporary architecture. At the end of my research I found no use for my designs. The worlds seems wide open with possibilities of 3D printing them, projection mapping them, throwing them out there and see what happens, yet it all seemed restrictive, leaving me confused and frustrated on what to do next.
I printed out some of my geometries and hiked atop a mountain hill that locals refer to as ‘Arintagas’. Arintagas, a barren mountainous landscape, is an imaginary place of vacation for Kozani natives, who mockingly refer to it as a beach. “Arintagas beach” has come to denote in the collective mind the non-existent place, ‘nowhere’, even utopia. This project is a documentation of my failed attempt to use contemporary digital design tools to create something useful for the commons. In doing so, I walked—literally and figuratively—into a visionary utopia, then to ‘nowhere’ and ultimately to a real place. Besides self-mockery, these feelings of disorientation, even loss, run across many. We have more tools for open democracy, urban self-organization, public spaces of equality, yet we are struggling more than ever.
[The soundtrack to the project is called Permalimm, an Albanian word describing a feeling of longing for something that is absent. It is often used to describe the nostalgia for the old times when in fact those were the times of an atrocious regime in Albania.]