Habitar o espaço dá trabalho: do presente como dom e d'Os Espacialistas presentes no espaço

Madalena Folgado


Habitar funciona. Através das suas práticas de espaço, o coletivo artístico Os Espacialistas
reiteram a noção de casa como máquina de habitar. Na relação com o seu trabalho e do cliente, a máquina de habitar engrena outras máquinas artísticas, até onde possam funcionar pelo melhor (Deleuze e Guattari, 2016) – a melhor de todas as máquinas funciona com a “aplicação dos cinco sentidos” (Negreiros, 2006).
Deste modo, Os Espacialistas são presentes ao seu presente; o presente é o dom. Deslocando conceitos espaciais arquitetónicos, exercitam o ‘músculo da consciência’, como Gaston Bachelard, tirando proveito de uma fenomenologia da imaginação (1996).

“Dwelling works. On the present’s best and Os Espacialistas bestowing their present” (Habitar o espaço dá trabalho. Do presente como dom e d’Os Espacialistas presentes no espaço). Dwelling works. Through their spatial practises, the artistic collective Os Espacialistas reiterate Le Courbusier’ s house notion as a dwelling machine. In relation with their and client’s work, the dwelling machine gears with other artistic machines as far as it works for the best (Deleuze et Guattari, 2016) – the best of all machines works with the “five senses app” (Negreiros, 2006). Therefore, Os Espacialistas are present to their present; present is gift.
Displacing architectural spatial concepts, they exercise the consciousness ‘muscle’, as Gaston Bachelard, taking advantage of a phenomenology of the imagination (1996).

Starting by elaborating on the name of this collective, it could be said that Os Espacialistas is not a word, not even in Portuguese language. Literally translated it would mean The Spacialists, and it refers to the combination of the words space and specialist. They do not compromise with any speciality, field or discipline, but self-discipline; this way, there is no chance of stuckness, after all, we are always right even when we are not. Therefore, Os Espacialistas are able to move forward, on the pathway to spaciousness. And if we are all spacialists, in the sense that we all dwell, nonetheless, they are The Spacialists.

In this entire article signifier has been suspended in order to approach the spaciousness in which common space is deep-rooted. And, of course, some humour is here indicated, for balancing the seriousness of work. By suspending, we mean allowing the flow of consciousness contents provided in the architectural experience to be sensed, otherwise there is no experience, but mental preconceived experience, reported to past experiences, or future expectations. We can only feel in the present; that is the gift of being and feeling alive. The absent of an immediate interpretation on work, as the subject matter of this edition of Sebentas d’Arquitectura, allows the reader – if he or she allows him or herself to merge in the experience – to connect with inner space and unfold layers of ineffability; therefore, spaciousness. Os Espacialistas explore consciousness as the most powerful technology to work in this fundamental ground of knowledge, which unfortunately has been reified, turned into a static concept wherein the human has no place – things can only take place in the present. They are – as they say about themselves – 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, ∞; quotidian wanderers and wonder facilitators, when becoming the Other and communicating their work as an infinite work-in-progress.

The Other is, sometimes, the client, when its tribute is payed. The One that unconsciously interdicted his or her path from home to work. Os Espacialistas deeply desire that the Other finds the creative Household, that deeply shelters human beings. They claim for the vocation of space – in-common space – and approach it through their own vocation and not on vacation. From other hand, for this Collective, the key is not having a mental separation between work and vacation; when we become aware, by disciplining the mind, in order to reflect accurately on the contents of consciousness, and make choices from ‘there’ – design or simply human-based choices – we start bestowing our best. Space, says Maria Filomena Molder, is a “magic material, an omnipresent expressive architecture” and “each being pays its own tribute, through its own existence” (2016, p. 131).

Everything in their work is about moving from the awareness of a thing to another; approaching, but never really get there as an end, but a mean. There is always an unmet door, window or a simple hole or fissure to wonder, in which they enter or fall, thus, sigh turns into sight – A new vision of the visible, and that is what the artistic practises are all about. In this sense, by displacing we mean moving the with body – which includes sight, touch, sound, smell and taste – and the imagination, nonetheless, being present towards the creation of human bonds, as subjectively informed guide-lines, webbed around on what feels right, and not only what is mentally – fixed as – right. For Os Espacialistas there are no unemployed spaces. Dwelling works.

Maria Filomena Molder also says that each being irradiates its own atmosphere, and by acknowledging that, we might be able “to eradicate the conflict between a swarm of qualities and the demands of geometry” (2016, p. 131). Therefore, the question on work and architecture that as to be asked, is on claiming spaciousness. Os Espacialistas ask for it, by silencing their minds, and allow themselves to be triggered by the things they acknowledge experiencing, and realize as the ones they appreciate de most. They are endlessly finding new things to appreciate. From that ‘place’, which is being, and needs no rhetoric, they approach their client’s favourite things, vocationally. Vocation is directly related with the way we see and are seen. Os Espacialistas know that their client’s house partakes from that broader vision of the visible. Even when using drone images from Google Maps, they do not miss the drone sound of the “swarm of qualities”.

From this perspective, Os Espacialistas begin their design process as wonder facilitators. As a result, their meetings with clients always dwells on “geometry demands”; “p/references”, as they state. Architectural shapes rise from these site specific contexts. One example of these kind of practices – and Human-kind-based practices – might be the kindly designed House of Measurements, inspired in a set of bushels of a farmer client, whose development turned it into a metric cosmogony, in several pathways, such as the creation of a bond between Occident and Orient: Through a rhizome ((Deleuze et Guattari, 2016), as a philosophical approach, and by relating it to masus, oriental bushels, used as vessels for sake, the alcoholic drink made by fermenting rice. Rice, in its turn, comes from a rhizomatic-kind plant, an endlessly growing horizontal stem. In Os Espacialistas context, drinking sake it not only about their own sake, but for Infinite’s sake. In this sense, we are no longer playing on words, there is a purpose in it.

Another example of these Human-kind-based practices, is the House of the Works – construction works – a literally work-in-progress house, made from work, and formwork. This house is an endless process of uncovering the inner features of the client. In Latin-based languages, as Portuguese and French languages, the origin of the word formwork – cofragem in Portuguese – is safe, in Portuguese, cofre. It is as safe to uncover our best features and bestow them to the world as sheltering them in a safe – when a house turns into a home we might call it a safe. A household in not only a place wherein their inhabitants live as a whole, but a beating heart paced by their dwelling ability. That is why Os Espacialistas use their own system of formwork, made with mirrored planks, specifically, t-ruler shaped planks. This house truly reflects on its contents.

And what about the worst features of the client? As architects, Os Espacialistas know how to deal with mirror games. There is always an inner challenging process ongoing about the time of home creation; as formwork, containing setting concrete aspects of being. A home always takes the place of a personified house. In the name of creation, Os Espacialistas release all their personas. Instead, they work passionately with their personal Anima or, respectively, Animus. Ultimately, in terms of managing the worst features of a client or a site, acceptance is gift (Lopes, 2003, p. 149) – it is about following the path of less resistance.

Displacement is following the path of less resistance. By playfully giving a new context to things, we acknowledge the space in-between them. Humour is not only in-between things, but above all things, probably because it en-light-ens them. No weight, no fear of gravity. Yet we are referring to the space that cannot be occupied, only dwelled, despite it implies and implicates the body – a present body, creatively and consciously galvanized by imagination; a dwelling body that works like a dwelling machine, as we have been reiterating, dwelling works. Pleasure in creation is active, rises from presence, cannot be preconceived; demands no constraining beliefs – beliefs that might apart humans from being; human beings. The multidisciplinary Portuguese artist José de Almada Negreiros tells us to not be afraid of pleasure, since “it is the noblest guarantee of humanity” (2006,p. 268).

Paradoxically, by standing for their beliefs – which implicates, as they say, faith in Our Lady of Space – Os Espacialistas have under-stood and over-stood work; they have found the perfect equation of aliveness, which is fearlessly and continuously moving towards the unknown. Their boldness have led them far away from the co-dependency between work and real estate markets. No architectural typologies could express their aim for spaciousness, but the pathway to it – a qualified pathway by their experience and its inherent awareness, from wherein they have been able to express their vision of the visible.

What was here said, is so simple that have had to be explained; as wonder facilitators Os Espacialistas can only provide a few keys to the Other’s opening. Which is, by the way, a fundamental choice on his or her existential path. However, their Human-kind assistance is already on the way. We certainly will look forward to hearing, touching, smelling and – why not? – tasting from them. Yet, at least but not last, firstly reach for what had always worked for the best: The space between senses and thinking, essential, thus interiorized spaciousness, irradiated from being, as Maria Filomena Molder stated – by vocation, architects that endlessly create new atmospheres to be sensed.

Palavras-chave / Keywords:

Os Espacialistas, Habitar, Trabalho, Dom, Fenomenologia da Imaginação.

Os Espacialistas, Dwelling, Work, Gift, Phenomenology of Imagination.

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