Forum Artistic Research

Oral Presentation

Talking House. Architectural Models for Shared Spaces

Hinnerk Utermann

on  Fri, 9:30in  Neuer Saalfor  30min

‘Talking House’ creates spatial situations for a coming together of two people. I invite a person I know or a stranger to share a space and moment in time with me. I offer the possibility of an encounter beyond prescribed social or public roles and patterns of behaviour. The spaces and situations I create can be understood as niches and sites of retreat. Depending on the perspective of the observer, they can be understood as prostheses, support structures or open frames that seek to create a confidential form of proximity. Proxemics is a concept developed by the American anthropologist Edward T. Hall, that focuses on human spatial behaviour. I understand proxemics as a phenomenon that cannot be empirically measured, but rather as a complex interaction between known and unknown parameters, between humans and matter. In ‘Talking House’, I explore the relationship between built and interpersonal space: what kind of relationships do built environments generate? What does a building tell us and how does it communicate? What kind of uses and memories are inscribed in a built space? Furthermore, I ask: What is proximity? How can it be described, constructed, defined from an architectonic perspective? What are the intrinsic qualities of built situations that allow for proximity? How to build a situation that allows for proximity between two strangers? To investigate these questions, I design and build a 1:1 scale architectural model that serves as an experimental apparatus. For the Forum Artistic Research, I present my work ‘Talking House’ including four spatial situations and my practices of building and model making and the act of giving space – hosting. Together with the audience, I would like to discuss how togetherness is initiated and how the talking and listening to and in spaces create forms of togetherness.

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