From Spatial Storytelling to Green Storyboarding
Archi | Contemplatives is a multidisciplinary educational platform, founded by David Srakar (BA pth., MAABS, logotherapist, contemplative teacher) and Viktorija Bogdanova (PhD Arch., architect and artist). The platform is a vibrant community of open-minded architects, writers, creatives, contemplatives and other enthusiasts interested in the interdisciplinary field of architectural design and practice, literary and visual arts, ethical pedagogy and contemplative practices.
What remains as meaningful for this specific place, for this meshwork of relationships between the people and the environment, when we remove the dry descriptions starting with “This is___” and enter the deeply felt storylines of “I experience___”?
human and environmental narratives,
“lived perspectives” (Merleau-Ponty)
“your surroundings and your body
find a common language
and are transformed
into a unity
larger than themselves”
(Kagge 2019, 97-98).
Lived stories reflect the dynamics between the human and environmental characters, unfolding the steps of understanding and altering the identity of the particular place.
But how to read, re-write, translate these stories into design principles of the newly built realities?
Our research aims to understand, explore and experiment with the intertwinement of two ‘foreign’ lines of fascination in the architectural discipline: the literature (the written word) and the drawing (the graphic alphabet).
We are particularly interested in these modalities as forms of leaving a meaningful trace in the collective memory of the place, with an emphasis on the varieties of reflecting the embodied experience of different individuals:
• storytelling – reading, observation and understanding of the local site-specific narratives through the eyes and the hands of the local interviewees;
• storyboarding – translating of the local site-specific narratives into possible design principles for the future alternative reality.
Our obsession with storytelling and storyboarding is a result of our belief in the importance of walking, rather than driving through the design process. Walking means being more mindfully present, attending to and witnessing of the life itself unfolding in the specific place, rather than rushing through it on the surface. It also means: understanding and co-living the collective (yet deeply individually experienced) spark, the glow of that ecosystem as a whole.