“In a landscape where nothing officially exists (otherwise it would not be “desert”) absolutely anything becomes thinkable and may consequently happen”.
R. Banham (“Scenes in America Deserta”)
Establishing links between the desert and architecture entails imagining an object facing its antagonist, a zero degree of the exterior: infinite, extreme, mobile and incomprehensible.
It also implies recalling that which architecture possesses of protection, of the interior, of opposition to nature.
Also that, in its early days, architecture compelled the radical use of available resources: a stick and a few strips of fabric (which we can take with us: one passes through the desert, one doesn’t stay), a few rocks we come across, some worked clay.
The desert seemed to be a good metaphor for starting to recognise ideas, places and essential architectures.
Instruments of survival.
Josep Lluís Mateo
Text originally featured on Transfer.
Image credit: Khor Al Adaid, Qatar © Krunoslav Ivanišin