Although we have much more free time than our ancestors one third of the people in western societies are complaining about time shortage. Everything around us becomes faster and faster. But instead of benefitting from the additional time we have, we get even more stressed and feel the need to work faster as well.
It is so difficult to power down as we are mostly surrounded by things that remind us of our work or keep us from being bored or idling. Secondly most of us are not used to or even scared of being alone and reflecting on one’s life.
The novel Il barone rampante (The Baron in the Trees) by Italo Calvino (1957) is described as a metaphor for independence. It tells the adventures of a boy who climbs up a tree to spend the rest of his life inhabiting an arboreal kingdom. Calvino describes how the young Baron becomes self-sufficient and distances himself from the rest of the world in order to see everything from a new point of view.
Through this project a spot was sought that invites one to idle, create the necessary distance to one’s daily life and to reflect about oneself. In contrast to the novel of Italo Calvino this shouldn’t happen while sitting on a tree but in one’s private home. Through climbing up to the spot a ritual could be created which allows the user to calm down and get to the right stage for observing his/her own life. By idling from time to time and reflecting on yourself from a different view point one can prevent dangerous stress and focus more on what is really important in life.
Social Design, Design Academy Eindhoven
Tutor: Dick van Hoff