The Unofficial Archive

Unless You Remove by Luis Gómez Barquín

Unless You Remove

Photo by Femke Rijerman

Architecture has its origins in the primitive efforts of mankind to provide protection against inclement weather, wild beasts and human enemies. Since the first thing men look for as a refuge is an enclosed space where they can make themselves comfortable, it seems natural that most of the early architecture are excavated. Given a solid block of matter, man instinctively tends to carve it to feel protected inside. But nowadays, dangers are more complex, subtle and mental. The sort of removal action of earlier days to hide from the outside world is no longer suitable. Whenever man’s needs for protection change, the response to these needs evolves too, but throughout history, the responses have had one thing in common: the innate protective action of taking away matter, in soil, in garments or in one’s busy mind, has an interesting healing effect. To remove ‘matter’ is never an easy task to do. It is a process that has to be intensive and done constantly, creating an emotional link between person and result by means of a personal dedication of time, energy and commitment. Therefore, I do not propose a design of a single object but a process that is applied to them, a process that provides time to self-reflect and think, performing an action that is necessary to slowly find out the hidden function of the piece and make use of it. Hence, one finds a virtual mental protection for our fragile well-being by means of using this removal action rather than the final obtained result.

Luis Gómez Barquín