True Stories

December 28, 1895 is a date of the first public exhibition of motion picture: ‘Workers leaving the Lumiere Factory’, by Lumiere brothers. Since then, a technological progress lasting over a century fills our lives with movies and cinema to a greater and greater extent. Here emerges a following question: how does it influence architecture, people and their perception and awareness of the reality?

Alfred Hitchcock once said: ‘drama is life with the dull bits cut out’. Indeed, it is true. A movie is cool but it’s also a work of art which strongly influences our emotions. Still, something is cut out, something is missing and a movie is not a picture of an actual life. It is an illusion that cannot be touched and physically explored. We go to cinema to lose touch with the reality, relax, laugh or cry, just for a moment. In the end, we find ourselves surrounded with larger or smaller screens continuously downloading, playing or sending and we forget how interesting life can be and how much it has to offer. More and more often we turn our backs to the real world, as in Plato’s allegory of the cave, watching usually illusive visions served by the media. Technology begins to cut us off from the reality. Do we want to be completely absorbed by this virtual perception of the world? Antipathy towards everything that surrounds us developed to such a degree, we less and less socialize with other people, spend time with nature, architecture...

Architecture, and life going on inside and outside of it, is a sort of story being told. It has its beginning, development and the end. Each of these phases is different and unique. There is nothing wrong with architecture treated as a story. It is a story from the first drawn line through its development and growing old. It is not a static image but a ‘movie’ that can be observed in real-time. Apart from that we observe it, its primary focus is to solve problems. Here emerges the problem of movies’ illusion and real ‘movie’.

Maybe to get rid of the illusion and notice the true story we should pay attention to simple and sometimes boring or beautiful things found in ordinary places. Learn to observe, take the most out of the reality instead of feeding on delusion. Each place offers different ‘movie’ and different story. Living in a home that is a kind of a deformed cinema (living space seems to be audience, screen is a window enabling to watch real life, people, accidental events and architecture that changes with time) we don’t even realize how much we lose every day. Such true stories cannot be observed, explored or amended unless we want to take an active part through everyday chores.

Maybe some day everyone of us would find his or her own, individual story?

Project: The Residence – from our having lived the Movie Century, Shinkenchiku Competition
Location: Tokyo, JP
Status: Competition
Year: 2009
Architect: Tomasz Berezowski