Paper strata

Header image, Enric Miralles’ drawing.

The work didn’t start with a blank page, at least not technically. The croquis paper was placed on a plant that gave a glimpse of where the every half meter height curves were as well as a small grove marked by the trunks of the trees, with their different thicknesses and specifying the species and heights to the bottom of the treetops. Thus, the sheet of croquis paper still immaculate, was filled with the information that remained in that first plan of the place. That was the first step to overcome the fear of facing the blank paper, but was there really anything? The croquis paper was as immaculate as when it came out of the folder.

Then a pencil of graphite of hardness 2B and thickness of 1,4mm begins to slide smoothly through this croquis paper, getting to know the “main” lines of the environment. With shyness, with delicacy, with fear of making mistakes. In the same way as those who caress for the first time a foreign body and still do not know the limits of what can be touched, or drawn, in this case.

Little by little, this pencil begins to tear the paper more intensely, leaving thicker and more intense traces. The lines that discovered the environment began to transform into concrete geometries that were drawing what still seemed to be concepts, but not forms of the project. In the same way as that moment in which shy caresses become something more intense, when our nails begin to gently tear the skin of someone else, already aware of which are the places of greater intensity. Ready to exploit them, to discover them, to enjoy them. To make them ours.

The excess of information on paper begins to be comparable to the excess of stimuli when one lets oneself be carried away by that other’s body. The pause is necessary or we run the risk of reaching a false climax. This pause appears as a new layer of croquis paper that is placed on top of the first one, attenuating the known, giving rest, allowing us to start again and to delimit these concrete forms with more delicacy and precision. Then this foreign body surprises us, it does something unexpected for us. The surprise appears. We let ourselves be carried away by the environment, by the situation. It could well be that orientation we hadn’t noticed, some rediscovered views, or the texture of some trees that will now be locked inside one of the rooms of the project. But we are surprised that this place reveals to us about the relationship between space and the environment itself. Like when it is that body that now scratches our back to end up with a delicate bite on our neck. Intense.

In this moment it is important to control our impulses, we can ruin those lines if we let ourselves be carried away in excess by what the place tells us, it is necessary to tame it, to calm down again. A new sheet of croquis paper that rests on the previous ones… Then begins the cycle in which we rediscover the environment, at the same time that we let ourselves be guided by it. We hold the reins of the situation, and each time we need fewer stimuli, between pauses. New sheets appear as we need breaks from this exhausting and exciting experience.

Little by little the different layers of paper gather in the previously immaculate first sheet of croquis paper, making the contained information disappear. We have built a journey that has led us to shape a dream, an idea. It may be the clients who enjoy the result, but we have the pleasure of enjoying this process that is as intimate as it is unique.

We are the ones who decide the level of passion, commitment, and pleasure we want to have with this relationship that is to design.

Tales of the thousand and one nights of delivery

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