"Camouflage - covering the objects to make them disappear"
With this title, we started an impromptu project in the Department of Architecture in May 2012, with the aim of dealing with body coverings, with which not only the textile cover, the clothing, is under investigation, but also its continuation in architecture. Viewed in this way, the objects with which we surround ourselves and also the building structure into which we enter represent a body cover. When we deal intensively with the spaces that surround us, the first, second and third skin, analogies between clothing and architecture become obvious.
Many aspects of the function of our body coverings become clear. Not only the protective function, in which a coat protects us like a "roof over our head" from the weather, but also the psychological protection is a demand we place on all our enclosures. The body cover gets a significance as information carrier of the content. It represents the content. The representativeness of the house facade, like the clothes we wear, seems to be the most important aspect for the design. This is where our topic "camouflage" comes in, because the inversion of the representative represents the camouflage. We were interested in how and why we wanted to achieve anonymity through our clothing and the spaces surrounding us.
How can the enveloped body be camouflaged, and be made to disappear? The cover works like a cloak of invisibility, its inside is no longer visible. This is of course preceded by the question - why the body wants to be camouflaged. The desire for a shelter for the psyche was discussed. Within this field of questions the students pursued different aspects of camouflage in their project: One student dealt with the veiling imposed for religious and cultural reasons. Two other designs offer solutions to the desire to temporarily disappear into the crowd, to carry around a private room that can be used according to the occasion. Another aspect pursued was the desire to disappear into the background, to be absorbed by the structure, the pattern of the background. One student pursued the function of the doppelganger, the one who camouflages the person being copied. In this sense the plagiarism, the copy, and then the copy of the copy, which scatters the message of the actual object. One student referred with her object to the voluntary uniform, the partner look or the "look" of a whole group, which makes the individual submerge. Her object represents a request to break up this uniform, to leave anonymity. A contemporary project dealt with the coat for the city nomad who does not want to attract attention, collects deposit bottles and needs daily shelter. A student illustrated the privacy of the coat by exchanging typologies. She translated the surface of the wall into a dress. The dress, like the wall, is "tagged" with the airbrush, an invasion from outside to the immediate private cover. Naturally, such a dress makes its wearer disappear in front of a corresponding wall; it functions as a magic hood. Some of these projects address issues of greater significance and could easily be extended to longer-term confrontations with the subject.
The learning effect of such an impromptu workshop was to enrich the perspective on the subject of architecture. To approach the surrounding spaces differently, to view them as body coverings by examining their analogy to clothing. Approaching architecture through clothing allows a different body reference to designed spaces. The observation of the space from "inside" is provoked, starting from a subjective point of view. By means of the topic "camouflage" the concept of "anonymous architecture" is illuminated in a different way. By transferring the regularities of clothing to architecture, other aspects and questions in the design of architecture are revealed.