Have you seen the latest Lexus commercial yet? If not, go ahead and take a look:

All I see from this piece of  animation and cinematography is that humans love space! I understand that the commercial was heavily influenced by “Inception”, which is slowly becoming a movie with just as big of a gravitation as “Matrix”, but still. People just LOVE Space! They savor every (im)possible aspect of it! They dream of it and make movies about it! And they are also desperately frustrated by gravity, and take on every possibility to try to defy it.. This is something that I first noticed with Parcour, or Free-running as they call it in the States – you run and jump all around the city – conquer space in ways that your usual every-day spatial routines do not allow you to. Happy are those who can physically “afford” it – have the muscle that is!

For the rest of us, common mortals the only place we control space to the degree as the Lexus commercial so “pornographically” (as it might probably be put) demonstrates – is virtual reality. And the dream.

(The infamous scene of a zero gravity fight from “Inception”, that pretty much made the whole movie. Real action starts at apx 0:52)

For us, architects, this phenomenon is however something to seriously consider. Humans love Space! We (people) are craving to be able to experience and manipulate space to a maximum extent: we want to walk on the ceiling and want the city to transform itself according to our needs and desires. We want a truly three-dimensional space, because in our everyday life all we experience is actually a 2D with some minor extensions.. We are fed up with gravity and its limitations.. Architecture can fulfill the human craving for space. A truly three-dimensional Architecture. Not much Architecture is that. It is mostly slabs and columns. But the 3D in its extremes – is what people actually want. This is amusing! This is where I’d dare to say that any truly 3D Architecture will be successful – exactly because it satisfies the overwhelming human desire to conquer space – and the better and more sophisticated way we do it, the happier people get. And the more exciting the actual formal result!

At the same time, let’s face it, gravity will always be there. Unless we go “to the stars”… Outer space is an amazing domain for architecture. I bet some might even argue, that space is the end of architecture, because it gets rid of one of the defining aspects of Architecture – gravity (one might say, it’s “cheating” – neglecting gravitational influence on architecture). To me personally – it is an explosion of potency of architectural domain! An ultimate rejection of constraints, in which  the whole distinction between a floor and a wall ceases to exist – everything is a wall and everything is a floor. Exciting!

(An extract from “2001: A Space Odyssey”, start watching from 1:55)

But how exciting is it in the end? Architecture is oftentimes defined by a certain eroticism – you cannot get something that you see. Like when I look at the sloping walls of Casa da Musica in Porto – I want to walk them, but I can’t.. May-be this is exactly what keeps me coming back – the impossibility, but persistence of a certain “spatial desire”. A little bit of Freud for you… What would happen to Architecture, if we could walk the walls on a daily basis?

But still, it would be a blast!

Actually, if we think about it – sky jumping is not only about jumping, it’s about seeing the world from a different perspective, experiencing a different perception of space. Same with diving – a 3-dimensional world, where in addition to left/right there is also an up/down. And flying.. And mountaineering.. And many other things.

Architects: play with space; push it to its limits; make walls walkable in both figurative and literal sense, however you do it (go figure out!)! Humans Love it!

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