The "Inside/Outside" Concept in Architecture

#18 Just a thought, are we inside or out?

From the Curator 😎💻

Yo, What's up! Joseph here

This week is more of a full-on blog post than little updates in architecture. I decided to skip last week’s post because I saw this trending and I had a mind-blown moment!

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Thought of the Week 💭

Are we Inside or Outside..?

I know, it’s been almost a year now that we’ve been under some type of Covid restricted lockdown but things are getting kind of weird when it comes to architecture...

In school, one of the first things we learn or strive to design is a space that brings the inside out. Or maybe it’s the outside in... Either way, it’s typically done through large openings or big picture windows, completely focused on the views. The window's ability to frame a view paints a picture of a frightened world outside of this primordial hut and reassures the few that we are slightly safer than the rest of the world. The view can also become a device to be seen by the world as reckless and carefree. You can flip through Twitter and other social media outlets to judge or be judged by these decisions.

But where is this entrance? What is it's function? Is it private or public? “A house or an exhibit, an archive or a library, an art gallery or a museum?”- Beatriz Colomina

The street flows alongside the structure creating a storefront of storefronts, a fake view into a dire reality, a Potemkin village of sorts conjured by the raging virus which plagues the nation. The restaurateurs have now become the architects of their own space. The outdoor dining structures are not being dictated or governed by local law but by the conditions that keep people at distance and safe while also allowing for the public air to penetrate these private spaces.

The walls that define the space are no longer solid walls punched by small windows but have been dematerialized, thinned down with new building technologies and replaced by extended windows, lines of glass whose views now define the space
- Beatriz Colomina

6 feet and social distancing is the only privacy you have in the street. These structures may be built by private restaurateurs but owned by the streets. Sitting inches away from the trash that is put out daily to be picked up. The sidewalk is the public space we all want to be private when within our 6-foot bubble. The in and out of our bubble, the choreographed dance that twirls around the health restrictions in public.

The traditional sense of privacy is now not only scared but endangered, under attack. It is better protected legally than with walls.
- Beatriz Colomina

Constructing an interior world in a forever exterior setting, these temporal structures should not be creating a sense of privacy in times of a mass pandemic. It flaunts in the face to those of high risk, less able to be careless, and those who care for their community. Do I think it's okay for restaurants to build these structures? That's complicated... but the architecture that can come from it is and can be defining of our current times.

Beatriz Colomina quotes from Privacy and Publicity.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter!

I really hope you enjoyed this post, I love having these conversations and the history of architecture has so much to reflect on theoretically during these challenging times.

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I'll be back next week, same time, same place! 💪🏽