Thinking the Elsewhere: [a fragile order-creating curtain between the architect and the Place]


October 2017


Conference for Artistic and Architectural (Doctoral) REsearch (CA2RE)

University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Architecture, 10thSeptember 2017

Exhibition & presentation

Title of research work: Estrangement Through Poem-Drawing: Interpretative Methodology of Spatial Re-thinking

Supervisor: Tadeja Zupančič

PhD candidate: Viktorija Bogdanova

Panel chair members: Tadeja Zupančič | Jo Van Den Berghe | Claus Peder Pedersen | Paul Robinson


The incorporation of poem-drawing in the design process encourages a heuristic observation: an overlapping of the inner theoretical and creational self. It also enables a more holistic reverberation of the outside world inside the artist (the architect). Interpreted as an embodied yearning, a trembling between the artist’s innerness and the Place (of intervention) as a living being, the poem-drawing is one of the windows which implement an “imaginary order”1in the “degrees of reality”2between the subject and the object.

Conceived as a metaphor of structured amoebic self, as an inverted vulnerable innerness, the installation portrays fragments of the fragile curtain between the self and the built environment. Containing pieces of creative urbanological feelings, its four sides are telling the different stories of four design solutions. Instead of a linear narrative, they are emanating a confusing/turbid/(literally) half-transparent readability: a physical expression of fog, doubt, brittleness. Connecting pieces of a filtered light, the installation elevates fragility as virtue of unceasing reassessment/re-creation. Instead of aggressiveness in the appearance, the fragments long to provoke an authentic vigilance and immersion of the Observer as a co-author of the semantic density. This hermeneutic “lightness” can also be read as a complex dialogue between the textual and the pictorial (present inside), a semi-verbal dialogue - similar to a tango embrace: sometimes the integration radiates a warm overflow of the self through the inner doors of the intensively present otherness, and sometimes – the bonding is reduced to a touch of the palms of two corporeal shells. The setting is exhibitingthe problem of these relations, instead of solving it; the bond remains a question, a desire, a riddle without an answer.

Sometimes, the fragmented flow of the narrative comes to a limit of vulgar sincerity. The overlapping of thematically heterogenous windows reflects mutual permeation and influence of the design problems. The porous depth of their materiality is most visible through the closeperception of its (locally) organic appearance.

During the construction, we were faced with divergence between the imagined spatial placement and the real possibilities of realization. There was a certain excitement in such uncertain and unpredictable place of decision. So, a careful improvisation evolved into a poetic development of the realization process. Initially imagined as a horizontal plate suspended on few transparent wires at the “ideal” human level of the eye, it needed to be bound down on 3 wooden legs: their thinness retained the hovering impression. This unexpected twist revealed two conclusions to us. First, instead of circulating around the body and reading in a standing position, the observers were “forced” to sit– to temporarily anchor themselves into one of the surrounding chairs, to have a break, to incline, to dive into some fragment, and after a while – to jump into another spatial position. Second, it was interesting to see their reactions, gestures, their individual appropriation of and corporeal diving into the accessiblebody; they were caressing and touching it regardless of its apparent fragility. The discussion was unfolded around the plate; the fragility did not disrupt the warm intimacy of the atmosphere. Various kinds of specific innerness appropriated the model as something available to be investigated, as something familiar, something different from a convulsive antigravitational strangeness. And – who knows – maybe this attempt for (holistically) anthropomorphic attitude towards those differences has helped them to recognize some of my fundamental “doubts and uncertainties” as their own, as “all I can offer”3.


Concept & realization co-creator: Hristijan Ivanovski

Photo credits: Yamil Vidal Dos Santos



1. Seth, A.: 2017, “Your Brain Hallucinates Your Conscious Reality”. (accessed July, 2017). Personal derivate of what Anil Seth calls an “agreement about the controlled hallucination”. One’s own understanding of the world and the self (bodily, perceptual, volitional, narrative and social self) is actually a “fragile construction of the brain”.

2. Feyerabend, P.: 1999, Conquest of Abudance: A Tale of Abstraction versus the Richness of Being, The University of Chicago Press, Ltd., London, p. 122.

3. Borges, J. L.: 2014, Umeshnosta na stihot, Tabernakul, p. 9. Tran. Tome Siljanoski from This Craft of VerseHarvard University Press, 2000.

Design Projects:

1. New Landscapes of Home: Northeast-Southwest Axis of Skopje. Student project*, 5th year of studies: Integrative Studio 9. Mentor: PhD. Minas Bakalchev. Students: Danica Spasevska, Viktorija Bogdanova. *Competition entry: "Fairytales" 2014

2.Architecture as Infrastructure: Method of Integration of the Fragmented Plan of the Contemporary City on the Case of Veles. Master Thesis*: New Collective Form. Mentor: PhD. Minas Bakalchev. *Competition entry-F.Y.R. Macedonia: "Archiprix International 2015" Madrid

3. Inspiration Hotel, 2014. Competition Entry: Aleksandra Shekutkovska, Jordan Tasevski, Joana Stojchevska, Viktorija Bogdanova

4. Observatory Houses: Roccascalegna Castle. Young Architects Competitions. Competition entry. Danica Spasevka, Viktorija Bogdanova. July, 2017


Viktorija Bogdanova