Beside their all-time historical mission, the endurance of all utopias depends on the extent to which they are capable of becoming something more than spatial projections of social abstractions. Are they, by mobilizing the structure of desire, capable of becoming oneiric spaces to where both the poetic and political imagination could ensconce itself?
But what if such oneiric spaces at some point turn into scenes of a horrible nightmare, where collective anxiety starts to penetrate collective desires? What if the ontological discrepancy between utopia and dystopia is more ambiguous than our conceptual language at first glance suggests it?
The notion of Nirgendheim highlights this peculiar ambiguity by conjugating the semantic fields of nowhere and (un)homeliness. If someone comes from Nirgendheim it also means that there is no place to where s/he could belong. Exile as a punishment without even knowing where one is being exiled from; being a bastard of No Man’s Land. This cryptic word also names the deranged realm of our contemporary condition where the contours and directions of spatiality are becoming ever obscure and liquid.
Therefore, Nirgendheim is both a place and non-place, where the shadows of architecture as the last grandiose utopian attempt are constantly haunting all of our endeavours. It is not by accident that modernism, while trying to unmask the mystery of the world, “excelled at the architecture of death”. In the same vein, the brutalist architecture of Nirgendheim, as all of the implemented utopias of modernism, always foreshadows the pictures of the collapse of monumentality. The pictures of the solitary ruins of an inhuman world where these ruins testify to the inevitable revelation: not the material, but history is what is fragile.
School of Design
MA Design Interactions, 2016
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My focus is on the possibility of experimentation with game engines to design possible worlds which can combine fiction and game mechanics in order to grasp the realities of the present world and the complexities of human interactions that are forming it.