It is a two-bedroom apartment for a three-member family. The size of the apartment is 66m^2 (6600mm*11000mm). The height of the apartment is 2,6 m. It is a small but very compact apartment. It is consistent of four parts. A wooden structure, two glass side-walls, and two freestanding elements. There are not specific rooms such us kitchen, bathroom, dining room etc. but the different cultures such as cooking culture, leisure culture, working culture are “produced” through a performative recombination of these four parts.
What would be a design beyond east and west? For me the question is: Is it possible today to propose a design, which is able to embody and express both the eastern and western ideas about living? It is true that the idea of individuality has been the main philosophical theme in the tradition of western philosophy while what was more important for the eastern world-view was the cultivation of a refined relationship between the man and the world. However in the first case the human subject abused the environment and created hostile urban organizations. Modern technology is marked by a radical departure from everything previously known. It has disturbed the balance between humanity and nature in ways that are long-range, irreversible, and planetary in scale. It has created a "freedom without values". Traditional ethics presumed that the effects of our actions are limited. In the end, humans become the objects of their own fabrications, to be shaped according to the designs of technology. The cultural tradition of ancient eastern civilizations can provide today an answer to this problematic situation. The notion of the myth, which is so important for the eastern tradition, is completely absent from the contemporary way of living. Myth is what provides a universal unitary model for the humanity establishing all the relations between man and the world. In other words myth gives a common meaning to everything that exists. Today myth can offer the unique opportunity of a true inter-cultural dialogue in which both sides are giving and taking equally. The idea of myth possesses a wealth of traditional wisdom that could help build a new universal ethics of responsibility in the technological age. That is what I have tried to introduce through my proposal: an environment, which has the human being at its center, but also organizes in a sophisticated way the relationships between the man, the technical and the physical world. An architecture which is at the same time humanist and mythical, a design which unites east and west. research – engineering - marketing -Houses are not able to follow the contemporary way of living. Their design follows an older way of life where every space has just one function. Contemporary families need a more flexible, multifunctional space, which has the ability to perform in a different way according to the needs. The design of a small, compact house must consider this idea of spatial multi-valence. -There is an increasing demand for the use of digital technologies in every function of the living environment. The personal computer, the hi-fi system, the television, the electronically controlled kitchen are just a few examples of the implications of new technologies on the practice of architecture. They are not though aesthetically articulated in a sophisticated way. Considering the existing situation I propose a humanist-mythical environment consisted of four parts:
The earthscape is the multifunctional landscape that can be used for sleeping, eating, resting, working in various ways through the day. In terms of construction, molds for the scapes are produced with the help of CNC machines. These machines are used to cut rib sections for the molds. The ribs are then assembled into a three-dimensional "egg-crate" grid. On top of the grid the wooden floor is fixed that provides a continuous surface that unites beds, tables, offices, other furniture creating a flexible organism.
The fire element expresses the action of preparing the food. It is designed as a freestanding object-element. Its shape is a result of triangular and cyclical organization that produces a friendly and functional form.
The element of the water is a single sculptural volume also that includes every action that has to do with the use of water.
The ether element expresses the communication between the human and the physical-technological environment. The sidewalls are prefabricated elements, which not only provide the interaction between the inside and the outside but also function as a thick “intelligent” skin for the house. Computers, LCD screens, hi-fi systems, electrical circuits, lighting, air conditioning are all part of the glass walls. In this way ether has the mythic dimension of the physical outside and the contemporary dimension of the virtual-digitalized space. These four elements only work together. Space is not static but every action is related to the simultaneous use of more than one element. The kitchen culture for example is “produced” by the co-operation of the earthscape, the fire element, the water element and the ether element. Myth is exactly this unity of every element in order to produce meaning. The human subject can adjust this microcosm according to his needs in order to give quality to his life. This is for me a design beyond east and west.