2016 Inception Award | SLOW HOUSE

Timothy Quirk

RMIT

nowhereness // an intellectual occupation

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‘Nowhereness’ exists within a moment of interlude, when you become trans xed, motionless with wonder and for a brief period of time your consciousness is positioned more within your mental state than within your physical space. Taking into consideration the possibility to produce specific models for interaction within our spatial environment and the potential to construct atmospheres which purposefully and positively affect wellbeing, this project produces a concept hotel which considers the relationship between people and their immediate surroundings and explores how certain modes of interaction can produce the psychological and physiological result of slowing down. ‘Slow House’ aims to address preconceived notions of a hotel experience by disrupting and challenging conventional spaces and user journeys and by bringing people’s awareness to the present encounter. The result is a considered design and situations that provoke increased levels of curiosity, wonder, respite and interlude.

My research has been concerned with experiences which provoke an intrigue and slow us down to engage and immerse up spatially and psychologically. The research focused largely
on lm and object, paying particular attention to arrangement, form, materiality. During this research period I designed a concept “Obstacle House” seeking to disrupt routine and present a new ‘model’ for engaging with a home, stripping away convenience and forcing us to take our time. The “obstacles” were represented as playful interventions. The house became a testing space for my ideas and “Slow House” is an elevated continuation of that. Slow House presents a new model for hotel interaction as it invited guests to experience a level of disconnection through a combination of curated and self-lead journeys. The areas focused on are the arrival experience, the hotel rooms, the eating area and communal spaces; labelled slow spaces.

The rooms are an amalgamation of the strategies developed throughout my research. Imbued with spatial narrative, they present abstract pieces of furniture and joinery, curated in unconventional and challenging ways. In some areas materials are starkly juxtaposed to create a visual journey throughout the space, while in other rooms the material selections offer a distinct mood or feeling. Some elements are more concerned with a notion of reveal and you must actively work with the space to unravel it’s potentials. This notion of unravelling the space challenges conventional understandings of practicality within a hotel setting and provides an opportunity to introduce slowness and performances into our routines, allowing for a speci c and temporary state of cognitive occupancy. The signi cant element of “staging” evident within the work frames each space and allows it to perform for its guests and for guests to perform with the work. Elizabeth Grosz describes framing as being “The raw condition under which senses are created, metabolised, released into the world, made to live life of their own, to infect and transform other sensations.” With this consideration, Slow House investigates the importance and potential of emphasising the journey, through the notion of staging and framing.

There is an existing paradigm of conventional hotel experience and my intention is not to break the wheel but to subvert that paradigm through offering a model for hotel interaction. This model encompasses the design and the program and the intention is to construct spaces which intrigue us, compel us and offer a mental reprieve and respite. They’re about raising an awareness spatially and mentally and above all else it’s about noticing and enjoying the spaces which surround us.