Temporary Disconnection Parasite

Arquitectura - Bruno Barbosa, João Barbosa, Pedro Costa e Sandra Paulo
Concurso - Performance Architecture, Guimarães 2012
Localização - Guimarães, Portugal

From connection to disconnection
Plans of the proposal submitted to the competition
"...In a world characterized by permanent change, immobility is not a realistic option. This is to say that permanent change is not negotiable on an individual level: a rejection of participation in the stressful, connected society means a rejection of social life, as we know it. In this sense, rejection of connectivity leads to exclusion from society, which implies a complete rejection of contemporary civic life. Exclusion implies being left out of technocratic-financial-managerial decisions and information flows. We would therefore argue that this leaves only one realistic option for members contemporary western society: Temporary Disconnection." Zygmunt Bauman
Our intervention is based on the main idea of the quote from Zygmunt Bauman: Temporary Disconnection. In contemporary society the time to stop, to be alone, reflect, dream, imagine, does not exist or is limited in time and space, and is contaminated by the action of other members. The TDP aims to be that space and that time. It explores the tension between being connected or disconnected from society. In the exterior shell it reflects the high flow of information that overcomes our world. Allowing the inhabitants to have a full sensorial experience through the stimulation of the five different senses of our body (smell, taste, vision, audition and touch). These stimuli are divided in the exterior shell according to their relationship with the human body and the appropriation of the installation by people.

"Our own body is in the world as the heart is in the organism: it keeps the visible spectacle constantly alive, it breathes life into it and sustains it inwardly, and with it forms a system; and sensory experience is unstable and alien to natural perception, which we achieve with our while body all at once, and which opens on a world of interacting senses." Juhani Pallasmaa

Performative intervention
Images of the proposal submitted to the competition
"Deep shadows and darkness are essential, because they dim the sharpness of vision, make depth and distance ambiguous, and invite unconscious peripheral vision and tactile fantasy." Juhani Pallasmaa. 

The interior space is the opposite of the outside; it’s designed to stimulate individuality. It allows you to come in and disconnect from society, to experience yourself, to breathe and relax. The dark interior and the inflated structure combined with the low and continuous sound of a heartbeat stimulate the perception of the me. The biomorphic shape materializes the parasitical character of the T.D.P. This character is accentuated by the relationship that it keeps with the establishment buildings through its umbilical cord. Using them to survive, it subverts this connection, exposing establishment institutions through irony and provocation. It lives in the public space adjacent to establishment buildings, in ostensive and perverted spaces, that are only there to accentuate the power of the institutions. The Temporary Disconnection Parasite acts has an healing agent of the public space, returning it to the inhabitants of the city. This healing process is possible because, although the TDP exterior is commonly in a stressful mood it can be changed and tuned to a focus mood and be appropriated by artists, performers, musicians etc.

"Don’t forget: architecture is a weapon that, in the human societies, has always been utilized by the ruling classes". Charles Jencks.

3d section view
Details of the proposal submitted to the competition

Five sense stimuli:

With the Temporary Disconnection Parasite exterior shell city inhabitants can have a full sensorial experience through the stimulation of the five different sensorial fields.
In the Smell section different plants with different odours are placed to create an intense confused smell, provoking an ambiguous experience.
In the Taste sector TDP offers a variety of flavours from spice pardon peppers to sweet strawberries. This diversity invite people to interact with the TDP and let them experiment different Taste sensations.
The Vision part is designed to cause different interactions with city people, the main experience is created through the combined utilization of digital video frames and mirrors. The first one passes diverse kinds of information, from brands publicity to Guimarães 2012 events. This information flow is synchronized to be confused and stressful, but it can be tuned to pass a single information video in the all digital frames. Mirrors allow TDP to interact with the city and with inhabitants through their reflection, and create different light games during daytime. Two points of the TDP let people look inside it. In the front façade TDP has a video projector to communicate with the establishment buildings. The video camera installed in the back façade records city inhabitant’s reactions during their appropriation of the TDP. These reactions can be showed in the digital frames or even in the video projector.
The Audition sector has only two different configurations. The first and the more commonly are the sound columns that, has the digital frames, passes different kinds of information, creating a confused mix of sounds that goes from cities noise to music of Guimarães 2012 events. This confused mix can be synchronized to pass only one of these sounds, transforming the TDP in a recreation area, allowing it to be appropriated by artists and performers.
In The touch area, situated in the lower part of the TDP, people can experiment different kinds of tactile sensations, from tickling dusters to chilli-frayed ropes.