t6 Sou Fujimoto Futuro Primitivo

The article I had to read is written by Sou Fujimoto.

If we have to summarize it, all is in the title: primitive future. In fact, In his article the author refers to the cave, a primitive habitation as spatial study, but gives it a far more contemporary interpretation.

The author starts with a comparison between the nest and a cave, he opposes the intentional design  of the nest as a functional habitat to the unintentional morphology of the cave that gives flexibility of appropriation to its space.

For the Sou Fujimoto, the main challenge for an architect is to intentionally design something that is unintentional, spontaneous and gives space to accidents.

He proposes many strategies to achieve this “ideal” design.

The main three of them being:

The gradation: The gradation is the” between”, the grey nuances, it is not only about black and white or clear opposites. Sou Fujimoto proposes an architecture that does not have specific, rigid limits, he always tries to create spaces between inside and outside, between public and private, between the city and the house etc… This gradation allows automatically the existence of infinite and multiple possibilities; the space is never the same.

Those qualities can be found in what Ricardo Devesa calls ‘disturbed relations’

Because of the blurriness of its limits, the architecture is always blending with its environment, whether rural or urban. It is always an “other” space.  The space that is in relation to nature is continuously changing, because the light, the wind and the elements of nature are never the same.


Relations: From the author’s point of view, the identity of the space lies much more in the relations of that space to other spaces. Architecture is about relations, these relations add to the specificity of each space.

This different merging of the spaces with each other creates ‘intangible relations’

Spontaneity: Sou Fujimoto says that he wishes to do diagrams that even a child could do.  What is important for him, more than the rational, is the intuition, the feeling of space, the spontaneity. In his opinion, ruins present this quality, because they are unpredictable, their existence is more due to an accident than to an intentional design. That is why they seem so blended with their environment; they don’t only trigger possibilities for functionality but also for emotions, and contribute to the creation of ‘atmospheric relations’.

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This picture is extracted from the movie, “in the mood for love”, in this shot, the director represented on one plan two different spaces. What we see is not actually two different spaces, what we see is the relation that lies between those two spaces. They are similar but different, and yet we would have read these two spaces differently if we had seen them independently from one another. This relation allows us to understand the emotional state of the characters and vice versa.

Relations between spaces, even if not rational, give space to emotions.


The way we experiment spaces and inhabit them, contributes to the construction of our spatial memory.  It thus affects our capacity for spatial appropriation. If a space is set with defined functions, then we are conditioned to appropriate any space through the memory and the spatial education we have of those defined functions.

In his book 100 years of solitude, one of the different themes Gabriel Garcia Marquez explores is the theme of memory. One specific aspect of the loss of memory that particularly interested me was the capacity of re-appropriation of objects that the characters had when they forgot about the functionality of the object. They actually started to be creative.

If I have this opportunity, I would like to investigate the relation between our spatial memory and education and the way we appropriate and use spaces, and more specifically new spaces, and what is the effect of each on the other.

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