Thursday, 2 October 2014


What is the relationship between the body and architecture? Are rooms all about seeing, or should designers also take in account sensory experiences such as touch, sound, smell, temperature and balance?  And do we use the whole space of the rooms we are in, or do we simply stick to restricted movements through restricted zones?

Picture credits: Not me. Sia, I suppose?

In this rather amazing music video, 11 year old Maddie Ziegler performs a choreography that to an (to my eyes) unusual degree, engages with the room in which it is performed. Sia's rihannesque (they've collaborated earlier) song is complemented by Siegler's moves through what looks like an early 20th century apartment, with rough and stained surfaces. She moves from room to room, playing with light and shadow, as well as constantly interacting physically with the shapes and borders of the spaces in new ways.

Although I unfortunately can't use or experience a room this way myself, due to my being a well below average dancer, I think this video serves as a reminder of the possibilities that lie in the meeting between bodies and rooms, possibilities that perhaps should be more explored by both designers, dancers and daily users of architecture.

P.S. If you (as I) were truly fascinated, have a look at the one-take version of the video at The Guardian. A bit rougher than the official video, it's perhaps even more captivating in the unrefined honesty of what was happening on the set.

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