Mariann Drell. Spatial poetry Spatial illusion Spatial design Spatial poetry design

The question is concerned with the unknown and how to give sense to it. As in the end, every unfamiliarity may be given a familiar, perceivable context. However, let us talk about the feeling of unfamiliarity. Could it be something more, something more genuine or even more delicate than the most obvious, for instance, an abandoned building? Could the unfamiliar remain completely unknown due to the language of its form, so that it is not even noticed? And then again, it has never been completely unknown, perhaps non-existent instead? If it is not possible to perceive or get to know the unknown in architecture, does it exist at all?

And perhaps I like space as it is – neither taking nor leaving it. And perhaps it is complicated to comprehend what lies beneath the unknown if everything is and is not perceivable. And perhaps I was drawn to you more as a question. The state you are in. As it does indeed seem that your structure features both entropy and negentropy. In your orderly form, you nevertheless create a deep disorder in your existential crisis where you simultaneously are and are not architecture in the external space… generating inner contemplations… All this perhaps only in my head, but I find myself there in deep contemplation of you despite its importance. I think this and that about you and sometimes nothing at all. Sometimes even forgetting that you exist or that I have visited you on countless occasions.

Do you remember when I came to you and cast down my eyes when walking through the snow. As much of you in front of me as behind me. If you knew what I want, you would probably laugh, as it is not actually necessary at all and there is no need to write or even think about you. I have reached quite far from the area that I used to think I knew. However, the more I allowed myself to know the unknown, the farther the “knew” remained, and the area disappeared, the speciality in particular, but I began to notice the differences. But all that I thought I knew was not that simple as it had seemed, and I shut my eyes to the illusion in pain. Perhaps all that I write and think about you is nothing more than mapping my own confusion, organising the archive of thought, a prophylactic discussion of questions.

In the old days I did not even know that you existed. Then again, perhaps I did. Do you remember when I passed you around seven or eight years ago (it was so, I swear!), I even saw a hare running along your side, but nobody believed me. Seven or eight years went by and I began passing you again, not even recognising you at first. And to be honest with you, and with myself in particular, I was reminded of our first meeting only a while ago (around three days ago). Indeed, I was sitting somewhere in between, with as much of you in front of me as behind me. It felt as if I was behind the times. Or perhaps, briefly cut off from the urban space, I merely perceived the principal truth of the unknown, the fact that the unknown does not reveal itself like that in space, rather in oneself, completely within oneself. As space has no perception, it is I who perceive space in the space. 

I once had a feeling, and then many times more when peeking you out of the corner of my eye while driving past. Sneaking into my subconscious, you recognised my weakness and as a weakness you enhanced my feeling, enhanced my weakness – the weakness to fall, lying flat on the ground, not knowing what is behind me or in front of me. But you remained in the back of my mind as a constant companion. With your silent sounds and silent whispers, you secretly bewitched me. And I do not actually know if you are old or new, but nevertheless your touch remained the same. You caressed me with your unawareness with the same tenderness, I wanted to know you in my unawareness, and if not to know you, then at least see you. 

I am walking along the non-road, it was not built as a road but generated randomly. It happened by chance when you were piled up on top of one another. I perceive the space through my eyes and it was my eyes that drew me towards you. Once I got lost in the unknown, there was nothing to hold on to, no anchor to rest upon and feel like myself. I was completely lost and my space lacked space, lacked a feeling or the feeling remained numb, unknown. Perhaps I simply like space just as it is. Neither taking or leaving it but contemplating and giving sense to it. Reconsidered space, reconsidered architecture. What lies beyond, behind the wall, within the wall. So that the tangible would not be left behind the real but quietly become a signpost.

I was once told that I would change in time. Now I feel and believe.

And who knows, perhaps earlier it was not a place at all but became a place only when I legitimised it as one. And so an unknown place became unknown architecture which, in turn, became a place with known architecture. And perhaps I can think about the spectrum from the unknown to the known as if creating a project, as a mediator on the border of the existent and the non-existent. And thus I finally made it existent and exciting, and most importantly brought it to us here, mostly of course to myself, and all the while calling myself an interior architect-thinker. Although here the title of a thinker would be sufficient – or is it necessary to endow oneself with titles at all, as in the end it has no role to play in perceiving the unknown. 

Perhaps I simply like space just as it is. Neither taking or leaving it but contemplating and giving sense to it. Perhaps I simply like to perceive the space and not create it, or if to create it, then only the context, the perception, only to feel anything, something that lights the flame to restore the navigation point. 

MARIANN DRELL is studying for a her master’s degree in the Department of Interior Architecture at the Estonian Academy of Arts. She has worked in the field of architecture but is now focusing on studying.

PHOTOS by Mariann Drell.

PUBLISHED in Maja’s 2019 autumn edition (No 98).