A block perched on a hill-top flying over the land, no landscaping, no gardening. It is like an alien space ship from ‘Denmark’

Indigenous building is the type of settlement where the accommodation is an integral part of nature and climate. Indigenous peoples are people, communities, and nations who claim a historical continuity and cultural affinity with societies endemic to their original territories that developed prior to exposure to the larger connected civilization associated with Western Culture that is driven by globalization, profit and efficiency measured in consumption. Historically architecture has always been indigenous, wherever on earth. The settlements are part of nature and when the people move away, the building becomes again part of the environment. This is common in Iceland where the old farm-houses are but a little grass hill in the landscape when the people have moved away. The same goes for the log cabins in Norway that become part of the forest floor when they are left.

The typical Corbusien Machine: Villa Savoye (1929), the machine for living in. Celebrating nature but not participating in it. Standing free from the land and indineousity.

Nuuk is a different town. It is a kind of a New Babylon, many examples of which exist in Modern Architecture. There the theory is that the building is a machine for living in (Corbusier), where the building comes from the machine production philosophy, often stands like an alien object in the landscape and enjoys nature from the ‘removed’ distance, almost like looking through a television screen. The Situationist Constant wrote a concept art/architecture philosophy about one of his projects named New Babylon. There the architecture stands in the Dutch landscape, floating over and not participating in nature or climate, but making its own climate: the urban one. Constant writes of the New Nomads, in my mind the ‘other nomads’ as opposed to the ‘real’ nomads. There is no more available an existential space for ‘real’ nomads, they do not exist, the colonized Western world has taken over everywhere.

From the art piece New Babylon by Constant. Tere the architecture is free from land and creates its own nomadic space in urbanism.

Nuuk is a ‘Nuuk Babylon’ where the architecture is non-indigenous, in some cases not touching the land, alien from the land, imported and in opposition to the local (whatever that is) indigenous settlements. The Greenlanders in Nuuk are ‘New-Nomads’ connected to the internet (I am sitting writing this in Nuuk, on internet, fetching references on Google and Wikipedia etc.), the people here (especially the teenagers) are fashionable like in any other town and the supermarket supplies avocadoes and whatever I need for my ‘cultured’ lifestyle.

I have been looking out for this ‘visiting’ element in the built environment, how the houses are here in a kind of a temporary state, looking like they just arrived and might leave soon. The colours are great and remind of the palette of multi produced cars brought into any land. The colours are from the palette of the factory not from the land itself. Even the name Greenland is a propaganda exercise, made up by Icelandic Viking Eric the Red, who settled here first of Western people and wanted more people to come from the ‘Old World’ to the ‘New World’ of the Inuit.

September 5, 2010   Posted in: DESIGN, PONDERINGS