A drain of people. A cradle to an enormous amount of strangers. Amazing. So many different shapes of eyes, lips, different hair. Different rhythm of the steps, body poses. I like subway peolple. The way they don't look at me. The way they do. The way they speak, loudly or silently. The way their minds are somewhere far. The metro is a state in between. Is a way to get there. Is a non space, is movement, is a place to leave behind.
Metro is the system that ignores the city and makes it live - at the same time. This relationship is a big fascination to me. Huge system, laying beneath almost as enormous parasite, sucking down a flow of life, to spit it out somewhere else. At the same time being absolutely indispensable, making a city an addict.
I see subway system as an organism, big dark animal. And I am the biologist discovering its anatomy. People filling up its cavities with their bodies, pushing each other through narrow corridors, running, waiting. All together making a beautiful pattern of flow, forever hidden to our eyes in its complexity and size. These patterns trigger a lot of thinking. On one hand the desire to grasp them, to make them visible. On the other hand to understand and influence them.
Our world is build on rules. Mathematical formulas. Numbers. Laws. And an enormous amount of variations. What do we perceive as beauty? The natural environment from which the new, human, artificial environment emerged is still our ultimate reference. Is beauty the balance between the rule and the modification? How do I design with awareness that my design is growing into something much bigger, not predictable, wild. That the mass will pick it up and reshape it with way it will move through the space. With their feet and hands and sounds. How do I design a cradle where the design can grow itself. What is a flowerpot, what is the soil and water to grow beauty?
Looking at the wall of posters makes me realize. I can not design anything that is bigger, more perfect, more truthful than this. The way paper thorns when pulled, the colors randomly spread, stacked on each other.
It is the same as the river of people moving up the elevator staircase, the same as the top view of medieval town or a forest. We perceive our space, the world we created, as controlled and shaped. But it is really full of randomness, coincidence, chance, mutation, full of cracks, full of chewing gums stuck on the pavement. And that makes it interesting. That makes it natural, wild, true. And beautiful. To me.
The metro was a theme that opened my eyes to see the sunshine of dirt, the flocks of stickers and tags flying over the sunrise sky of passing train. To see the beauty in ugliness. It was a source of infinite amount of stories, popping up from people; sitting, walking, people breathing. People ignoring each other. People giving smiles to strangers. People talking in languages that can't be understood. People who have different values, different opinions, different jobs. People who could never be friends sitting next to each other. Stories popping from the jungle. It is a neverending fascination to me how many pairs of eyes I can meet in just one ride.
And as subway kept on being my main focus, I felt paralyzed to design anything. Nothing was strong enough to have a right to be.
It was dark animal, and I didn't want to put an earring to its ear.