After receiving a letter from the Palace of Brigades in Tirana, the subject of our fall 2020 design studio, the students responded with their own letter in which they briefly introduce their projects. The images are taken from their collective film, "Dear Pallati i Brigadave", which can be viewed below.
Sorry for getting back to you so late! Your letter of early September made us really curious about you. We would like to thank you for opening up to us and revealing your vulnerabilities. It is our shared interest in your destiny, that brought us together. We took a couple of weeks to explore you from afar through voices that surround you, through pictures, movies, meetings with your neighbors on social media and a lot of dialogues between ourselves and with muses and experts from near and afar.
What we found was inspiring. It motivated us to use our creativity to think of the many possible futures we could imagine. Now we feel ready to share our thoughts. We don't have the one, perfect solution. We can assure you though, that you are full of unused potential which just needs to be activated.
Language is everything. Being vigilant means asking your counterpart what they really mean by a particular taboo-breaking utterance, and what they really hope to achieve by saying it. Language allows the exchange of ideas, to opens discussions and talks about us. Language leads to dialogue and therefore to conversation. You, as a palace, need to get into the conversation, you need to be mentioned. (Dialogue in Tourism – Artur Roig Pérez, Samuel Kummer)
One of your most pressing urgencies is your state of isolation: you are hidden in a forest, your only entrance is next to a busy highway and you are consequently largely unknown by the people of Tirana. To unfold your potential we want to make your isolation permeable and reconnect you to the city growing around you. Could the curiosity of the people in Tirana be triggered by multiple new ways of accessing the palace and could your solitude finally come to an end? (Soft Borders –Ikonija Stanimirovic, Insa Streit, Marlene Metzler)
To break up your solitude, it's not only important that citizens visit you, but also that you start a conversation with them. Starting a conversation about a certain topic is the start of analysing the reality, questioning it and imagining an alternative one. We imagine a scenario where people learn not only from the organised activities and events, but also from the actions and opinions of others. A process where you and the city start a dialogue and thus get reconnected. (Conversation between the palace and the city – Ivana Luggen, Simona Lazarova)
You were designed to be the most exclusive place in the whole country. The Versailles of Albania. Somehow there was never a queen or a king that moved in. From time to time different political figures came by, but only for short visits. Don't you think their understanding of power are slowly becoming out of fashion? Forget about them! (Garden Citadelle – Andrej)
In the process of getting to know you better we admired your beauty thanks to Tami Notsani's photographs. We also found closed doors, behind which we imagined hidden realities, putting you in a new light of new/alternative stories. We approached you with a deconstructing attitude. We thought that by removing all the superficial things and keeping only the essentials, we would emphasize your splendor. So that you could finally tell your story in all its facets. You are a palace, which has never been a palace. Now is the moment you have the chance to unlock yourself to the city. (Deconstructing Beauty – Anna Badia Martinez, Alanis Diem, Colin Müller)
Your sometimes wild, sometimes curated community of plants and other living creatures, creates an atmosphere that lets you get out of the city, slow-down, enjoy the silence, breathe. We see in you the potential to become a place of healing, recovering and rejuvenation. A potential that starts within you and can be projected onto the whole city of Tirana. By making people aware and connecting to knowledge that traditionally already exists in Tirana and thinking of its alternative use, we can break down big-scale global ecological urgencies, like air pollution, into smaller pieces and empower citizens to improve their own physical environment. (Park as a City as a Park– Era Jashari, Michèle Favre, Valeria Moser)
We feel you have so much more to offer, than you give yourself credit for. In the search for a different perspective on your future, we stumbled across many hidden moments, tucked away in the midst of your garden. The lost pathways, fountains, stairs, mossy walls and pavements, the cracks in your floors, the lonely greenhouse and church. We imagine these places as rich sources of inspiration, a motivation to look differently at places that are sometimes left unnoticed all around us. (Club of Lost Souls – Roc-Andrea Rüegg, Sadia Avdija, Sam Mettraux, Sophia Trumpp)
We want to stop your loneliness, we want to seek your unused potential, we want to make you self-sustaining. So we propose an auto generating-system of programs, to maintain you through use. We start today, by projecting into a vivid future through the stories we imagine, by setting a value system to ensure you're in good health and company so all of this can happen with the infrastructure we together provide. (Multilayered Reality – Anna Caviezel, Chiara Hergenröder, Noah Schweizer)
Although so clearly different, and so far apart, we are much alike. We shelter the powerful on the inside, we introduce transformation on/towards the outside (Palaces in Dialogue – Elias Knecht)
We hope our thoughts have left you positive and opened up some doors to a hopeful future. Maybe our ideas will have people in charge of you opening up your golden cage to make everyone discover your potentials.
You are not alone, we are many, who can help you to reestablish your faded magnitude.
We say goodbye for now - but we assure you- as soon as it will be possible again, we will book the first ticket to Tirana to finally visit you and continue the conversation.
Your new friends,
Andrej, Sadia, Anna, Anna, Alanis, Michèle, Chiara, Era, Elias, Samuel, Simona, Ivana, Sam, Marlene, Valeria, Colin Mü, Artur, Roc, Noah , Ikonija, Insa, Sophia