Defying Death with Architecture and Theory
A neon color palette. Walls made of metal and translucent polycarbonate. A sloped ceiling intersects a bumpy, stumbling floor.
These might sound like elements of a fun house, but they’re actually part of a residential environment designed by two conceptual artists with a strong theory combining architecture, design, and novel notions on longevity.
“Bioscleave House (Lifespan Extending Villa)” by the singularly-named Arakawa and his partner in life, Madeline Gins, is a four room and central free-form living space that houses the pair’s artistic, architectural, and poetic vision of life and art, a philosophy they call “reversible destiny.”
Basically, the two have made it their mission–through paintings, books, and now architectural projects–to defy aging and its consequences. The “Bioscleave House,” located in Long Island, cost more than $2 million to build and is to date the couple’s first completed architectural work in the United States. By using a 40-color palette, oddly angled light switches and outlets, and windows at varying heights, the artists have forced people within the space to use their bodies in unexpected ways to maintain equilibrium, which will, theoretically, stimulate their immune systems.
The thinking goes that if comfort is a precursor to death, then people kept on guard, with a tentative relationship to their surroundings, should stay young. A more recent testament to their philosophy is a building in Mitaka, Japan where elderly residents are sometimes forced to “snake” across a floor. Remarkably, these put-upon residents claim they do feel healthier after such inconvenience.
Another project (which mirrors the philosophy of the house on Long Island) consists of nine loft-style units in Tokyo where a wide color spectrum, poles for balance, and unsure footing mimic the “Bioscleave House.” A view of the nine death-defying lofts in Tokyo, Japan.
Arakawa’s and Gins’ theories aren’t for the lazy, the wary, or those seeking comfort, but they are intriguingly zany and have been embraced by more than a few.
For more insight on how to defy death, immortality, and youthfulness, visit the couple’s website Arakawa and Gins . There you will find a link to the most recent NY Times article on their Long Island project and even learn some reversible destiny mantras.
Posted by Kyra Shapurji