The great(est) opportunity.
Despite the uniqueness of this event, especially defined by the impossibility of my family and friends to reach me to celebrate together, many bright sides have come up. I have been able to share this moment with many more people than I could have ever imagined; for example, welcoming both those with whom I had not the degree of intimacy to invite in person and those who probably could not have come due to personal reasons. Not only was everybody able to join my final presentation, but I also got in touch with professors and researchers that were almost not contactable in normal circumstances (due to meetings, conferences, various physical commitments, etc.). All of a sudden, I found everyone reachable online for real, reading and answering emails in record time, something never seen before. Even sitting from my comfortable desk chair, I knocked down and overtook many walls, working out for availability and cooperation.
The space surrounding: “a room with a view”.
The obligation and necessity of being digital put me in communication even more with the physical room I have occupied for one year, in Foulkeslaan 82, Delft. A strong sense of possession started to grow in me while living there, especially because there was no alternative. For me, that room became an independent and self-sufficient nine square-meter space, a sort of studio/apartment, in which I did not suffer the coexistence of both living and working at the same time. In these months, from around February to July, I experienced work, production, design but also fatigue and sometimes despair as a solitary act of deep introspection and isolation. That is why, symbolically, I am proud of having graduated from my room, considering the peculiar relation I have developed with this space and myself, exactly there where the entire thesis workload has been conceived, thought of and rethought of, discussed and developed.
A new routine.
The hardest struggle was to build a new procession of gestures, rituals that could help me tolerate that unknown present that was waiting for me. I was missing things I never thought I would miss: that usual spot I occupied in the Landscape studio, facing the corridor with the window on my right side, seeing everyone and everything passing by; the chitchats, “Hey how’re you doing?” a question that nobody seemed to have never answered me; waiting in line at the Espresso bar to get that extremely expensive and always disappointing espresso. I was looking for habits to make part of a new routine as much as I was looking for signs that time was effectively passing. Sometimes, around three or four in the morning, I would sneak out of my room in the complete quietness of the house to go out to the backyard. There, I would hear the morning birds, looking around in search for other lit up windows, like mine. In that place around me, I was simply looking for signs of a common ground.
Often, I have wondered how this thesis, these successes, this very life of mine would have been if these last few months had been normal. Of course, I have not been able to find an answer to this question simply because there isn’t one. On the contrary, what I have understood is that we need to review our parameters of normality as soon as possible and be really resilient, as the true meaning of the word suggests: we need to embrace the capacity of living matter to repair itself after damage or shock, but above all the capacity of an entire community to return to its initial state after having been subjected to a disturbance that has modified that same state. And this is what I hope for BK (which I had to leave for the moment), a faculty that I am sure will come back to be filled with those noisy, brilliant, enthusiastic and creative minds that have always distinguished it.