Jean Nouvel: “Legitimate extraneity”

In the editorial of Domus 1069, the guest editor tells of how every human being is able to enrich the world with his own ideas and identity.

We all come from somewhere. We all have a genetic heritage. We are all the consequence of prior, precise, situated encounters that shape us. But how? By challenging us, surprising us, frustrating us, dazzling us, moving us and expanding our awareness. In this way, we become ourselves and gradually we begin to love, or we begin to hate.

Terunobu Fujimori, Too-High Teahouse, Nagano, Giappone, 2004. Foto courtesy of Terunobu Fujimor
Terunobu Fujimori, Too-High Teahouse, Nagano, Japan, 2004. Photo courtesy of Terunobu Fujimor

We accept or we decline. Initially, this all takes place in a protective, intimate environment before moving into other, external, unpredictable and potentially more dangerous settings. We become the sum of our experiences, of the information we receive, and we begin to construct our culture and our personality. Later on, our culture and personality will come up against other environments thousands of miles away.

This is true for every one of us, so it is also the case for architects, artists and other poets. Their culture is the substrate of their imagination, which is constantly evolving and profoundly marked by their origins. Fortunately, there are countless places with specific climates and fauna and flora that are happy to be at home.

Domus 1069 giugno 2022
Domus 1069 June 2022

Travel enriches our imagination, inventing new images and attitudes and bringing about new ways of life. Often, upon their return, writers, painters, cabinetmakers, landscapers and other people driven by curiosity adopt new ways of doing things, which become novel trends that spread and blend with old customs. The process is bountiful, often surprising, inventive and moving when nuance “marries dream to dream” and land to sky.

I am fond of these adventurers who transport and combine mysteries, these citizens of the world who know how to enrich it.

Opening image: Miralles Tagliabue EMBT, city market of Santa Caterina, Barcelona, 2005. Photo © Roland Halbe

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