by Eivind Hustvedt
Charlotte Erckrath
Marco Casagrande
Apotekerhagen, Bergen, Norway

Modes of contact with strangers

The project is a subjective exploration of the physical and the perceived state of being alone in the city. Through different investigations of the blurred transitions between the private and the public sphere,  I have tried to understand what it is that makes us feel included or excluded, exposed or overlooked. These investigations has resulted in a discussion on how the potential that windows hold, both for privacy and contact, can be used to challenge the notion of exposure, while offering both intimate and social situations.

1:1 recreation of site in exhibition, with 1:1 sketch
1:1 recreation of site in exhibition, with 1:1 sketch

The project is a subjective investigation about the physical and the perceived state of of being alone in the city. My process started when I got curious about the difference between the concepts of «loneliness» and «solitude», two very different aspects of being alone. As Paul Tillich puts it: ”Our language has wisely sensed the two sides of being alone. It has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone, and it has created the word solitude to express the glory of being alone.”

While being alone is a physical phenomenon, loneliness is linked to the perception of being alone. One can be in the middle of a crowd, have a lot of friends, and still have a deep feeling of being alone. This feeling is what we call loneliness. Everyone will most probably at some point in their life experience a sense of loneliness, and these feelings are often very subjective, influenced by personality, experience, environment and circumstances. It´s therefore very difficult to define what loneliness actually is, and nearly impossible to find a solution that fits all. Many writers and scientists agree that for many people who experience loneliness, finding peace with being alone rather than more socializing is the best way to challenge the lonely feelings.