by Shraddha NairApr 24, 2020
At 11:23 pm on Thursday, they suddenly became aware of each other and realised that they had all secretly enjoyed this space for years. Seeking the same kind of freedom, the undesigned and sculptural world and the complex backsides of big cities were created. Liberated from architectural narrative, iconic gestures and state-of-the-art insta-friendly placemaking, they found a serene presence in the backsides.
Danish architect and self-taught artist David Bülow narrates The silent incident while visualising moments around what he calls the 'edge of architecture' – a landscape defined by the often-unsightly spaces such as terraces, back alleys, parking lots, and balconies. His black and white compositions reveal fragments of life that start to take shape from the time architects leave the building and human experiences take over.
A series of recent drawings by Bülow show cities submerged in the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic and people experiencing strange days of isolation. The work trigger our present collective emotions as it captures people in an array of hiding spots, either busy in virtual socialising or having a lone moment perched on their windows and terraces observing the time passing by.
In times when we cannot step outside to explore great architecture of our cities and the world, what we have and is in our capacity is to experience our own spaces in a new light, especially those that never caught our attention before. Bülow's work is an effort to do exactly that.
His sketches seem to weave a newly acquired relationship between the people and the spaces the former previously neglected in their everyday life – the spaces that were so close yet out of sight.
Here are a few such vignettes from his collection:
Urbanism comes across as a recurring subject in Bülow’s sketches that he fondly describes as the pressure cooker of humanity. “To me it is an ongoing social experiment. Often it is the fascination of so many lives living so close, and yet so rarely touching each other,” he reflects.
“When you look at films or read books, the most important emotional scenes often take place on the edge of architecture reminding us that we as architects need to leave a fray in our designs for life to unfold.”
Lastly, summing up his creative process, Bülow muses: “I find great inspiration in overhearing glimpses of other people’s lives, and then imagining the rest.”