Sep '06 - Dec '09
It’s been a week since my return from Prague and I didn’t really get the chance to sit back and reflect on my trip. As many of you can relate I got right back on my studio project. It was prying me on the flight to Praha and back. The trip was an amazing experience. The people were quite friendly, despite the fact that they didn’t speak English or that we didn’t speak their native tongue. Communicating came down to simple hand gestures. We ventured out of Praha to the small town of Terezin, a former Jewish concentration camp. It was quite different observing these events from a museum. Terezin reminded one of how ugly we can be to each other. It makes you think if buildings as weapons. How could an architect in good conscience design something to kill? It was definitely a moving experience.
Praha has an awesome public transportation program. We were able to navigate the inner core of the city quite easily. I was comparing how I get around in my own city compared to Praha and I noticed that I interacted more with the city. When taking public transportation one has to travel to the stops. Who knows what you might run into…friend, foe, advertisement, city texture, etc? When riding the bus, tram, or metro you are then surrounded by others. One might not engage in conversation but the comfort of others around feels safe. When getting off one isn’t exactly dropped of at their destination but they have to travel by foot or other means; which further encounters one to more city fabric life. Now take getting around by car here in suburbia land “by yourself.” You get in your car, get caught in traffic, then you park at your destination. Boom. Traveling the city in solitude quick and easy. Where’s the interaction to urban life? None. It’s just asphalt jungle meeting my rubber tires. I just paid $45 dollars to fill up my tank which will last all but 4 days. That’s a month’s bus pass in Prague. I think I will be moving somewhere with better transportation options. It gives the citizen choices not only in transportation but interaction with the city.
We are currently preparing our exhibition of our work in Prague. I’ll leave you with some photos and some of my small video clips. I documented Prague’s street language through photos and sketches, which will be my theme for my exhibition. I only want to show a bit until I finish my display. I’ll keep everyone posted.
Images of Terezin "building as weapon"
Praha Street Language