Architecture of Attraction

A myth, according to The Free Dictionary, ‘is a traditional, typically ancient story dealing with supernatural beings, ancestors, or heroes that serves as a fundamental type in the worldview of a people, as by explaining aspects of the natural world or delineating the psychology, customs or ideals of society.’ Since the beginnings of times, stories are told, myths are created, and people were taught by the elders of the world’s great dangers and mysteries.

The tale of sirens, or mermaids, are really peculiar, and very interesting at the same time. It is known that Sirens are beautiful creatures, who lured sailors with their dazzling chants, and by the time the ship came next to the shore, it crashed on deadly rocks, leaving the mariners at the mercy of the astonishing beings. Their voices are sweet, and whilst singing a better life for the sailors, who are apart from home and longing for some love, the sires were capable of making up their minds and by that, condemning them to death. There are more than one legends regarding this rare beauties, and even some famous writers and artists commented upon their myth, such as Leonardo da Vinci and Homer.

In the Odyssey, the theme of temptation as a psychological peril is portrayed by the sirens who lure sailors to their deaths by seduction. They represent the ideal audience—they sing about the most glorious moment of your life, thus tempting you to stay the hero or warrior they are portraying you as. Your own weakness makes you vulnerable; your greatest weakness comes from inside you.

It is safe to say that sirens are a metaphor, widely related to many experiences in one’s life. Society has experienced temptation in various historical moments. Through choices driven by desire, fates were traced and lives were decided. Human beings are full of desire, and personal will can influent entire armies, setting the course of a nation.

Architecture itself can take the form of desire. It can be passion. It can attract, after all, beauty is attractive in any culture. In addition, is easy to realize the importance of architecture in the urban revitalization context. Therefore, an architectural element can break the momentum of stagnation of an entire region, poorly used as an urban space. This process is - in most cases - of great governmental interest, and offers benefits for all parties (population, government and developers). For this reason solely, should be encouraged. The proposal is rather simple: the insertion of an architectural element in an uninteresting area, previously degraded or forgotten by time, reigniting the flame of the past or even creating a whole new vibrant scenario.

It is true that the absence or inadequate urban planning has a number of negative consequences for the city. In this sense, the architects and planners have to be very attentive to their role in this context. The fact is that the approach that underlies the proposal demands a greater insight on the part of the community of designers, because it is not about an element isolated from others - or on a particular architectural building - but of a set of works that enhance the urban space corroborating each other in a harmony of shapes and styles. Another important factor is always taking into consideration the kind of architecture that is being build, because such carelessness may cause segregation, and this is definitely not what architects should seek while exercising urban planning. Welfare, allying functionality with beauty, a better use of space and a critical concern for the future and the environment: this is the new architecture, which differs us from being simply aesthetic designers.

 

Case Study – Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Courtesy of  www.guggenheim.org

Courtesy of www.guggenheim.org


According to this, a discussion about the importance of an architectural element in the city is due. A good example is Bilbao, a small Spanish town, which today is no more than 400 000 inhabitants. Coming from the medieval era and quite changed by industrialization, Bilbao has undergone a revitalization that focused priorities in tourism. For this, there was a plan, and together with the work of great architects, it was very successful. They invested in the transport system - subway project conducted by Foster + Partners - but mainly in the insertion of an architectural element, considered icon to worldwide recognition: the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, by Frank Gehry.

Tourism in Bilbao increased considerably after the construction of the Guggenheim Museum, and the city became internationally recognized. Notice that an architectural element was crucial to the spread of tourism in the city, and considering the fact the museum’s collection is not permanent, as the other famous museums like the Louvre, it appears that most people who come - from the main Spanish cities such as Madrid and Barcelona, and from around the world - to visit Bilbao, are more likely there to see the Guggenheim itself.

Admittedly, such an impact was never anticipated when built, however in theory, any city could pass by the phenomenon of being globally recognized as Bilbao. It would take simply an effective, timely and visionary planning, and of course, elements that act as "anchors", i.e., as a catalyst for local development.

THE GOOD LIFE manifesto

An insight into true happiness

This manifesto presents itself as an alternative to the life we live today. Consumerism has spread throughout the world we inhabit, and along with that came the misguided concept that we need to have a lot of things in order to be happy. It is not true, though.

Studies show that the void one has inside cannot be filled with material possessions. In fact, the rush felt by those who buy new things is quickly replaced with boredom, therefore one need to keep buying in order to feel the rush all over again. Is it truly the way of achieving satisfaction?

No. Our priorities are set wrongly, and we no longer hold the wisdom to properly seek happiness. Having meaning, purpose and passion in life is the right path towards happiness. We are not what we buy, and we don’t need to prove ourselves through wealth.

How does it work? What is happiness? Each human being holds a personal happiness level, which doesn’t depend on circumstances. In fact, 50% of happiness and satisfaction in life is genetic in origin. Our happiness range is something like this:

Basically, the “set point” is those 50%. Conditions are traits in life that we cannot change, such as gender, health, ethnicity and etc. We simply get used to it. The only trait we can actively do something about is Voluntary Conditions. Things we choose, for example, relationships, jobs, hobbies, location, amongst others. These elements cause a greater impact in one’s life, even if they don’t seem too relevant at the time.

That is the main reason why we all need to re-evaluate our lives. Instead of spending money to buy more things, we should buy more experiences. Memories, and a sense of belonging, is what make us happy in the long run. Our relations, community and social ties provide us with a more lasting feeling of fulfilment than anything else. Stop working crazy hours in order to increase your pay check, as that will also compromise your free time. And memories are made of experiences, moments we share with our loved ones, which are the only meaningful things we are going to carry until the end of our days.

The time for change is now. Get involved. Get in touch with other people. Share. Try out new activities. Show your family what is really worth. Spend time with them, cherish your loved ones. Experiences strengthen one of the greatest contributors to real happiness: our social ties. And once you’ve done it, encourage and inspire those around you to do the same.

 

Happiness: How to be Happy

        I.            DIY: Do it yourself.

Instead of buying new stuff, you can think of ways to reuse and recycle things you already have. It is fun, the internet has tutorials that can help you, and, it is an activity that can bring people together. What are you waiting for? Drop your gadgets and grab a hammer. You might even discover a new hobby! You will surely have good memories.

     II.            Donate.

You don’t have to be rich in order to donate. We tend to accumulate lots of things we don’t really need, and that occupy space in our homes, our lives and our minds. Unfortunately, the world is in need and surely you can help. Grab a box and get rid of everything you haven’t touched for a while. You’ll help someone and feel better about yourself. And, if you have already done that, why not try and donate a little of your time? Making someone happier is the key to being happier yourself.

   III.            Travel.

Plan a way of stepping out of your comfort zone. Everyone needs a change of daily routine. In addition, people who travel together strengthen their bonds and gain knowledge of each other. And experimenting new things, like local food, clothes and gain new insight. It is good to have a break.

   IV.            Get Involved.

We are social beings, therefore we need to feel that we belong somewhere in order to be happy. However, the daily rush of major cities and the lack of time in one’s life are preventing us from getting to know each other. So, go do something about it. Maybe a garage sale. A collective baking. A garden. It doesn’t really matter, as long as you get in touch with the people around you. They will appreciate the effort.

      V.            Exercise.

It is not only a matter of being healthy, although that is a good justification. Exercise can make you feel happier. Endorphins are released all through your body, making you feel good. It is good for your body, mind and soul. You will feel energized, and your mood will be boosted. On top of that, exercising is a good way to meet new people or to share an activity with your loved ones. Why don’t you start running now and maybe next season you can run a marathon?

Mar

"Que meus pés sejam navios,
deslizando pelo horizonte sem fim...

Que minhas mãos sirvam de velas,
guiando-me pela imensidão azul,
céu e mar...

Mar, infinito a-mar,
que carrega pra longe meus anseios,
e me leva pra perto 
de quem quero estar."

C. B.

Amor

"Meu amor é muito simples: 
Amo-te pelo o que você é;
Não pelo o que você é pra mim."

"My love is very simple:
I love you for who you are;
Not for who you are to me."

C.B.

Malemolência

O corpo feminino merece reverência. Devoção. Paciência.
Dominar a arte de percorrer caminhos muitas vezes desconhecidos, buscando destinos sem saída e becos escuros.
É traçar uma rota com audácia e desbravar o oculto. Cada linha, cada suspiro, é personagem de uma estória que há muito foi esquecida, que precisamos desesperadamente relembrar. 
Arrepios ao pé do ouvido e a pele eriçada são provas do caminho certeiro. As curvas sinuosas dão enfoque à nuances que só uma mulher possui em absoluto: a complexidade multicolorida de ser e sentir plenamente, sem que suas lágrimas fossem previamente mascaradas.
Puro. Doce. Pleno.
O aroma e o olhar de uma mulher devem ser sempre recordados com ânsia, desejo e saudade.
Ânsia para novamente senti-la.
Desejo por simplesmente prová-la.
E saudade, pois ao dormir e acordar, esse ser tão místico e envolto em mistério pode vir a se tornar uma nova mulher.

C.B.

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O Avesso de Mim

Desde muito cedo, nos é dado uma capa pra vestir. Essa capa se chama imagem, e vamos aprendendo a usá-la durante toda a vida. Muitos investem na sua imagem, deixando-a atraente, misteriosa, tentadora, ou interessante. Outros não ligam tanto, e por isso aparentam certo desleixo. Seja como for, no decorrer da vida vamos construindo essa imagem. Alguns traços nem nos pertencem mais, mas pela imagem que nos foi atribuída, continuam a fazer parte do nosso caminho, se arrastando como caudas, esgueirando-se atrás do nosso passo.

Essa imagem nos cobre há tanto tempo, que frequentemente começamos a acreditar que ela faz parte do nosso ser. É fácil se perder na seda multifacetada que nos veste, que nos desliza a alma. Muito mais fácil corresponder às expectativas do que reinventar essa imagem. E quando a imagem é boa? Tudo que sempre quisemos ser? Aí é mais gostoso ainda deixar que aquela armadura reluzente nos defina, nos preceda e nos mantenha erguidos perante toda a sociedade.

O que descobri, no entanto, não foi prazeroso. Descobri que não sou a pessoa que minha imagem aparenta ser. E acredite quando digo uma coisa: eu queria ser. Porque por mais que a imagem contenha defeitos, ela também consegue projetar exatamente a pessoa que sempre quisemos aparentar ser. Tudo que você admira na vida e quer, inconscientemente vai para um local do cérebro onde aquilo é processado, e projetado em você ao longo dos anos. Você se torna quase tudo aquilo que você deseja ser: exceto que você não é.

Parece uma coisa boba, mas quantos já pararam pra pensar no que realmente eles seriam se nunca tivesse havido nenhum tipo de pressão social? Se se vestiriam da mesma forma, se teriam o mesmo cabelo, se namorariam as mesmas pessoas e se teriam o mesmo emprego. Fomos direcionados desde muito cedo, e no caminho do que é ser bem sucedido, não tivemos tantas escolhas assim. Podemos nos rebelar, ir contra o sistema, e dizer que nada daquilo importa. Mas no fundo, ninguém quer ser visto como alguém que não deu certo.

Fiquei triste quando descobri que apesar de que minha imagem corresponde às expectativas que tinha de mim há uns anos atrás, parte daquilo não era verdade. Consegui sim, respeito, admiração. Não vou dizer que não tenho mérito algum, porém percebo que poucos me conhecem a fundo. Ora, se até um dia desses, eu mesma não era ciente?

Nós somos como um cristal, com vários ângulos, vértices, lados. Cada um recebe a projeção de uma das facetas, porém nunca do todo. Eu sempre soube disso, mas achava que de dentro, eu via o todo. Todos os lados. Não imaginava que, apesar de ter uma visão panorâmica das coisas, eu nunca poderia estar do lado de fora.

Descobrir que não sou aquilo que pensava ajudou a desconstruir minha imagem. Não toda, pois tudo é um processo. Mas um tanto quanto estilhaçar um espelho, e descobrir que aqueles pedaços jamais vão se encaixar novamente da mesma forma.

É um ato de entrar em guerra e paz consigo mesmo. Entendi que não sou tudo aquilo que queria ser, mas que isso terá de bastar. Percebi que meus defeitos podem ser maiores do que eu deixo as pessoas verem, e ainda sim terei que conviver com eles. Até interiorizei o fato de estar buscando a felicidade nos lugares errados, mais naquilo que esperam de mim - de acordo com a minha imagem - do que naquilo que eu sinto de fato.

Que sensação esquisita. Libertador e aterrorizante. Porque sei que quanto mais verdadeira eu me tornar, mas em paz estarei comigo mesma. E mais perto da real felicidade. Porém, isso nunca vai ser fácil. Porque ao invés de alimentar uma imagem, eu terei que deixar ela minguar, pouco a pouco, suspiro por suspiro até que sua existência não passe a ser mais do que uma miragem.

Os outros, dirão que sou louca. Louca porque isso também faz parte da minha imagem. Dificilmente inventarão novos adjetivos assim de prontidão. Vamos seguir com o roteiro, é sempre mais seguro. Alguns poderão enxergar além dos meus propósitos, talvez até me admirar por isso. Haverão aqueles que condenarão: já que a imagem faz parte das boas convenções sociais, e não há vantagem alguma em se mostrar assim nua para o mundo. Alguns próximos, levarão um susto: então você é assim? Não sei. Só saberei quando terminar o serviço. Essa reforma íntima que vai me custar todos os pilares, muros, e alicerces que construí durante toda a minha vida.

E depois? Não tenho respostas concretas - visto que ainda não cheguei nesse patamar. Mas só posso adivinhar uma coisa: desconstruindo tudo o que há dentro de mim, imagino que poderei levitar. E que nada mais me segura.

C.B.

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