1

Rendgen, Sandra, and Julius Wiedemann, ed. Information Graphics. Köln: Taschen, 2012.

 

2

Wagensberg, Jorge. La rebelión de las formas. O cómo perseverar cuando la incertidumbre aprieta. (The Rebellion of Forms, or How to Persevere When Uncertainty Starts to Squeeze). Barcelona: Tusquets Editores, 2004.

Anarchic, Unsystematic Diary of a Lockdown

Photo: Camping out at home (19/04/2020). Vicente Iborra.

11/03/2020 At long last somebody explained it properly (and with a graph!): Flatten the curve.

I can’t remember any other situation when the sole subject of conversation was a graph. When will we hit the peak? Memories of old texts (Information Graphics)1 and of how Florence Nightingale’s “rose diagram” showed that most of the soldiers who died in the Crimean War died not from war wounds but from infections.

 

16/03/2020 State of Alarm. Alicante looks like some city in Central Europe. It’s 20:34, it’s dark, everything’s closed, the streets deserted … only public transport and police.

 

17/03/2020 Let’s find out if living in a single-family dwelling makes any sense! I’m a firm defender of urban density and city life. Very rarely have I missed having a private outdoor area. Why did I need one? I had access to plenty of public space, and could even share it with others. The problem arose when the virus snatched that away from us. Now – in the middle of a pandemic! – that little garden area around single-family dwellings is finally beginning to make sense. Isolated single-family dwelling = social distancing.

 

18/03/2020 I can’t find any toilet paper! This is my theory: its volume per sales unit is the highest in the supermarket. Again, memories of things I read years ago. The rebellion of forms.2

 

19/03/2020 Material texture = comfort, or how to turn a living room into a playing field. This hasn’t been a cold winter, so we didn’t get the rugs out. During lockdown, we put them down in the living room. Moving from a cold terrace floor to a soft, furry one was like having a flexible, adaptable tatami mat.

 

20/03/2020 Versatility axiom nº 1: it’s at the centre. When we refurbished the house we created a games area. In theory, that should now be the centre of the house, but it isn’t. Right in the middle it’s got a table football game, so only the perimeter can be used for anything else. As a result, the games zone is only used for playing table football. But in the living room we have 2 IKEA tables that can easily be taken away and stacked up, That leaves a big, versatile central area – which is also where the rugs are. That space has become our new games room, complete with mat for HITT (a week ago I didn’t even know what that meant), football pitch, communal bed for siestas…

 

22/03/2020 Long live double passageways! We’ve also created something that’s anathema to supporters of functional housing: a double passageway next to the kitchen where we have breakfast and dinner, similar to the passages that led to the courtyards in early 20th century housing blocks. Locked up indoors like we are now, being able to choose how to move around the house provides at least a suggestion of freedom. It also lets us create an internal training circuit: 120 laps = an uninterrupted 2,520 metres for running.

 

27/03/2020 Versatility axiom nº 2: our awareness of a room’s versatility is inversely proportional to the range of the house’s WiFi. Almost 2 weeks of lockdown and our internet consumption has skyrocketed. The gigas of mobile phone data have all been used up and the WiFi network signal isn’t very strong on the other side of the house. So now, most of the action takes place around the router. I become aware of this axiom when I’m playing virtual Trivia with work colleagues while my wife is doing Pilates with my in-laws from Plymouth, my eldest son is chatting to his mates on Teams and the 2 youngsters are playing football – all in the same room!

24/05/2020 First weekend in Alicante in Phase 1. The utopia has ended. After 3 weeks of unobstructed family cycling in the streets, we’re again fragile and vulnerable to passing cars and their speed.


Text translated by Andrew V. Taylor

Notas de página
1

Rendgen, Sandra, and Julius Wiedemann, ed. Information Graphics. Köln: Taschen, 2012.

 

2

Wagensberg, Jorge. La rebelión de las formas. O cómo perseverar cuando la incertidumbre aprieta. (The Rebellion of Forms, or How to Persevere When Uncertainty Starts to Squeeze). Barcelona: Tusquets Editores, 2004.

Autor:
Arquitecto, doctor, profesor en la Universidad de Alicante y ganador de 4 primeros premios en EUROPAN. Apasionado de la ciudad y los fenómenos urbanos, trabaja, investiga y reflexiona sobre un futuro sostenible desde el Mediterráneo.

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