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In 2016 we had worked together on Cita a Ciegas: Casa de Muñecas Saudita (Blind Dates: a Saudi Arabian Doll’s House), a project about domestic spaces.

 

The Endless Doll House Project

Instagram @endlessdollhouseproject

20 days in lockdown. Teleworking and health precautions under way. Fear of the horrors of the pandemic in our minds. Remote contact established with family, friends and colleagues… And that’s where the three of us – Gonzalo Lozano, Mara Sánchez Llorens and myself – again came together, reunited in a need to express our concerns about the limited interior space we were moving in.

The domestic environment suddenly took on primordial importance. During this period of confinement, many of the social functions that in February we were performing outside our homes have been done inside, mainly via the screens of our electronic devices. If the rooms of our homes have served as our classrooms, offices, theatres and gyms, our mobile phones, tablets and computers have been our blackboards, meeting venues, stalls and shops. Household space was invaded by everything imaginable. Some of those functions have now moved away from home again, others are here to stay for the time being, or the conditions that have to be met to do them outside home make them simply undesirable.

Having worked for so long with dolls’ houses,1 we were convinced that this traditional toy offers an entertaining way to explore issues that are otherwise tedious to deal with. In fact, in other periods, they’ve been used to solve crimes, to confirm cases of abuse and disorders, to indoctrinate, but also as a voyeuristic game, a form of recreational playacting. A doll’s house is an object that makes it possible to imagine other realities and escape from one’s own.

That’s how we started the Endless Doll House Project,2 an Instagram account in which each image is a room ready to be visited and played with. Three images together, interrelated either compositionally or thematically, constitute a floor of the house. And as the number of floors increases, the house grows and grows, endlessly.

We ask, and keep asking, participants to share a vision of their home situation; a drawing, collage, model or video that reflects their own domestic experience of events, of the present and the immediate future, how they perceive, overcome, detest or imagine lockdown and the new normal.

Displaying these visual compositions generates a virtual, global, endless doll’s house, a house which already has twenty floors with contributions from over sixty participants. We continue to tell people about the project and are constantly receiving new proposals, many of them from countries that are now experiencing what happened in Europe just six weeks ago.

It’s still too soon for an in-depth analysis, but certain themes are recurrent: the crucial role of windows and screens as devices that have kept us in contact with the outside world, albeit with connotations that are not always positive; the image of the bubble, inside the room or seen as a giant PPE item that oppresses as much as it protects; the game of adding more rooms and more floors; the possibility of change; yearning for plants, flowers and paths to walk or run along.


Text translated by Andrew V. Taylor
Notas de página
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In 2016 we had worked together on Cita a Ciegas: Casa de Muñecas Saudita (Blind Dates: a Saudi Arabian Doll’s House), a project about domestic spaces.

 

Autora:
Fermina Garrido López es doctora arquitecta por la UPM, docente en el área de proyectos de la URJC e investigadora. Trabaja en su propio estudio y su actividad profesional está ligada al diseño en madera y al desarrollo de proyectos en relación al paisaje. El proyecto La batalla de los libros explora la importancia de los volúmenes impresos como manera de construir arquitectura.

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