This text addresses the concept of flow through its subject matter and also through its composition: it describes fluid architecture but also seeks to enact flow in passages of text that describe spatial experience as a continuous, fluent sequence. The analytical text that moves from one discussion of Western philosophies of flow, to a study of Oceanic spatial thought and practice, and finally to a close analysis of three built works by the author. The experiential text explores spatio-temporal shifts in the course of a single day in the house Tokatea. It is expressed in sense impression mode, a type of stream of consciousness writing, and seeks to evoke an experience of inhabitation and the temporal flow that is the living of the house:
Early morning, Tokatea, Coromandel Peninsula
• Morning mist hangs heavy on the sea different densities of fluid particles in suspension. The bulk of the headland to the east, with its sheltered bay, is shadowed, hazy. Liquid notes of tui sound, dampened by the weighty atmosphere. The sun, haloed, focuses as the mist burns off. Diurnal rhythms begin; runners’ footsteps echo from the road beneath; the powerful speedboat sounds in the tight bay below, tracking its way out slowly from its mooring, then tracing a flow line into the smooth surface of the open sea.
In the house, blinds roll up, louvre walls open, fresh morning air flooding in; sliding doors move, under pressure, in fluid channels; the recessed concrete bath fills with stored rainwater, bathroom misting as hot liquid air encounters cooler zones. The enclosing strand-board wall of the bed-bath zone folds as a large panel pivots, opening the channel to the main vessel; lines of movement generate around and along the central island kitchen as drawers slide open, plates and cutlery are laid on the island table, vessels of liquid pool and circle on the stove, and the kettle steams, releasing fluid particles into the morning-cool atmosphere. Sliding panels to the outdoor room are opened, forming space-in-between.
Flow in spaces. Architecture and Interior Design work together and give us a life worth experiencing. Movements of different courses in harmony, custom to our lifestyle. So the next time you ask, this is what my thesis is all about.