Collective living and researching with LU'UM. HOTEL SALUT, at Club Solo Breda, July 2021.
Updated: Sep 11, 2022
In the summer of 2021 I crossed paths with the open collective LU'UM and their practice. I joined them for a few days and nights in their project HOTEL SALUT in Breda. This experience introduced me to concepts of urban and social design, researching spaces, collectivity, encounters. I love to share more about the project and a small reflection I wrote for their publication.
For more information and impressions of the week and their practice, check this video!
LU’UM is an open collective based in Hamburg that designs, builds, researches and curates spaces of encounter. Over the past three years LU’UM has constructed temporary architecture, curated a public program in a former car repair shop and designed concepts for collaborative city making.
With HOTEL SALUT the collective is bringing its practice inside the Hotel Solo program. By literally approaching the space of Club Solo as a hotel, they will be living and working on site. By opening up the exhibition space from its arrival in Breda, both the building up and the dismantling as well as the daily activities will be publicly accessible. What happens if we open-up the one-sided relationship central to our common understanding of hospitality? Is there still a difference between working and living? Between the hosts and the guests? Between ‘solo’ and ‘collective’? By sharing hospitality and responsibilities LU’UM welcomes every visitor not only as a guest, but also as a participant. Therefore everyone potentially becomes part of a collective movement.
LU’UM intends to question the way we perceive, form and use our surrounding space. Inspired by French author Georges Perec, the collective aims to experiment how wording and our subsequent actions influence our perception of spaces and the way we act in them. What does an assigned function mean to a space? How do we perceive spaces when we start calling them by our (inter)actions? What if we call the hallway ‘the first sight room’, or if we call the kitchen ‘the passionate discussion room’? In Club Solo, a mobile architectural infrastructure and temporary actions will be implemented to create, define and dismantle the various purposes within the transfunctional main space. Spaces are constantly evolving by being redefined, combined or reseted as part of an indefinite playground. Let’s get together!
The full publication is available through the collective. I wrote about my experiences:
About 'the common playground'
For me the minimum felt the most powerful. Noticing how just being there, sharing the space with our bodies, energies, feelings and impulses could give rise to anything unexpected but welcome, recreating and redifining the space every moment. About playing space Starting from the idea of a specific encounter that would happen in a chosen space, we constructed values that are needed to give the space it's particular function. It was interesting to explore whether these values are general values or individual values and how these affect the space. It felt liberating and refreshing to let go of familiar structures and imagine that everything can happen in any space, as long as you are open to see what the space gives you and by deliberately attributing certain values to it. It feels like this practice brings you closer to a more pure, deeper felt understanding of basic values like for example safety and connection and in that way to more real and meaningful encounters. The experience of 'playing space' still resonates in me as a reminder to approach situations in life with openness and playfulness to be able to sincerely connect and create, work or live with what is brought to that situation by the space and every individual.
With every individual that entered or left Hotel Salut, the space was experienced differently. Through the open attitude of the collective, the design of the space, the guests and the collective activities, it was really clear that this shared experience of space is the practice of LU'UM. With this understanding and of course the warm atmosphere, I felt very welcome to be involved, being myself with my individual contributions. I noticed that I approached other visitors with this openness too, curious about how their attandence would change our experience of the space and time together. Having trust in the idea that every encounter and every contribution enriches the collective in a way, it feels really good to appreciate other individuals for the minimum of being involved, without judgement or ideas contstructed by a broader context.