mardi 21 septembre 2010

Architectural theory and implementations.

Not Paris, September, Saturday 18th 2o1o

All those who know what it feels like to build something, from crafted cardboard puppets or Swedish furniture to skyscrapers, are very well aware of the risks implied by neglecting one single piece, even unsignificant, either by choosing the wrong material, or putting it upside down, or bolting the lot up together too tightly or not tightly enough. The consequences are not too dramatic when it stays in the domestic circle: you might end up with a two left-legged paper pink gorilla, or a pile of broken plates but your household will recover from the tragedies, eventually. But when you're trying to build something bigger, something you wish to show to others and / or want them to use, it's a whole different issue and you just can't allow yourself to do stupid things.

Especially when you're building a Bridge, because the problem becomes multiple, accordingly to the very nature of such a construction.

Bridges are not objects made only to distract the builder and its surrounding public (like a paper gorilla), nor ones made to 'contain' other objects, as a cupboard would contain marmelade jars or a bed would hold people in its warm and still depths.


Bridges have a point of origin and a destination, they are entrusted with the mission to become a path, and the clearer the better if the builders intend to make a nice and strong one, from right there to over here, without a profusion of unrequired silly elbows, spirals, dead ends and roundabouts.

Please then tell me what a bridge between Paris and New-York City would have looked like if Paris had suddenly swollen like a balloon, streched much further Northwards and reached Lille where i was spending the week-end? As far as i'm aware (and as The Bridge's first-assistant junior engineer, i'm aware of a lot of things, thank you very much!), it's not a delta that we are building, nor some kind of sorting-slide meant to scatter bits of NYc all over the North-half of France!

This is precisely why i think it would be absolutely unnecessary (and perhaps even wrong) to tell you anything about my very nice week-end with Elodie in Lille. I will therefore not mention the dim-lit Italian restaurant from which i sent my text message to Fernando to tell him that 'now was the time', just after a sip of Martini Bianco, nor the cosy Leaking-Cauldron-like little bar in which we took refuge to warm up around a cup of hot chocolate. Had i been in Paris, i would have described in details the old creaking wooden stairs, the highly coloured paintings hanging on the walls and the thickness of the whipped cream on top of the beverage, but no.

What, again, would be the use to describe the paradoxical warmth of this evening stroll in the old and chilly paved streets, looking so much like London, the magic of the narrow alleys surrounding an austere church, the rumour and glitter of a distant fair?

And it would not be necessary either for me to tell you that qualifying this evening as 'nice' was a lie, far below reality.

There would be no point in all this, really, because i was not in Paris.

On Saturday 18th, i did not add any brick to The Bridge, but chose to refill my muscles with energy while emptying my head from all sorts ofparisian pollutions, so that the next bricks would not be laid upside-down by an exhausted and strained builder.

So... see you next week, in Paris, Fernando.

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