During my architecture studies like other students I had developed a visual appetite for buildings through books. Books through its images, descriptions and drawings almost became a tool for me to experience those spaces. It was mainly due to lack of experiencing those buildings in person. It gave me an option to visualize spaces in shades of abstractness.

As time grew the appetite also grew stronger. There came a point where just flicking through pages I tried to feel myself within the realm of spaces, almost like an architecture space travel (pretty cool ha!!). The quest to know spaces were not far fetch realism through the medium of books, the unknown had become the known. The medium was becoming more and more visual and what you need to do is to place all together in your mind. It was like from a movie scene of Inception, dream within a dream. The totality of architecture had become surreal with first additions of new computer aided world. It was unreal during those times as you were at the threshold of the unknown (the promising computer reality) and the known.

On one hand I was hardly grasping the reality of spaces and on other hand to create a space in non-reality was making the divide much stronger. In the midst of the new technological revolution for architecture I knew I was naïve in my experience and I lacked something in understanding fundamental of space making- that was experiencing those places personally.

During that time I came across a book called “Invisible Cities” by Italo Calvino and few writings by Louis Kahn. It came as an eye opener for me. I was completely taken back by Calvino’s imagination and intrinsic details of the unknown 55 cities. Funny enough the writings were remarkably about a space and place which you can feel,but in your mind you know it does not exist and it redefines the limitations of imagination. I was also taken back by idea of theorizing a “brick” by Louis Kahn and converting a third person material dialogue into second person reality.

The quest began to find those “Invisible Cities” by visiting them and documenting it. Now every dripping tap had became an imaginative city of taps in a city made of glass buildings for me. The idea was to go for a search from everyday mundane things to most amazing towns in Italy to find those invisible elements, spaces, buildings and cities.

These views are dedicated to my travel book in search of the invisible.

– Hardik

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