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The Site of Reversible Destiny

08/18/14

The ‘90s: Best known for Nirvana, the Bill Clinton Oval Office scandal, and Hammertime harem pants (unisex, natch). But back in 1993, architects Arakawa Shusaka and Madeline Gins were working on a lesser known—but no less interesting—venture, the Site of Reversible Destiny in the Yoro Park of Japan’s Gifu Prefecture.  

A product of the Reversible Destiny Foundation, an artists-architects-poet group (likely the most eclectic triple-threat combo to have ever existed), the project endeavored to “extend the human lifespan” by creating spaces that challenge the way a viewer interacts with the world. The result is an absurdist, surrealist, non-traditional cluster of indoor and outdoor space. Walls stagger aimlessly and without purpose, mazes seem to direct you towards infinite nowhere, floors slope inexplicably. It’s certainly not the place you’d want to be during an earthquake—at least by the look of it—but that’s the point. The architects’ intention is that the viewer reshape their orientation to the outside world, and “instead of being fearful of losing balance, look forward to it.”

So what’s the secret to a long (and super weird) life? Don’t take stability for granted. Better yet, don’t seek it out to begin with. 

Photos courtesy of Holycross.edu.