AAA Afgang: “A Travel Wagon – Rethinking a Typology in Denmark”

af Mads-Ulrik Husum, Studio DemokraCity

For my thesis project I wished to challenge the caravan as a typology from a national point of interest – which is why the title of the project is ” A travel wagon – rethinking a typology in Denmark

The project ended in a 1:1 prototype of a chosen concept functioning as a first iteration and is a result of working with the 5 following themes presented in chronological order: Research; Experimentation; Creation; Concretization; Realization.

The following is a brief description of the history, status quo, my intentions and the reasons for and possibilities of this particular area of interest from a personal and societal point of view.

“Modern technology shows an ever-growing commodification. Technology promises disburdenment and enrichment. New products are being developed continuously with their major aim to deliver more commodities easily, quickly, ubiquitously and safely. (…) They do not ask for engagement, but consumption, It is problematic if all things that ask for engagement would be replaced. It would reduce our existence to the immediate consumption of what is delivered to us whenever we wish, without engagement with the world being required of us.”– Albert Borgmann

The caravan as a typology is rooted in a culture which, throughout history, has been characterized by creativity and seeking freedom in natural environments. As the interest grows, the culture changes character; the typology changes hands from eager enthusiasts towards an industry that pulls it in a direction favoring capitalization, revenue and competitiveness over aesthetic and ideological principles – an industry that makes use of strategic craftiness to maintain the caravanner in the illusion that caravanning is synonymous with having the entire household hitched to the back of the car. The typology has an inherent potential that reaches beyond regular holidaying, but doesn’t come into its own, because the sort of people who could assist in pushing the boundaries and understanding of the typology and the space it creates and operates in, are the very same people being discouraged by the conventional caravan.

Web 2.0 and wireless technologies provides us with tools for administration of our work life private life and leisure time in new ways, independent of the surroundings. Tools that allow us to become shape shifters – changing our character as we see fit. We can share and seek knowledge with each other when and where we want to, and in that sense we are facing an autonomy and freedom, that will affect our way of living and being together with each other.

“You can be in the middle of the desert and people will think you are in New York, so you become anonymous, and you don’t care anymore where you are. This liberty we have now in work and play will reflect also in the other parts of life, so eating, sleeping, entertaining, we would be more nomadic about that, not always sitting at the same table with the same partner.” – Lidewij Edelkoort

With this project I have focused on making room for a transparency that disposes the common value laden understanding of what a typical caravan is, represent and implies. A transparency that a given receiver can build upon and apply own inherent values to.This project is in its form not finite, but elaborates on elements that can be cross-combined, changed and developed infinitely. This project shows a direction without a pre-given result, and builds fundamentally on the assumption that freedom isn’t rooted in comfort and far-away destinations, but is stretched out over the space that people choose to create around them.

Mads-Ulrik Husum Architect M.A.A.

One Comment on “AAA Afgang: “A Travel Wagon – Rethinking a Typology in Denmark””

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