SWINNEN, Peter (ed.); HIRSCH, Nikolaus (ed.)
A.J. Lode Janssens: 1.47 mbar
Experimenting with life. An empirical residence. Housing oneself temporarily. Work-in-progress. Nomadic too—especially that. Attempting to reconcile the symbiosis between form and content, image and story, doing and thinking. As such, it was truly a pedagogical experiment, first and foremost for ourselves. We had formulated the ambition that afterward—after ten years of experimenting— we would share our findings as a commons, not as dogma, but as an example of a possible future form of living. I wanted to experience that personally, at least once.
—A.J. Lode Janssens
Between 1973 and 1982 A.J. Lode Janssens – one of Belgium’s most radical architects and educators, the co-founder of experimental design studio Atelier Alpha with Willy Van der Meeren in the 1960s – lived with his family in a pneumatic dome they had built. An experiment with life itself, assisted by a gentle overpressure of 1.47 mbar. This book, released in conjunction with an exhibition at CIVA, Brussels, makes public this understudied Balloon project for the first time. Publishing previously undisclosed archival material, it critically reassesses Janssens’ uncompromising spatial practice. [publisher's note]
Contributions by Elke Couchez, Bart Decroos, Filip Dujardin, Mard Godts, Nikolaus Hirsch, Guiy Mouton, Herman Selleslags, Peter Swinnen, Pieter Uyttenhove.