«Cocoon» is a project consisting of two closely connected installations, one placed in the woods near Pula, Croatia, the other one in our home university in Zurich. Cocoons form private spaces with the possibility for a transformation to take place.
The first two weeks of our second year we spent in Stinjan, a seaside town close to Pula, Croatia. There we visited military fortifications and former exclusion zones, finding the abandoned buildings in different conditions of decay. Nature takes back what already belongs to her and provides a basis for temporary reuse and the construction of temporary spaces, viable with existing materials on site. We were focusing to fit into the space that is provided to us, trying not to alter it through our intervention and concentrate on the interworking with the materials and the environment.
A shellproof enclosure in one of the fortifications inspired our installation. The casemate is an isolated place with openings solely created to shoot enemies. After getting used to the darkness, the isolation is accompanied by a feeling of protection.
Our aim was to abolish the feeling of exposure in nature by creating a space of security. Being in a tiny space like a cocoon and watching the surrounding without being watched yourself, is often accompanied by the notion of security. Our cocoon is constructed out of mesh wire and covered in coconut fibre to fit into the surrounding, imitating the look of the pine needles on the ground.
Our university building in Zurich is immediately taking away the feeling of exposure we felt in nature, but is instead replaced by a different sensation of being watched. The classrooms have wall-sized glass windows, opening up to the clean-white corridors filled with crowds of people. And although the building is huge, it feels like there is nowhere to hide. As contrasting the natural environment of Pula is to the urban and artificial atmosphere in Zurich, as are the building materials we chose. The sibling cocoon in Switzerland is made out of plastic and is constantly being filled with air by several ventilators. It is not completely opaque, but it softens the curious glances of roaming strangers, giving the visitor some private space inside.