Author : Stefano Passeri

University : Southern California Institute of Architecture

Status : MArch, 2013

Advisor : Hernan Diaz Alonso

Title : Inside, Thing

“What if Inside was the Thing and Outside was the weirdo?”

Inside and Outside are inseparable, but they’re different worlds. Outside, everything is clear: comfortable distance, 45 degree daylight from top left, you know where you stand, you calculate and measure. Inside, however, these rules don’t apply: inside is blurred, suggestive, confusing, illogical – and we often avoid it for these reasons. If Inside were Outside, or even if inside were Outside-ish, it would all be so easy – there would be no contradiction at all. In fact, Inside is Inside and despite being Inside the Outside it is quite remarkably other. I hope this is clear. Another way to look at it is to say that we’re too accustomed to seeing the Inside from the Outside, in a way that makes the Outside more important and the Inside just a pretty strange thing. But what if for once we flipped the problem and looked at the Outside from the Inside? What if Inside was the Thing and Outside was the weirdo? In this case, I was saying – looking from inside-out rather than outside-in, we’d immediately lose our sense of direction because we’d lose the center. And why would we lose the center? We’d lose the center because we’d become the center: since we’d be it, there’s no chance we could see it – and this is just scary. We all love to stare at some center from a bit far away – and to keep it under control. It’s unsettling when the center is not in front of our eyes. Inaccessible center and flipped relationships is where this project starts – and where it ends. When you look at the Outside from the Inside and you become the center, you, as explained, become the Inaccessible Center, which is both you and where you look from the Inside to the Outside. In this sense, my friend, you are the center, but you are also unavailable to yourself as the center. Similarly, while you are aware of the center as you, you are unable to know that directly. When you are indirectly aware of yourself as you, as the Inaccessible Center, you are the Interior Object. And finally, when you are indirectly aware of yourself as you, as the Inaccessible Center, as the Interior Object, looking from the Inside to the Outside at yourself, you take the form of a torus. This is because the outside of the torus is blank, fat and mysterious and the interior is complex and different, with an inaccessible, empty surprise in the middle. You see what I mean? When you are a torus, you are an object inside itself looking from the inside-out at itself and for this reason there is no context around you, but only you behaving relentlessly introspectively. This means that there can no longer be dichotomies. Dichotomies are illusions given by the attitude of looking at something from the outside-in. Too much Outside. But when you manage to look from the inside-out, the Inside is the Outside as well as the Inside, while the Inside of its Inside is, of course, also Inside. And by now, I presume, you’ll have gathered that everything is Interior.