The best way to get a handle on how a person is situated in the world is actually to construct one, a handle expressly made for the purpose.
-Arakawa and Madeline Gins, “Architecture: Sites of Reversible Destiny“
Arakawa and Gins’ Elliptical Field, Site of Reversible Destiny-Yoro presents itself to the visitor as a carefully considered construction of undulating planes, shifting colors, and disorienting spaces, thus providing a place of purposeful experimentation.
Nine structures referred to as “Architectural Fragments” are set in the terrain of the Elliptical Field and are identified by names such as “Geographical Ghost” and “Exactitude Ridge”. The Critical Resemblances House is a large structure set apart from the Elliptical Field and comes with its own Directions for Use that are designed to maximize certain aspects of the visitor’s experience.
The conceptual underpinning of the project can be found in the 2005 essay “Architecture: Sites of Reversible Destiny,” in which Arakawa and Gins propose that “juggling, jumbling, and reshuffling the body with its fund of landing sites introduces a person to the process that constitutes being a person. To reverse destiny one must first re-enter destiny, re-positioning oneself within the destiny of being slated to live without ever knowing how and why.
The re-entering of destiny must be highly calculated. The world and everything in it will have to be transformed into a site of reversible destiny.”