Gonçalo M. Tavares 

“Where the sun enters, the doctor does not.”

Every project is a window, a link between two spaces and two times. On the inside, you are in the present looking out, at what is to come. Inside, out; present, future.

This division of time is particularly evident when, for example, you see an animal – a buffalo, say, to name a round animal – when we see a buffalo, a herd of buffalo, approaching our house, it becomes clear how the window provides a glimpse of the future, of what is coming. A buffalo is coming, a storm is coming, a friend is coming. A window is a thing that gives us access to what is coming.

It should be noted that we are always (mankind is always) on the inside, even when in the open air. The place where we stand is our reference – what is on the other side, or around us – is a kind of remainder.

There is, then, an ancient conflict, apparently asymmetrical and disproportionate: the home against the rest of the world; but not just any home – our home! As if the world had been split in two by some mathematician suffering from self-centred delusions. There are two parts of exactly equal importance: my tiny home, and the vast, endless world. The window is the frontier between these two psychologically equivalent spheres.

The window is also a large-scale optical instrument – an instrument comparable to the microscope or the telescope.

— Microscope,

— Telescope and

— Window.

The window is the most ancient instrument created to assist the human eye. The microscope assists the eye as it bends towards the minuscule, while the telescope assists the eye in that backward shift of the body which enables it to take in the grand spectacle of the universe. Then there is the ancient and modest window. The window, that most ancient of technologies, enables the eye to see the outside – that is all. Correction: it enables the eye to see the outside while feeling protected. Because if you are outside, you also see the outside – but with a feeling of discomfort, or perhaps even danger. The window is an optical instrument with a calming effect. It shows that you have (or occupy) an indoor space from which you can observe the vastness of the outside world.

In the end, the window is curiosity made glass. It is curiosity in concrete form.

I have here two completely different ways of exercising curiosity, someone might say of two different types of window. A window which opens outwards: explicit curiosity; a window which opens inwards: timid curiosity. And so on.

What is a window (summary)? It is a household appliance which enables us to see what is coming (one possible definition).

An appliance, yes – a kind of immobile machine; immobile, yes, but a machine nonetheless; square, rectangular (or round) – a seeing machine.

Windows, then, have this function too: framing the outside, transforming a shapeless landscape into a square, rectangular or round one.

Imposing geometry on asymmetrical nature. Cushioning surprises, in other words. This, among many others, is the task of the ancient window.