The Tree Hotel, an illusory and breathtaking example of what the human mind can bring to life.
“A place where nature, ecological values, comfort and modern design are combined for an exciting adventure” as its inventors state. A hotel with a total of 6 rooms, though designed by some of Scandinavia’s most leading architects, located in the heart of nature, in the village Harads, about 100 kilometres from Lulea airport. Its sophisticated contemporary made tree rooms, hanging from tree tops, promise to guests an unforgettable unique housing experience, “a way of letting daily stress melt away and escape from time constrains while enjoying the serenity, and rejuvenate in a sophisticated yet familiar environment”.
Imagine yourself living inside a bird’s nest, though build with high standards, and waking up surrounded by unspoiled nature! Now imagine that you disappear inside a camouflaged mirror cube that reflects the magical northern lights that fill the dark Swedish sky during wintertime…What an unconventional reality!
This momentous design concept is all about an imagination that sounds impossible, yet real. This ultimate experience of “breathing” nature and becoming a part of it while feeling the same comfort of your warm sofa is all about an idea that passed from abstract thoughts to paper. It is all about an individual’s dreams that turned into materiality. It is all about creativity, the genealogy of ideas…Or not?
Is it actually a new-born idea or a continuation of someone else’s original thoughts? As its founders state the idea of the ‘Tree Hotel’ was inspired by the film ”The Tree Lover” by Jonas Selberg Augustsen; a tale of three men from the city who want to go back to their roots by building a tree house together. This made me sceptical and boosted thoughts around a matter that concerned me the last period of my student life when exploring in more and more depth the field of design; that is “parthenogenesis” in design. The term has its roots to the Greek words “genesis”, which means birth, and “partheno”, which means something pure, authentic and virgin. How that relates with design you wonder? Well, that is because design is all about the generation of new, creative and innovative ideas but in which extent that is true? Is it evident that designers’ ideas are unique original results of their creative thoughts and skills and are not based on previous work of other creative minds?
Pablo Picasso once said “Good artists copy, great artists steal”. What he meant with this saying was the fact that some artists purely borrow the work of others and run away with it while great artists are the ones that take something of value, transform it in their own way and finally produce a piece of art that surpasses every expectation. They tend to ‘borrow’ with their own style, interpreting the ‘stolen’ work in their own way and producing something that is not just a duplicate of a previously existing element. In other words, Picasso openly stated that art is theft, denying the fact that parthenogenesis can actually exist within the artistic field.
However, is this always dreadful? And do people have to react and judge ‘borrowed’ ideas in such an outraged way? Composer Igor Stravinsky once responded to the critics accusing his ballet composition of copying the classics, with these exact words: “You ‘respect’, but I love.” Every artist, and therefore every designer, has the right to be influenced and get inspired by what has been done before his/her time. Especially in today’s technological era, it is almost impossible that we stay unaffected by the unlimited amount of creative ideas communicated through the media. As long as we respect the initial material and we try to advance it, we only boost creativity forward. The New York Times bestselling author, Austin Kleon, supports the positives of being a ‘creative kleptomaniac’ in his illustrated book ‘Steal like an artist’ that has been described as the manifesto of creativity in the digital age. So let’s follow his path, get inspired by the creativity of others, remix the existing ideas with our own imagination and enjoy what will finally be the creative outcome!