Hotel Transit

Hotel Transit

Eleni Bismpiki

‘We are all habituated to the no man’s land’ – Caroline Evans, Hussein Chalayan: No Man’s Land

The hotel transit is the idea, abstract concept that translates the nomadic way of living for the people of crisis into the three essential components that constitute the ‘hotel experience’. It’s about a non place, an abstraction that exists only in representation, expands and unfolds itself since it inhabits the no man’s land. The no man’s land is the expansive spatial field, an abstract undefined static system that consists of a series of undefined number of parallel surfaces, analogous to the different states of control and detention that people of crisis are passing through. The concept focuses on the mass mobilisation of the contemporary humanity, the ‘habitable human traffic’ (Virilio, 2010) and the politics of dislocation and homelessness.



Following the parasitism theory, the ‘hotel transit’ is the parasitic system that  exploits resources from the host, the no man’s land, and is metabolically dependent on it.  Through this non-mutual symbiotic relationship, the existing spatial field is altered but not destroyed. The three components that constitute the ‘hotel experience’ gain their ephemeral essence and meaning by their inhabitants. The room, that is the nomad’s shelter, is the ephemeral territory that is created by disturbing, and eventually deconstructing the existing infrastructure. The acts of falling asleep and waking up are translated to ‘folding back to one’s inner self’ and ‘unfolding one’s self’ (Bollnow, 2011). These acts, being isolated or exposing one’s self, form and animate the space.




The route defines the passage from the de-territorialisation of the ephemeral shelter to the deterritorialisation of the next one. By these actions nomads leave their own traces, and tell their personal stories. The force of fleeing, the desire of moving alter the existing structure. ‘Whatever exists suffers an actual transformation because it becomes the subject of the most concentrated human effort’ (Wood, 1997:16). The recreational spaces promote interaction and coexistence with other individuals. They give temporally the existential meaning for Being, ‘being-in-the-world’, and they are created by chance, when individual nomads deterritorialise their own rooms, to expose themselves, or to move. These spaces exist only for the precise moment and gain their ephemeral meaning by the presence and occupation of more than one individual.







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