A group of architecture students from AA Visiting School Slovenia has conceived a “levitation-suit” that allows guests to experience 3D sleeping as if they were floating in zero gravity environment. This concept allows visitors to spend a night at the Cultural Centre of European Space Technologies (KSEVT) in rural Slovenia.
The Cultural Centre of European Space Technologies is a bold landmark in the tiny Slovenian village of Vitanje of 600 residents that has welcomed over 25,000 visitors in its first year of activity. KSEVT has a public significance and generates social, cultural, and scientific activities, with fixed and temporary exhibitions, conferences and club/study activities. There is an open need and an exposed potential of Vitanje to become a case study of developing an extreme set of bottom up strategies or prototypes to challenge the conventional notion of tourism. The natural condition of Slovenia as a fragile but diverse landscape and the local phenomenon of obsessive individualism provide principal conditions for nanotourism.
Nanotourism is a new constructed term, describing a creative critique to the current environmental, social and economic downsides of conventional tourism, as a participatory, localy oriented, bottom-up alternative. Nanotourism is beyond tourism, it is more an attitude to improve specific everyday environments and to open up new local economies.
Asked to come up with ideas to promote sustainable tourism at KSEVT, the team started by asking themselves the question: how can KSEVT accommodate sleepovers? The site-specific added value to the KSEVT exhibition is the experience of levitation in an environment of gravity. The team’s field of research was the transition from conventional 2D sleeping to the experience of 3D sleeping. The KSEVT hotel offers two experiences. The individual version enables the researcher to spend the night in KSEVT by sleeping in a uniquely engineered levitation-suit, suspended in the central space of KSEVT. With the collective experience, a group of people is able to experience 3D sleeping as an extended feature of the exhibition, where a set of pyramid shaped cushions support your entire body in a custom 3D position while asleep. The concept of the KSEVT hotel and 3D sleeping embodies the unique program of KSEVT – it fulfills the accommodation needs of the institution and furthermore upgrades an already unique visitor experience.
all images © AIDA SCHMIDT