Do you sometimes have the impression that you’re in a place that takes you to the most secret nooks of your imagination, creating new paths that lead you into the unknown? Images, sounds and fragrances bring back forgotten memories, delighting you in the world that becomes so intimately close and then after a while vanishes into mid air?
This was my experience whilst creating these series promoting the Datscha project. It’s a house on wheels built by Ania & Jakob, situated in a wild, scenic area near Graz, Austria.
I remember my first conversation with Ania about our cooperation. I was awe struck at the mere idea of a tiny house let alone the creativity and sense of style they both put in this project. I immediately knew there was a thread of understanding between us.
Together with models – Magda Szuflita and Petro Vedrynski, who have always been at the ready to visualise my so often bizarre ideas – we spent a few days delving in to the picturesque landscapes of Austria. We spent each day working hard from dawn to dusk. I don’t think I’ve ever been so satisfied with my work whilst creating it & not thinking about the end results being the reward at the end. I was more delighted with the team work and the bliss tranquility that the surroundings offered.
Here’s what Ania says about the project:
Ever since I remember I dreamed of a “little white house” somewhere in the mountains – a little hut to which I could go to for refuge, when all else fails and I could live in harmony with nature and wake up as the sun rises. As I have been moving so often – (I’ve been living in Kraków, Wrocław, Germany, Spain then I moved back to Poland and now finally in Austria) an immobile home just couldn’t work. That’s why my husband and I decided to build a mobile home that could travel with us. We’re also both fascinated by minimalism and we try sticking just to the most necessary of things. We even have a written list of kitchen utensils. Only if a certain object appears thrice on our list (meaning we wanted to use it three times) can we buy it. That’s the reason we still don’t have a mixer!
Having a tiny house forces us to limit ourselves just to the bare minimum because we basically don’t have the space for more. That’s what captivated us. It took us just over a year to build our house. At first, we built part of it remotely by travelling to Poland (where it was being built) at the weekends. We also received a lot of help from our parents without whom we wouldn’t have been able to do it at all.
Our main source of inspiration for Datscha was minimalism, unison with nature & individualism. I’d like to say ‘ecology’ but that wouldn’t be entirely true – more of a relationship between ecology and technology. We used insulation which isn’t ecological in production but doesn’t allow as much heat escaping whilst in use. We also have floor heating which is controlled by an app which also is exceptionally efficient and doesn’t create as many fumes as “ecological” wood burners.