The Arrival of the Pool, Madelon
Vriesendorp, 1974

Had Communism reached America while they were crossing the Atlantic? They wondered in horror. This was exactly what they had swum all this time to avoid, this crudeness, lack of individuality, which did not even disappear when all the businessmen stepped out of their Brooks Brothers suits. (pg. 308)

Through the by now well-rehearsed method of auto-propulsion, they could go anywhere in the world where there was water. It was only logical that they wanted to go to America, especially New York…The New Yorkers did not hesitate to criticize the design of the pool. They were all against Modernism now. (pg. 307, 310)

We didn’t do anything wrong, but somehow, we lost,
Maximiliano Morales, 2016

A study of global connections shows the grip of encounter: friction. A wheel turns because of its encounter with the surface of the road; spinning in the air it goes nowhere. Rubbing two sticks together produces heat and light; one stick alone is just a stick. As a metaphorical image, friction reminds us that heterogeneous and unequal encounters can lead to new arrangements of culture and power. (pg. 7)

The End of Berlin Wall, Smithsonianmag, 2015

The specificity of global connections is an ever present reminder that universal claims do not actually make everything everywhere the same… we must become embroiled in specific situations. And thus it is necessary to begin again, and again, in the middle of things. (pg. 1-2)

Most Rice Producing Countries, maps of world, 2013

After reading ‘Friction’, I acknowledge the importance of differences among every part of the world, and when these differences collide, it creates ‘friction’. The difference in culture, tradition, typography and geography cause one to be interested in each other. It is this interest among them that forms this ‘friction’, creating stronger global connection as time goes on. Within the text, the author had used the Kalimantan Rainforest as an example where sogo shosha, Japanese trading companies spread products from the rainforest. To turn against the export of profits to Japan, Indonesian businessmen begin to mimic the trading companies and started to adopt the trading model. From this example, we understand that global connection appears when one is benefitting from another. The flow in this text happens when two or more countries meet and gaining benefit from one another, and unintentionally these countries will be connected, forming global connections.

Hereby, we will be talking about the flow of a country, culture and tradition to another. The Story of the Pool is fictional, but it was meant to make us think deeper instead of just reading the story. After reading The Story of the Pool, the most significant thought I had was the ‘flow of time’ as I believe time plays a very important role in the story, how a style which was once followed by many changes as time flows.

When the group of swimmers arrived at New York, they were shocked by the uniformity exist in New York and their immediate reaction was to think that New York is the same as where they were from. Sometimes things might not be the same as one’s perception from the outside, but if we look deeper, it tells the same thing as ‘Friction’. The process of the swimmers swimming towards New York is a metaphor of flow, a flow of an architecture, a flow of style from one country to another.

January 14, 2019

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