Atelje Galerija, 23.4.2014 - 18.5.2014
On 23 April 2014, Atelje Galerija launched an exhibition of design work entitled QAYAQ by architect Boštjan Debelak. A successful auction was held along with the exhibition. The exhibition will be held until 18 May 2014. Boštjan Debelak is an architect who considers designing small but highly valuable houses his principal activity, and as a fan of old techniques and of the “primitive archaic” methods, he prefers to spend his free time as a paddling wanderer. This led him some years ago to the decision to design and construct a wooden paddle according to the West Greenland method. It was made from a single piece of Canadian red cedar with a chisel and rasp. He is quite familiar with working with wood, so building the paddle did not pose any major problems. After months of studying several very old but still topical construction techniques and the use of Greenland kayaks (the “Qayaq” as a travel boat basically and historically originates from this old and extreme culture), he decided to build this much more complex Greenland “floating artefact”, which meant that his creative time was refocused on the nautical branch of architecture for a while. The boat was made without a blueprint, using Inuit manual techniques considered primitive by today’s standards, without any glue, nails or screws, only by connecting and tightening the construction’s wooden pieces with a rope and dry dowelling (hammering pegs). Altogether, only “a handful” of wooden slats of different sizes and different types of wood were necessary considering the further processing methods (tensioning, bending ...) and the expected static loads. The outer fabric – the membrane, stretched like a drum at the end, is hand-sewn at the top joint of the deck, not tailored. The design therefore follows the more than 1000-year-old tradition of boat building (West Greenland style) that is still used by the Inuit. Everything can easily be done without any electrical installations. The unique final shape is subject to the builder’s own wishes and goals.