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Defining space through Parawaning


AUTHORS: Ewelina Wiciak, Barbara Romańska
PLACE: Gdynia, Poland
YEAR: 2018
STATUS: 2018
INSTAGRAM [1]: @ewewiciak


“Parawaning” i.e., using beach windbreakers to shut oneselves off from other holidaymakers on the Baltic Sea has been developing intensively in recent years. As architects, we should observe this process.

We are wondering what the next stage could be. Is this phenomenon positive or negative? Should we intervene, or perhaps watch carefully?

It is neither a utopia nor a dystopia. The French philosopher Michael Foucault called such atypical spaces as heterotopic.

Heterotopy of time Every year during the summer, the empty beach is filled up with colourful windbreakers. Then, every day, people create temporary structures anew.

Heterotopy of place In an open space of the beach, within the framework of windbreakers, we set our own world. We match together inconsistent spaces in one place.

Availability The structure is simultaneously open and closed. It isolates one man from another, but also force to interact at the same time.

Function change One can easily imagine how to change the function of windbreakers on the beach. Without ceasing to exist, they can function in a completely different way. We can use them, for example, as a spacious board for games or as an art gallery.


How about the “parawaning” in its pure form? What is the next stage of shutting off? Total. Uncompromising. Consistent.

The uncompromising structure and the transformable material, combined with the human factor, have the potential to create something unique. Once construction is complete, as architects, we lose control on the project. Now the sunbathers are entering into the game. They take over the role of the designers.

Our experiment is in progress. People adapt to the situation. Or maybe as time goes by, this ordinary game awake hidden creativity in them? Seeing that we are a part of the whole, working together we could even create a piece of art.


Since 2013 they have been collaborating and taking part in many national and international competitions in the field of architecture, city planning, graphics design and music.

Ewelina Wiciak is a Polish architect. She is studying Architecture in Wrocław Uniwersity of Science and Technology. In 2015 she took part in international students exchange Reseau des ecoles d’architecture francaises d’Europe centrale et orientale (REA) in Bratislava. Currently working in Paris at Dominique Perrault Architecture studio.

Barbara Romańska is a Polish architect, studying Architecture in Wrocław Uniwersity of Science and Technology. Recently she has been working on her master’s diploma.


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