Architect: Conradin Clavuot

Nationality: Austria

Job: Architect

1. Could you please shortly describe where you live?

I live in a small country, of 35,000 inhabitants, close to the station, in a house a hundred years old. My full kids are out, the youngest one is 23 years old, the three of them are in Zurich, one is in Chur. I work in a studio that is 5 minutes walking from my home.

2. Do you feel at home there?

Each night, each evening, it’s perfect. I don’t know why, I just feel like.. Whoa!, this place is so good, this place is so good!.. because we have some chicken in the garden.

3. What do you think is important for people to be able to identify with their region?

I think, first of all, there should be a region, and if it has destroyed sites, like after war or something like that, it’s hard to identify yourselves. It should have anything with cultural basics, like maybe, I repeat, religion, buildings, whatever. Then, you can identify also when you see what your grandpas have done. So, that you have a relation to ancient times.

4. Is the local architecture of your region changing because of visitors?

Yes, it is. Because our region is based on tourism, and farmers are disappearing one by one, and the higher mountain parts’ grass are not being cut off anymore, the animals are not going that high anymore, and there are fewer animals and fewer animals..more tourists and more tourism and ski resorts these days grow again. So, with these resorts, the architecture is changing with hotels, with a cheaper apartment, cheap housing, and the bigger problems are the fees for the mortgages. If you get money from the bank, you pay only 1%, and this makes everybody doing buildings because it is cheap. And there are buildings everywhere and even though Swiss government and Swiss voters stopped it a bit, it is much… too much. So, it is changing our environment already, what I presented you here is only too tiny things in a landscape of disasters.

St. Moritz, if you see it once, it’s crazy.

5. What are the most common reasons for you to travel?

Traveling in the close surroundings means having a break in the work, but maybe not for the break, but being able to reflect it better. Because walking means, after one or two hours, that the first two hours you walk, but all the ideas are crossing your brain that you can not work, but after two hours you get quite, and then its perfect its like kind of concentration.

The far travelling, maybe I do too many of course, but I go to see differences, to combine, and to see what are the real basics that I will work here; so that I am not just overwhelmed by all these T.V. stuff and plastic and all the things to say. If you do things here, it need to be something for your soul, for the mind, for the brain, but also against like all these nature things like

6. How do you choose your travel destination?

That’s pretty easy, I go to these websites that are more into rural, undo I like cities a lot, but Ladakh, Peru, South China,  Indonesia.. the places where I’ve been usually 75% of the time, I spent out of the city. Walking and meeting people and looking at how they survive and what they do.

I wanted to go to Ladakh already from a long time, but knowing that tourism is growing growing growing; especially in summer time. Then I just said that I would not like to go there anymore. But then, we had the chance with Hanser Cuader, he started a project and raised money, and he with his company supported some NGO.

7. Do you prepare yourself for the journey? Through which media are your expectations formed?

Sure! Usually either by friends or but the web. But with friends is always much better. I had 3 Japanese students, and we went to Japan. One of them came with us …that’s the best you can have ever. For Ladakh, I didn’t know anybody, but one student actually came with us, who was studying here, he lives not that far from Ladakh.

I will never go to a journey with a group of people… never, never never, because when they say all of what you have to do, you loose all your reflections that you could do if you change your program. Like in Ladakh in India, we changed it completely each day. We were saying: No, it’s not working, so, what should we do?!

I see…the school in the Academia in Angelina, they are going next march to Ladakh, and they needed to organize the trip through a company, that is such a bullshit. Because when they talked about insurances and about flights which are not fly and all these things????

8. What do you search for when you visit a new place?

Mainly buildings and secondly nature, landscapes, and the relation between them.

9. Where do you stay when you travel?

Family hostels or home spaces. Not at hotels, because they are all used to be the same.