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the 2 spirit project

THE CONCEPT 

Following the Pierre Frey's “GRAND CANYON” collection: “The discovery of a New World, where Native Americans live in harmony with their environment and carry on a never-ending dialog with the spirit world. The Grand Canyon collection evokes this culture with enthusiasm and freshness of a tireless curiosity seeker.” 

“The New World.” This romanticized term inspired legions of Europeans to race to the place were Native Americans live in search of freedom from oppressive regimes or treasures that would be claimed in the name of some European nation. 

 

THE “TWO SPIRIT” PROJECT 

The tale of a tribe; A gift from the Creator, born with the spirits of both genders in one body. 

Traditionally, Two Spirit people were considered lucky and fearless. They held positions within their tribes that gave them great respect, such as Medicine Men-Women, shamans, visionaries, mystics, conjurers, keepers of the tribe’s oral traditions, nurses during war expeditions, cooks, matchmakers and marriage counselors, jewelry-feather regalia makers, potters, weavers, singers and artists as well as adopting orphaned children and tending the elderly. 

Europeans who arrived in the Native American Garden of Eden in the mid of 15th century witnessed for the first time a land so uncorrupt- ed. In keeping with European prejudices held against Natives, the Spanish Catholic monks destroyed most of the Aztec codices to eradicate traditional Native beliefs and history. The first tradition they targeted to eliminate was the one of the Two Spirit people, since their kind of gender variance was not tolerated. Europeans and eventually Euro-Americans demanded all people to conform to their pre- scribed two gender roles. 

A' DESIGN AWARD

Category: Hospitality, Recreation, Travel & Tourism as a lounge themed area.

Ioannis Solomozis x Natalia Syrimis

for

La Maison Pierre Frey

THE PATTERN 

The native people of America were the masters of camouflage, as they were its true inventors. This skill gave them the tremendous advantage, regardless of the inferiority of their weapons. 

When Europeans came to the New World, their idea of camouflage was one of single color, usually green or dark brown. Many early settlers were taken hostage or killed because they never saw their captors until they were in front of them. They were also impressed with how close native people could get to their prey in order to kill or manipulate them. 

They would even change the colors of their camouflage in order to match the colors of nature. 

THE CURTAIN

THE DESIGN. 

The spirit of unity, symbolizing the opposition; 

One does not hold any important meaning, so the first significant number for American Indians is two. It symbolizes the opposition, but at the same time duality and unity which maintain the balance and harmony: god and evil, day and night, male and female. Therefore, the curtain contains a zip in the middle, to be able to divide the single piece into two individual, smaller ones. 

THE SOFA

The spirit of togetherness. A circular structure intended to unify a community just like Native Americans’ every- day life was playing out around the fire. 

 

THE INSPIRATION. 

It was 1868, and what he had been asked was to photograph the peace talks at Fort Laramie, Wyoming, between a federally-appointed commission and a conglomerate of chiefs from Plains Indian tribes. Never before, and never again, would so many tribal leaders gather in one place, nor would anyone else have the chance to document a way of life that was so rapidly disappearing. 

THE DESIGN. 

The design was inspired by the boxes used by the U.S. Army Commissioners in Council and the cloths used by Arapahos and Cheyenne to sit. Boxes and cushions were used together, becoming one when zipped. 

Composed by 7 rectangular elements. Where Seven represents the world order to the fullest: Mythology provides us with an integrated spatial picture of the world uniting numbers 3 & 4 which together form the symbolism of the number 7, especially deeply rooted in culture. The human body synthesizes the vertical and horizontal structures of the world, also modeling the sacredness of the number seven. For the Cherokee, seven is “the actual number of the tribal clans, the formulistic number of upper worlds or heavens, and the ceremonial number of paragraphs or repetitions in the principal formulas”. They even held a seven-day green corn ceremony. Seven is even the number of stars in the Pleiades. 

THE TENT

Tent _ Home. The most iconic image of Native American culture, showcasing a modern take of the teepee. 

Native American symbols are geometric portrayals, celestial bodies, natural phenomena and animal designs. The basis of many symbols, patterns and designs. The simple shape of the square sign was easy to depict on any raw materials such as rock, stone, wood, shell and animal hides. Its square base symbolizes an enclosed, safe space; permanence and security. The triangular shape represents the home of the family. Easy to build, portable, suitable for their nomadic way of living. 

THE CLUTCH

Clutch _ Medicine Bag. Carried by the Native American men to maintain personal harmony - with the physical, spiritual and supernatural. It usually contains herbs and articles as well as vision quest, stones, bones, hair or fur. Each of the items has a special significance in the life of the owner of the bag. Traditionally, medicine bags are worn under the clothing, to protect their valuables. The Clutches, in a group of three, representing the vertical picture of the world.

THE BENCHES & PANELS

The four corners of the world

Aligned in parity creating a balanced harmony. 

In two pairs, forming the most important number: four. The symbol of the horizontal picture of the world, which is most clearly represented among North American Indians. Therefore, the horizontal picture of the world looks exactly like a crossroads of four corners of the world. Four also numbers the worlds – three previous ones and the present one, where we live. Four plays an important role in traditional American Indian architecture.

THE CREDITS

Project name: The "Two Spirit" Project

Completed: November 2018

Original graphic design: GRAND CANYON - La Maison Pierre Frey

Graphic and Industrial Design: Ioannis Solomozis - Natalia Syrimis

Concept: Ioannis Solomozis - Natalia Syrimis

Production SØLØ Athens

Photographer: Vasilis Lagios _ www.vasilislagios.com

First Public Display: 100% Hotel Show, November 2018, Athens

Architecture Space: Antigoni Economidou