When we founded the Institute for Linear Research, we realised that the task before us was so vast, its dimensions so large, and its implications so intricate, that it had to be thought of as a long-term collective endeavour that could last a lifetime, maybe more. The goal of the institute is to investigate a straight line: “The Line”. It is over 40,000 kilometres long, two-thirds of which are on water. It is defined, as all lines are, by two points, one of which is a remote mountain hotel that was the onset of our first walk in Liechtenstein in 2017. The other is a palazzo in Venice where we had our first exhibition at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2018. Everything else on The Line is an unintended coincidence.
The Line was conducted as a design studio and research project at the University of Liechtenstein. The premise of the project was to walk across the country, from one border to the other following a straight line. The intention was to find new perspectives and readings of the landscapes we encountered and break with the conventional narratives about the country.
Contemporary landscapes are the stage on which our societies unfold. They are a lever for change and as such demand a persistent engagement. Relying on outworn dichotomies such as “city and countryside”, “urban and rural”, “centre and periphery”, does not do justice to the rapid transformations in shape, meaning and inner workings of contemporary landscapes. The Line aims to create new narratives of our surroundings and unearth the potentials anchored in the physical environment.