Master´s Thesis 2021 Matter Space Structure

Klara Wahlstedt


We moved into the building a couple of days ago. Our apartment is on the third floor. From the kitchen window we can see into the building next-door. It’s hard to catch glimpses of its inhabitants, even if the facades aren’t covered with any material at all. We don’t want to spy on them or so, but we are curious. The apartment we moved from was surrounded by buildings for humans, so this is new to us. The best way would probably be to walk over and introduce ourselves, but we’re not sure about how things are done around here. 

Sometimes we see that other humans are visiting them, even if we are not sure about who “them” refer to yet. We see children, and sometimes even adults, climbing the structure of the facades to reach the lower branches of the trees. A middle-aged man who spreads out bread crumples on the floor around lunchtime every day, then just standing there waiting for someone. Some bushes limited our view, so we never got a chance to see who this someone is.

One morning we saw how the old lady from downstairs walked over, hugging one of the white barked trees. She was just standing there for a while, with her eyes closed. Her behaviour fascinated us, and we had to look up the tree on the internet. Now we know it’s called a birch. But we couldn’t find any information about old ladies sometimes hugging them. 

Some days later we ran into her in the elevator. We introduced ourselves, told her that we just had moved in upstairs, and that we were new to this city. We wouldn’t admit that we had been watching her from our window, but we tried to politely ask her about the neighbours in the next building. Say that we were curious, that where we came from, they didn’t have this kind of facilities, there were all empty plots sooner or later filled with buildings for humans. She answered that it used to be like that here as well, but that it had changed. That nowadays you can’t just build without considering the once already living there, you have to save some space for them. “Try to talk to the ones with roots,” she said before picking up her grocery bags to step out of the elevator. “They are easier to talk to – don’t run away when you approach them.”

The next day we prepared ourselves to walk over and say hi. We had bought some apples to bring as a gift, but we felt unsure if they would appreciate it. At first, we couldn’t find the entrance, so we walked past the structure a couple of times before we decided to just step inside. A soft twitter from an unseen bird welcomed us. We tried to say hello, but no one responded. So we placed the apples next to one of the trees. Then just stand still and let the minutes past, waiting for something we weren’t sure about. And after a while we started to notice them. Rustle from the bushes, different nuances of birdsong, tiny glimpses of movements through the grass. We weren’t alone.

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