Kinfolk Magazine #21: The Home Issue


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The world’s longest endurance run is the Self-Transcendence 3,100 Mile Race in Jamaica, Queens, which requires its participants to circle a single city block exactly 5,649 times—a task so demanding that few have the physical or mental endurance for it. One could say that there’s a domestic analogue that happens daily inside our homes as we tread familiar routes—from the kitchen sink to the kitchen table, from the sofa to the refrigerator and back—in endless rotation. How many miles have we walked around our homes? What have we forgotten, or overlooked, in the rituals of our daily lives?

The Swedes have a name for the effects of this—hemmablind, literally “blind to home”—a state of having run the same route so many times, of having gazed upon the same constellation of furniture for so long, that we cease to see it. It’s a concept that is explored in this issue of Kinfolk, along with others like it. We delve deeply into the nature of home, exploring what’s hidden, overlooked, unseen, mysterious and sensual. What do we perceive of the spaces we inhabit? Do our homes have lives and characters of their own, as Indian architect B. V. Doshi asserts in Architecture of Home? Do ordinary objects continue their lives without us after we die, as Andrea Codrington Lippke suggests in Memento Mori?

Elsewhere in the issue, we take a look at the home life of reclusive pianist Glenn Gould, and author Mary Roach explores the science behind why certain places make us uneasy. Sally Mann reflects in words and photographs on the spaces where artist Cy Twombly created some of his most iconic later works, while architect Joseph Dirand, who crafts interiors for Balenciaga and Rick Owens, refuses to view his own home as a living museum and instead sprawls nightly on the carpet with his family, drawing and listening to music. Within the pages of this issue, the home becomes more than the sum of its walls and floors, chairs and wallpaper—more than a collection of objects. The home and everything it contains are not merely ends in themselves, but the complex elements of each person’s evolving and deeply personal narrative—the foundations of a well-lived life.

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