Camping evokes in young people’s minds the image of a fire and small tents in the green or on the beach, maybe for a music festival. It is basic, adventurous and fun. It has little to do with luxurious tents like those developed by YSIN, which are aimed to an older public and their romantic reminiscences of past times.
Romantic people of all ages are into camping because of the wonderful starred skies above you at night, and Baumraum took inspiration from this for a tree house with an open roof above the bed. It is a more sophisticated concept than the windows on the sloping roof in attic lofts, and lofts are in big cities and rarely offer the same skies as camping because of light pollution.Being above the ground seems to be the trend of recent times, as Tentsile created a design for camping that has little impact on the environment by being suspended. Not only their tents don’t damage the grass underneath, but also make camping look like contemporary sculpture.
Their tents are made to stay at 1m above the ground, but the most adventurous can go even higher (at their own risk).
This is what happens in the ultimate and highly inspiring phenomenon of city camping.
It’s not camping for a sit-in like Occupy Wall Street or Occupy London, which has a purpose other than re-thinking life as we know it.
The urban spaces are transformed into a platform for camping, using traditional means like tents, ropes and light wood not only on rooftops, or trees on a rooftop, but also on the façades of skyscrapers.
Bivouac New York is an initiative that works like secret parties, with the location revealed shortly before the weekend to the people who booked for it. It is addressed to people who are adventurous enough to pursue a plan at a short notice and can live with little (and the internet only until bed time) in a city that can offer everything, and art students (who may fit or not fit in the other category). Its creator, Thomas Stevenson, sees it “as a combination of hospitality, performance, object making and sculpture.”
While the concept is more modern than traditional camping, it has still many things in common with it thanks to the Spartan living it offers.
However, the trend seems to be changing, with various solutions for people who cannot give up their comforts to be in the wilderness, but at the same time want the perks of living in it (starred skies and beautiful landscapes).
There are many shades of colour between luxurious solutions such as the CristalBubble by the French company BubbleTree and improvised shelters in the forest which make you feel like Robin Hood in his outlaws’ camp, and some are meant to be permanent in spite of the precarious nature that makes camping be camping, but all have a least common denominator that is taking mankind closer to nature.
It doesn’t have to be as extreme as the life, and death, of Christopher McCandless (the person on which was based Jon Krakauer’s book, and Sean Penn’s adaptation, Into the Wild), who suffered the tragic consequences of his high idealism, but giving the superfluous up and getting closer to what existed before human inventions is an effective boost for one’s creativity, even when done only in theoretical thinking. Creatives, in fact, are such because they have the ability to see beyond things, and see old things in a new way, not only to invent anew. Arguably, there’s more creativity in breaking traditions and reinventing them than starting a trend.