Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The School of Life (Project Update)

This project is about traveling less but seeing more, it is about how economic and environmental factors appear certain to change our travel habits, and how we ought to respond; It is about holidaying at home.
It explores how the recently abandoned Sheffield City Airport may be reinvented into a holiday destination (of sorts), and why we should expect more than cheap flights to Spain from a strangely beautiful expanse of tarmac lying hidden among the City’s seven hills. Inspiration from the project comes from Des Esseintes and Baudelaire , two of literatures least intrepid but most thought provoking travelers. The Villa of Des Esseintes (from J.K. Huysmans 1884 novel A rebours. (See Chapter2) provides the ideological standpoint for reconsidering the notion of tourism.
‘For a proud but small minority open to poetry of a different sort, there’s at last an ideal travel agency to hand.’ 1
My Client is the School of Life’, a unusual travel agency who dispute the notion that our holidays ought to be about escaping reality, and instead propose that they should serve to enable us to understand the world in which we live. They offer holidays to the neglected corners of the everyday life, such as Holidays up the M1, a Holiday at Heathrow and weekends dedicated to looking at the sky.
My research has involved membership of the Sheffield Aero Club, thanks to John Dawson (who has both literally and metaphorically taken me into the clouds); and long days spent writing this report at Woodhall Services on the M1 watching the world go by.

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