In some cultures and places, being naked in public is unlawful and taboo, but for some, they embrace it and even encourages us to be naked. Some people find being naked as liberating and can give them an experience of euphoria without drugs. Being naked is not new to our lives. We started in the nude at our birth. While most of our life, we spent on clothes. But being nude with others seems an elating experience, as recorded in human history. Our ancestors spent most of their lives naked before our world indulged in the industrial revolution that we began to wear clothes.
While we often hear of nudists, chances are a handful never hear about the naturists. Both are of the same coin and interchangeable, but the latter is more philosophical than actual nudity. Most of us associate nudism and naturism with having orgies and sex parties, but it isn't. More than being lustful and enjoying nakedness, it is a cultural practice that openly accepts being nude. Naturism welcomes social nudity but at allowed-by-law places since there are only places that allow it. Some opt to live a lifestyle fully embracing nudity.
Naturism advocates that being nudes in social settings boosts body positivity and morale to alienate our insecurities. That is why some recommend nudity and nude recreation while educating and informing us of their value and enjoyment in our society. Naturism influences us to see our community that perfection does not exist, and having flaws is okay. It is an opportunity to let loose and forget about the artificial things that surround us daily. Also, it encourages us to join in recreational activities, where they can meet people who share the same views on how limiting clothes can be.
Nudity present in our arts and design since humans started creating them. Our ancestors first depicted nudity paying homage to fertility, which we can see in Greek nude gods, heroes, and warriors. But interestingly, they cover women not until the fourth century. Renaissance masters embrace nudity in their art and sculpture, like Michaelangelo's David in Sistine Chapel. Nudity became a fair game beyond religious and mythological symbolism that becomes acceptable to be love for nudity itself.
Despite people's acceptance of nudity in art and design, some people still find nudity inappropriate and even suggest to kept hidden in the artist's room. Although a minor issue at a glance, some people go their way to block others from consuming the art form. We may attribute their disliking to their cultural and social upbringing. We can't force everyone to confine what we believe to be theirs too. Nudity in arts compels us to evaluate our perspective towards our body and be nude appropriately. Like naturist philosophy, it reminds us that our body can exist as beautiful and ugly. It has that duality of being innocent and sexualize, or free and controlled. Nudism and naturism compel us to accept our flaws and strip off the artificiality in our lives like clothes.
Architecture also embraces nudity in architectural detailings that portray sexual experiences and nudity itself, like in sculptures and wall paintings of ancient and modern architecture. But it doesn't limit to that. Nudity in architecture is never an invention but always a rediscovery. The concept is more farfetched from the ancient Greeks. Astoundingly, the doric order meant to be perceived as nude while the Ionic order was the clothed. Doric seems a play and tribute to heroism or warriors.
Naked architecture celebrates architecture being stark, wiped clean, anti-decorative, and streamlined not just in terms of form but also in terms of conceptual machinery. Some architects celebrate nudism and naturism in the architectural theme, like stripping the architectural design to show its rawness and nakedness like exposed frames. Nudism in architecture lies closely to minimalism and brutalism. Naked architecture strives by stripping back the pretension elements in the design to gain purity for the sake of having it.
With nudity in architecture, we seek means to regain the organic feel of the space. A notable feature is exposed structural elements that deal with this heightened space without losing a better experience. Some will intentionally add beams when original beams aren't available. The nudity of structural frames and beams adds an accent to the space and a feel of rawness. While every building has support beams, not every structure has worth the attention. The exposed element used wood or metal pieces create an illusion that draws our attention upward for a rustic Michelangelo-worthy parody. Nudism in architecture influences us to design built spaces like a warehouse evolving into an awe-house.
Nudism in architecture is multifacet. It means to design that incorporates exposed structural elements or advocating sexuality and a nudist lifestyle. Like I said earlier, nudism and naturism are about duality. Interior designers have a different take too. Nudity, for them, means using nude tones to create an illusion of pure and innocent but differs from a regular minimalist. Nudism also thrives with the raw and unfinished surface, much like the brutalist, but brutalist portrays aggression and activism while the former seems to enjoy rough concrete in reflecting nakedness.
Nudism influences us to strip off and relieve stress, much like in architecture and the design of refurbished space. Instead of stressing out to cover up the flaws and industrial feel, we embrace it with open arms by turning the exposed beams, frames, and pipelines to blend in the space and make the experience better. Our built environment will become a genuine version of itself that proudly showcases its flaws. We defined nudists regard clothing as a burden rather than protection, not just physically but also spiritually. Like in architecture, we strip off the decors and embrace the exposed structure.
Sex has nothing to do with nudism. I apologize for disappointing you. It has everything to do with accepting our physique and simply enjoying the sun and wind on our skin. It's about having a different perspective on the human body. In arts and architecture, we treat it in the same way. It has nothing to do with being erotic and sensual. Architecture inspired by nudity advocates the philosophical theme of stripping out to nakedness. It is about embracing flaws within the design rather than hiding them. While nudity can still be contentious, it explores the theme go well beyond nudes. Whatever the case may be, we live in a period where nudity may be beautiful, provocative, and revolutionary all at the same time.
Boukes de Vries, The Right to be Publicly Naked: A Defence of Nudism
Zahra Barnes, This Is What It's Like To Live Most Of Your Life Naked
Sarah Schrank, Naked Houses: The Architecture of Nudism and the Rethinking of the American Suburbs
Photo Description and Credit
Nudism in Sydney Opera House | Photographed by Nicoli Maege
Greek and Indian Architecture depicting nudism and nudity | Photo from Valter Cirillo and Kandukuru Nagarjun
Michaelangelo's David in Sistine Chapel | Photographed by Andres Nassar
Residence in Kifissia by Tense Architecture Network | Photographed by Filippo Poli
Refurbished home that embraces exposed pipes and frames | Photo from Jo/Desire to Inspire/ Decoist