My relationship with Asia began about twenty years ago when, almost by chance, I proposed to a friend the use of bioclimatic technologies in the construction of buildings in Tibet.
Since then I have spent long periods every year on the plateau. I still bring with me not only the open horizons of the pastures surrounded by mountains, the smell and sounds of monasteries lying on sheltered slopes, the steps protected by long lashed by the wind, but above all the voices and faces of the many Tibetans with whom we have developed projects and intervention strategies. Among these voices, that of Ane Kandroma, an elderly doctor of Tibetan medicine with whom we have created a clinic for traditional LUM therapeutic baths.
During one of the meetings, guests of Ane Kandroma, it happened to me to refuse boiled sheep and she, from the bottom of her eyes, looked at me severely telling: “what you like and what you don’t like are the same”
Beyond the mysterious hidden meaning, this statement has awakened in my consciousness the awareness that there are no absolute values, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, but that each of us in the choices he makes, in a specific place and moment, is an arbiter in defining the limit that separates the extremes and therefore each one is a measure of all things, the subjective distinction is only the fruit of a mental attitude.
Since then I still don’t like boiled sheep, but I perfectly remember that dinner sitting on a carpet in which a small woman, only apparently fragile, with an iron will, warned me about my claims to absolutely establish my preferences.
Ah, I forgot: my buildings, which I wanted respectful of the context, of the Tibetan architectural tradition, of its materials and which used passive solar technologies in the name of environmental sustainability, for Ane Kandroma were “real crap”!
Ane Kandroma died before seeing her clinic completed, without being able to crown her project for which she fought with determination.