Architects in Africa : The Prisoner of Orgone Back Amongst Friends
Architect Georg Ritschl is back in South Africa after his nearly two month incarceration in Mozambique for performing planetary energy work on the Zambezi river without government sanction. And he is still smiling...
Mozambique is today arguably one of the most intellectually retarded countries in Africa and hence one of the most dangerous to visit for anything other than pure coastal tourism, at which it excels. A quarter of a century of Afro-Marxist misgovernance by peasant rulers coupled with two decades of Western sponsored civil war has the ability to affect an entire population in ways those more fortunate cannot begin to understand.
Two of the more obvious effects of grand scale trauma - such as suffered by most Africans in post civil war societies - are populist paranoia and a social dependency on a criminalised system of governance. The two have evolved a unique synergy of greed, need and opportunism to provide a structured and multi layered methodology for extracting "taxes" from soft targets - mostly harmless foreign visitors on some personal mission or another.
We call it the Bazaar Africa Experience: once you are in it, you cannot leave until you have bought back the freedom you never knew you had lost.
I have a large personal inventory of Bazaar Africa experiences which I would rather forget and I now - somewhat perversely - empathise with the misery of others who dare visit that dreadful place in space and come back alive to tell the story. They go down in my book as Bazaar Africa Survivors and they earn my deepest respect and admiration. Georg Ritschl is one such man.
Georg Ritschl, the "Orgone Architect", is an inspiration to the thousands of architects around the world who understand the finer points of planetary energy - particularly its manifestation and employment in the Discipline and Practice of Architecture as the concept of genius loci.
As all first year students of good schools of architecture will tell you genius loci is possibly the most challenging and difficult concept to grasp and successfully employ in the pursuit of excellence in design. We are taught to recognise it, to imbue its spirit and to define the atmospheric, spatial and ethereal qualities which define its essence. We are then taught to take this palette of knowledge and perception and to employ it (hopefully) successfully to enhance the experience of the occupants of the buildings and to contribute positively to the immediate environment and its society.
This age old concept is at the very core of perceptive architectural thinking; it is as fundamental as it is inevitable.
For example, the most common and most frequently used (and abused) energy generating "architectural device" is planting. We make extensive use of the plant world when dealing with genius loci; along with less obvious "devices" such as human scale, orientation, axial recognition, geometry, spatial manipulation, proportion, iconic imagery, culture, belief systems, rhythm and colour frequency - to mention but a few. Each of these devices contributes its own particular brand of energy to the sum total manifestation of genius loci.
The aggregation, deployment and manipulation of universal energies in design and architecture - including orgone - is not a new concept. Anyone in doubt should visit the pyramids of Egypt, the cathedrals of Europe, the temples of the East or the much older ceremonial sites in Southern Africa.
Orgone - which goes by many names in many cultures - is possibly the most powerful of all the design energies available to the architect.
Orgonite- a relatively new material, is a material for concentrating and manipulating orgone.
It was only a matter of time before the two would come together in practice to be used to address and/or remedy genius loci issues. As with all architectural matters the issue of scale is of foremost concern; after all, if something works for small spaces, buildings and cities - why not an entire continent?
And this is where Georg Ritschl has left the orgonisers pack trailing miles behind. Armed with tons of orgonite Georg sets off from Johannesburg on regular expeditions designed to repair, reconstitute and harmonise the genius loci of vast parts of Africa which are currently suffering climatic shifts attributed to global warming, negative energies and artificial climatic or geographic interference. This distribution process known as gifting has become a global phenomenon with an ever increasing number of adherents.
This mammoth exercise, which involves manufacturing thousands of orgonite "generators" and transporting them thousands of miles into primitive parts of Africa, is not only very expensive but it is also riddled with personal risks - as Georg and his family found out.
Architectural Gifting at a much smaller scale is already gaining popularity worldwide as a means of protecting building occupants from the radiation effects of nearby cell phone transmitter masts. Orgonite devices can be buried under buildings, cast into the foundations or simply built into the house as a feature or even as an ornament. Ideas for houses built entirely from orgonite are already being considered as are buildings designed to concentrate, direct, resonate and amplify orgone on a grand scale.
The perceptive architect familiar with genius loci will not have any difficulty understanding the concept of orgone, which may be already known by another term. Orgonite is a substance which you can make yourself (or buy) and test to your heart's delight in the pursuit of genius loci creation, amplification or alteration.
Does it work? I believe it does, but don't take my word for it. Try it out for yourself and decide.
Click here to visit the Orgonise Africa website, where you can read more about Georg's experience in Mozambique, Orgone Expeditions in Africa and a whole lot more information about one of Architecture's lesser known delights.