One of the many reasons I find skiing and architecture so captivating starts with the countless number of ways to break down the relationship between product and culture.
Skiing is a sport that helps nearly 70 million people worldwide interact with nature: fresh air, powder, trees, terrain, incredible views, and physical exertion. This deep connection and accessibility to the outdoors is made possible through an incredible amount of human innovation. Namely, the tech in the skis, bindings, boots, water resistant and insulated apparel paired with snowmobiles, snow cats, ski lifts, gondolas, and ski resorts.
As an expression of human spirit and innovation, skiing is a peak human experience. We’re the only species on earth tailoring nature to meet our expectations and facilitate our survival—whether that be for good, or bad. The tech and machinery surrounding the sport isn’t just for function: it transforms nature into a canvas for creativity. Instead of merely surviving in these dangerous environments, we’re flying, carving, dropping, spinning, flipping, and playfully innovating. The digital elements of film, photography, and social media surrounding these winter sports birthed a new culture.
Tweets or Instagram stories, clothing, books, apparel, technical outerwear, architecture—these manifestations of culture and technological innovation range in levels of permanence. Instagram stories last 24 hours, t-shirts and apparel have a limited amount of wear, but architecture—having the greatest potential for longevity—echoes what I’ve been calling the “cultural manifestation timeline”. Architecture is culturally successful when it has that amount of ubiquitous reverberation. What could be more permanent than buildings and structures specifically created to embody an abstract idea?
Skiing isn’t possible without the use of human innovation, engineering, and architecture. What is skiing without architectural developments, without resorts, railways, roads, infrastructure, machinery? What is free skiing without the creation of free skiing parks, rails, boxes, kickers, knuckles, super pipes—all unbelievably architectural and beautiful in their own right?
If we start to reinvent the things at the bottom of the cultural manifestation timeline—socks, hats, apparel, books, technical outerwear, film, music, parties, web design, conversation—we can influence the more permanent manifestations: education, transportation, social institutions, city planning, and ARCHITECTURE. And, we can influence it to be as environmentally sustainable and culturally conscious as possible.
77mm, in its purest form, is an architectural practice, a city planning consultation firm, and a university. Your support is essential to our vision to create a unique, diverse, and expansive culture born out of skiing and mountain living.
Foster education and innovation at the intersection of Skiing, Art and Architecture. Functioning as a resource library and archive.
A collection of Ski Parts, Films, and Vlogs that we find necessary for general education.
Lectures ranging from topics through general theory, branding, and typography.
Lectures and resources offering insight into architectural theory. Especially those we find necessary for/lacking in mountain living.