KTH logo at the entrance of the Stockholm campus, 2020.
I just returned from a walk around campus. No camera, no phone. Only me, my jacket, and my keys. It was dark and quiet outside, but the temperature was nice. Around nine degrees. Before starting my walk, I felt empty. I had sat inside all day, working and procrastinating. Once outside, I relished the fresh air, and I decided I would do some urban exploring. Right next to my apartment building, there is another building that has an elevated terrace attached to it. After walking up to the metal stairs connecting it to my level, I tested the strength of the supports, and confirming its durability I pulled myself up and squirmed through the gap between the stairs and the handles. Voila, I had made it onto the elevated terrace, urban exploration style. Right next to the terrace, there was a small “roof” lined with a metal fence, shielding from stairs that lead down. I jumped on the fence and made my way parallel to the stairs across the roof. There was a gate in the middle. I sat on one side of it, and thought to myself that it would be a cool challenge to make it to the other side of the gate without touching the ground. And so I swung myself from one gate fence to the other, to ultimately make my way to the opposite side of the gate.
I continued my walk across the campus. Past desolate offices of researchers. Glancing in, I could distill the personal stories of the people working there all day. If an office didn’t have pictures of children hanging above a desk, then I could be sure that there were pictures of cats hanging in their place. I got to the side of the library, and standing on a fence I found a beautiful angle for photography. Nothing much happened there, but I am writing it as a reminder to myself to bring my camera there sometime in the future.
Hopping down some dark stairs brought me to the backside of a restaurant on campus. A small truck was parked next to a back entrance for supplying ingredients et al. The space for the truck was tight; buildings loomed close on three sides. On the side of one of them, there hang an awfullly steep emergency staircase. I climbed my way up and marveled for some time at the completely new perspective it gave me on the campus. Looking over to the truck, I realized how close it actually was. If I wanted to, I could easily hop onto its roof. Now that I thought of it, why wouldn’t I want to quickly stand on top of a truck? Haven’t done it before, and a much better opportunity couldn’t possibly exist. Now of course, there is no real added value in standing on top of a truck. Besides the slight thrill of it. Heck, I made the jump. The suspensions of the vehicle made for some good fun when I moved from side to side, or when I wobbled a bit. No one passed by while I was standing on top of that truck.
After jumping down, my walk brought me to the building of the faculty of architecture. Coming from the direction of the computer science student club, I thought to myself what a cool photo it must be when looking at the lights on the top floor of the architecture building in its dark surroundings. I should bring my camera there sometime too.
I made my way over to the classic campus courtyard, looking for interesting structures to climb. There aren’t many, sadly. Going to the upper courtyard, I found some interesting office spaces that I want to photograph through the windows. Maybe make it into a series; researchers in their office, as seen through the outside window. I could rent a lift and make my way past all the windows of the high buildings. I also shared a weird look with two girls studying inside an empty hall there. I made my way down to the main courtyard again, and walked to a staircase that is flanked on both sides by a small wall with large gaps in it. The “windowsill” of those gaps is slanted, but wide enough to sit on. Actually, it is also wide enough to lie down on. And so I lay there for ten to fifteen minutes. Thinking about things. Also realizing how liberating it is to go out without any phone or other distractions. It really allowed me to experience the world with genuine curiosity again. I got some ideas for subjects I would like to research and write about. One person passed me by to go inside the building. I didn’t meet their eyes, but they must have wondered why I was just lying there.
I got up, jumped off on the other side, and returned home.
Max Crone, CC BY 4.0