He might not realise it, but Johannes Milla – in our opinion, at least – might be one such person.
Do you know who Johannes Milla is?
If you don’t, please don’t worry, for we didn’t either until last week. Since learning of him and his work, however, we’ve become great admirers.
Johannes Milla is a high-achieving architect based in Stuttgart, Germany. Given that he has never designed anything in Saunderstown, you might question his relevance to us.
But what if we told you that Herr Milla’s latest work is based on connection or, rather, reconnection? His latest work has been described as a ‘monument to unity’. It might be a shade under 6,330 kilometers away, but his latest work is right up our street.
Plans for a 55-meter, 330 ton glittering steel wing designed to commemorate German reunification and the 1989 peaceful revolution were unveiled last week, called Citizens in Motion.
If you haven’t seen a picture, check it out. 'Freedom & Unity'
The thing that sets Citizens in Motion apart is that it rocks. Literally, it rocks. Back and forth, like a gigantic seesaw. It just needs people, at least 20, to get it going. Then all it needs is for everyone to work together and to move in the right direction.
Connection, you see, it makes all the difference.
“That’s what a peaceful revolution is about,” explained Johannes, whose dish-like design can hold up to 1400 people at one time, 1400 people united, 1400 people connected.
Engraved on the monument will be the slogans of the 1989 demonstrations that led, ultimately, to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reconnection of a nation – ‘Wir sind vas Volk’ (We are the people) and ‘Wir sind ein Volk’ (We are one people). The language might be foreign to us but we understand.
The people connected, the people rocked. The wall, the ultimate symbol of disconnection in the most fragmented city on Earth, crumbled.
The message is clear. Here, far away in Rhode Island, we are listening.
We can’t pretend to understand what life must have been like in the shadow of Die Mauer, the ugly, grey concrete wall that cut a city in two, splitting families, friends and lovers, dividing an entire nation with its barbed wire and guard towers, its machine gun turrets and grimly-named Death Strip. We’re just grateful that the people rose in peace, that the people stood up to be counted, that the people connected.
We are also grateful that someone with such vision, someone with the talent of Johannes Milla, is leading the efforts to commemorate the revolution and provide the monument it deserves. You see now why Johannes Milla caught our eye, why his work speaks to us.
It will cost around $15m to build – money, in our opinion, well spent – and will not be completed for another three years. Rest assured, once it is finished, we’ll be sending an OM!
For OMs, like Johannes Milla, are all about connection.
OMs, like Johannes Milla, like Citizens in Motion, rock!
We are all connected. Let the world rock!