Dominik has something special in mind with the extra-large drinking straws that Papa bought a long time ago, and which now stand in a large glass vase in Dominik’s room: he wants to glue them together with a hot-glue gun to make a cube. Dominik thinks about connection bridges, combines colors, and plans various divisions of space. During the project, Dominik discovered that it is quite difficult to work precisely with a hot-glue gun, and that building something with such lightweight components is extremely demanding. After several starts, restarts, and revisions, after dealing with various problems and the loss of numerous straws that were too short, Dominik ultimately succeeded in making his cube. And in this period of reworking the cube, he had the idea for building an entire cube house, one that would float in space and turn on its own axis—as slowly as Earth. People live in the small tubes, and even when the cube floats freely through space, nothing in their living spaces is destroyed.
Question: Why did the people move out into space, into these little tubes?
Dominik: A virus is moving through Earth, which is why the people moved into space. They flew up in rockets. The cube house can hold a thousand people and is equipped with food supplies. The people play and live in the cube house until the virus has disappeared from Earth again.
Question: How will they know that the virus is gone?
Dominik: They get a message from Earth via a satellite. And the people want to return to Earth.
Question: How did you get this idea?
Dominik: I wanted to work with the hot-glue gun, so I asked Papa to show me how it works. We worked together to glue the cube; Papa helped me with the statics. A week ago, I then had the idea for the cube house, because I would like to float through space myself. And now it’s a good thing that there is the cube house, because there is a virus on Earth.
Dominik Pichler (b. 2009) is a student in the seventh grade at the Integrative Lernwerkstatt Brigittenau in Vienna. He did the work by himself, helped in the technical execution by his father, as gluing the straws with the hot-glue gun is very difficult to manage on one’s own. Dominik feels more secure by himself than in the group when he has to work on something; Dominik has difficulty fitting into groups and presenting ideas in front of others. Dominik is a very active child who needs a lot of physical exercise; he has a hard time sitting down and concentrating on one thing. For this reason, he was particularly proud to have completed the submission for the u19 category. These kinds of feelings of achievement are very important for Dominik to encourage him to persist, and to increase his self-confidence.
Das Würfelhaus is a work that one does not fully comprehend at first glance—but when one looks more closely, one understands: what we have here is a product of pure imagination. Starting with the simple desire to make something with a hot-glue gun, Dominik Pichler proceeded to create an entire world. Small tubes are glued together to make a complete space station and tell the story of the human race, which was forced to flee Earth because (how prophetic!) a horrible virus was raging. Now the people are living in this cube-shaped station, where they are supplied with everything they need, and waiting for the day when they can return home. Das Würfelhaus stands for the idea and for the artistic creation of a reality: this is what artistic creation looks like!