Jacob explains, “Supertramp is communal – anyone can rock up for a chat. It is a watering hole. A vehicle as a platform where people can discuss the potential for a different new habitat or world. Supertramp is just one of many many more 'Campaigns' to come from Lehman B.”
When I met with Jacob, next to his caravan, in the park at Queen Square (London WC1N 3AR), a couple of hours prior to his first ‘Casual Conversation’, we wondered what impact Jacob’s new life was having on his own wellbeing?
In 1943, the psychologist Abraham Maslow created a list of fundamental human needs. He arranged this list into a pyramid, with physical needs at the bottom and psychological needs at the top.
Very broadly, we observed that in his old life the physical needs were generally met, but the psychological needs were less met. This was reversed in the new life.
In the caravan, drunks, cars and taxis disturbed sleep. Jacob was concerned for his safety, mainly from the lorries that drove past very close as he lay on the floor of the caravan, with only the fabric sheet of his caravan to separate him from the vehicle. One evening a group of tourists who were taking photographs interrupted his sleep because of the camera’s flash, lighting the canvas.
Starbucks had been providing ‘excretion’ and washing facilities. Talking of which I asked Jacob if I could use his toilet. I am directed to 'The Swan'. Feeling conscious I am using the pub’s facility without being a customer, I pick up a pint glass that someone had left on the grass. Although the pub would intend that I swap my money for beer, the exchange of glass for facility use, is not such a bad deal. This sort of non-monetary exchange is one of the topics that Jacob is broaching. http://www.lehmanb.com/supertramp/supertramp.html
Jacob’s new ‘employment’ has caused his financial security to go from a steady income, to no income (something Jacob is looking into...) In the caravan, 'Property' was no longer secure. Jacob simply did not keep things in the caravan that would not be replaceable. Tragically, on 17th June, when Jacob arrived in the morning to the caravan’s parking space, it was missing. Jacob had stopped sleeping there, because of the problems and a thief had taken the opportunity. Jacob had been looking into the theft with the police, but they have now dropped the case, because of ‘lack of evidence’.
Jacob was also running his design consultancy from the caravan. Once he is back on track, it will certainly be a pleasant space for clients to meet over the coming summer months.