During a two-month residency in Mongolia in 2009 Saalfeld was asked to comment on the constructed environment. The project focused especially on architecture and the dimensions of personal existence; taking as a starting point, the core idea that, as much as we design our environments, these environments also design us.
Most of the Mongolians still live in gers (Mongolian round tents), which form the heart of the nomads' culture. The gers are made out of felt. This is how Saalfeld discovered her fascination for felt as building material.
The central image I have retained from my stay in Mongolia is actually not the ger, the Mongolian tent, in the white steppes or the horseman on the back of a Mongolian horse. For me it is an attraction in a plaza in the centre of Ulaanbaatar. It is a fairground with a carousel. In the background, one can read “Fusion” written on an enormous billboard. For me this photo represents the gap between modernity and tradition, a nation in the state of transition.