Philosophies

Architecture + Philosophy research seminar, ResArc, Sweden: Dr Hélène Frichot, Critical Studies in Architecture, KTH Stockholm

Month: April, 2018

A reflection on an essay that ‘shocked me to thought’

by shydes

The Killing Fields of Inequality, Therborn, G (2012)

Being an architect student in the 80s, at Lund’s University, changed my perspectives upon the world. I understood that, as an architect I was responsible for how people manage their everyday life. Bad architecture, with unclear structures where you can’t find your way, with unpleasant surfaces where you don’t feel welcome are made by architects as well as the good architecture. Good or bad architecture is not black and white as we are all different and have different needs at different times.

As a practicing architect I tried to get the hours in a project, by negotiate with client and manager, so I could work close to the people who were going to use the facilities. When the process went well, it was amazing to see the building standing there with the vision from our collaboration. A vision that had delimitations due to money, understanding between workers and manager etc, but still a vision that came true.

In the same time the society took a new direction. 70s became 80s and countries were supposed to be run as companies; UK with Thatcher, US with Reagan. The capitalistic system was taken for granted by every political party, from right to left. In the building sector it became more important to gain money than to build a society.

When I started to work within academia, 2005, as a senior lecturer I was told that I was too political. As an educator I worked with students in city areas with migrants and segregation. Discussed inequality in the world and how we segregate people. It was to political for some colleagues.

To read Göran Therborn made me feel less alone in academy. There was research that supported that we all live longer and better lives in a more equal world (It may have started with Spirit Level by Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson, but Göran Therborn made it even more clear to me). Today I have many colleagues and students that share the struggle against inequality. Between 2011 and 2015 we remade our educations in design at Linnaeus University. https://lnu.se/linneuniversitetet/Organisation/fakulteten-for-konst-och-humaniora/mot-fakulteten/design/

We explore together with students how we can become change agents. Design can be part of building sustainable futures. Papanek said: “There are few professions more harmful than industrial design.” Design can make change! Göran Therborn has definitely helped me to explore what a designer and a design education can do.

Heteroglossary

by shydes

Concept

There is no concept with only one component. All concepts are connected to problems without which they would have no meaning and which themselves only be isolated or understood as their solution emerges.

Deleuze, G et Guattari, F. (1994) What is a Concept? What is Philosophy? New York: Colombia University Press: 15-34

Tool

Etymology: Old English tól neuter, = Old Norse tól n. plural (compare Norwegian tøler ) < Old Germanic *tôwlom , tôlom , <*tôw- to prepare, make (cognate with Gothic taujan : see taw v.1) + agentive suffix -lom , -el suffix1.

Anything used in the manner of a tool; a thing (concrete or abstract) with which some operation is performed; a means of effecting something; an instrument.

“tool, n.”. OED Online. March 2018. Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/203258?rskey=bj5bv5&result=1 (accessed April 19, 2018).

 

Zone of Neighbourhood, Humans being together

 

Care                         

More than maintenance […] caring as a loving connection […] fostering […] caring relations […] concern of feminist thinking

Puig de la Bellacasa, M. (2011). Matters of care in technoscience: Assembling neglected things. Social Studies of Science  Vol 41(1): 85-106.

Care by Volvo: A new alternative to owning or leasing a Volvo car. Welcome to the future of the car experience, where a simple monthly subscription is all you need. This is Care by Volvo – a symbol of our commitment to give you back more time to do the things you love.

https://www.volvocars.com/intl/cars/care-by-volvo

Care by me: A mutual agreed action to relief everyday life.

Conflict

[…] communication which included solving conflict as well as building partnership. Lefebvre understands conflicts in Marxism terms, as a quality and not as a problem.

Schalk, M et al. (2009). Taking care of Public space. Architectural Research Quarterly Vol 13 no 2: 141-149.

There is a chance that a conflict can become a forum for change, when norms are not only repetitiously and performatively re-enacted and re-experienced, but also overwritten and changed.

Schalk, M et al. (2009). Taking care of Public space. Architectural Research Quarterly Vol 13 no 2: 141-149. (Inexcitable Speech. Zum Rechtsverständnis postmoderner feministischer Positionen am Beispiel Judith Butler, inHornscheidt, Antje / Jähnert, Gabriele/ Schlichter, Annette (Hg.), Kritische Differenzen – geteilte Perspektiven, Opladen: Westdeutsche Verlag 1998, 229-252)

Assignm 2c SHC

Inequality                    

Ranking, violates a moral norm of equality […] inequality is avoidable […] morally unjustified […] hierarchical differences

Therborn, G. (2012). Killing Fields of Inequality. International Journal of Health Services, Vol 42, No 4: 579–589

Equality                      

That every person is considered as much as everyone else in a political and often an economical aspect […] Used since 1713, more common since1960s.

(my translation) Nationalencyklopedin, jämlikhet. http://www.ne.se.proxy.lnu.se (accessed 2018-04-12)

Equity

Moore P. (2016), industrial designer, gerontologist, author,  Keynote Cumulus Conference, Hong Kong

Class

Class is a term that in the social sciences is used to separate people into groups based on economic and social criteria. The concept was established in the 1800s as a basis for both classical liberalism and early socialism. The concept of class has been the most relevant in Marxist theory, where social classes have different roles in or in relation to the production of goods and services. What is in focus is the power over ownership, and in Marxist thought the concept is also a cornerstone of a theory concerning social mobilisation, so-called class struggle, aimed to change the economic power structure in society.

https://www.genus.se/en/wordpost/class/ (accessed 2018-04-12)

Segregation

Etymology: < late Latin sēgregātiōn-em, noun of action < Latin sēgregāre : see segregate v.

  1. The action of segregating.
  2. The separation or isolation of a portion of a community or a body of persons from the rest.

“segregation, n.”. OED Online. March 2018. Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/viewdictionaryentry/Entry/174893 (accessed 2018-04-19)

Late Latin segrega’tio ‘separation’, ‘separation’, of Latin ‘grego’ separating (from the flock) ‘), the spatial separation of populations.

Nationalencyklopedin, segregation. http://www.ne.se.proxy.lnu.se/uppslagsverk/encyklopedi/lång/segregation(accessed 2018-04-12)

A high priority issue for the government is to break segregation. The work is done on several fronts and ten ministers work together to reverse the development and contribute to reduced gaps and to create a safe Sweden where we keep together

http://www.regeringen.se/artiklar/2018/03/regeringen-vaxlar-upp-arbetar-for-att-bryta-segregationen/ (accessed 2018-04-19)

Human Needs

[…] fundamental human needs are not only universal but are also entwined with the evolution of the species. They follow a single track. […] Fundamental human needs must be understood as a system, the dynamics of which do not obey hierarchical linearities. This means that on the one hand, no need is more important per se than any other; and that on the other hand, there is no fixed order of precedence in the actualization of needs.

http://www.wtf.tw/ref/max-neef.pdf (accessed 2018-04-12)

Zone of Neighbourhood, Ontology

 

Knowledge                  

Is the quiet knowledge really quiet? A vocational practice as a mediator of quiet knowledge, ie such knowledge conveyed through training and socialization into a profession´s tradition. The most important moments in a professional practice are thus quiet, ie contextual, cultural bound, implied and bound to be expressed in skills and talents. One acquires the quiet knowledge by learning to live in a given practice.

[my translation]      Molander, B. (1993). Kunskap i handling [Knowledge in practice]  http://arkitekturforskning.net/na/article/viewFile/729/673  (accessed 2018-04-19)

[…] The knowing itself is partial in all its guises, never finished, whole, simply there and original; it is always constructed and stitched together imperfectly and therefor able to join with another to see together without claiming to be another.

Haraway, D (1988). Situated Knowledge: The Science question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective. Feminist studies Vol 14 No 3: 575-599

Illustration of Knowledge

based on the text;  Gustavsson, B. (2000). Philosophy of knowledge: Three Forms of Knowledge in a Historical Perspective

Presentation Approches

Zone of Neighbourhood, Methods

 

Participatory design

Participatory design (PD) is an approach where all stakeholders are involved in the design process. Traditional design projects typically include the paying client and professionals within similar and related industries; in participatory design, members of the wider community — from the users who are directly affected by the design, to the local business owners who may be peripheral to it — are also recognised as legitimate stakeholders with the ability to impact the project. The extent of their involvement can range from being passively informed of a project’s development, to actively sharing roles and responsibilities in decision making. While there may be times when informing is a necessary part of the process, we believe that real impact is often made when we intentionally build up a person’s capacity to contribute at higher levels.

http://participateindesign.org/approach/what/ (accessed April 19, 2018).

Action research

A succinct definition of action research appears in the workshop materials we use at the Institute for the Study of Inquiry in Education. That definition states that action research is a disciplined process of inquiry conducted by and for those taking the action. The primary reason for engaging in action research is to assist the “actor” in improving and/or refining his or her actions.

Guiding School Improvement with Action Research, by Richard Sagor

  1. Selecting a focus
  2. Clarifying theories
  3. Identifying research questions
  4. Collecting data
  5. Analyzing data
  6. Reporting results
  7. Taking informed action

http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/100047/chapters/What-Is-Action-Research%C2%A2.aspx (accessed 2018-04-19)

Meta design

We define metadesign as an emerging framework of practice that will enable designers to change, or create, behavioral paradigms

https://metadesigners.org/Metadesign-Introduction (accessed 2018-04-19)

Tham, Mathilda, professor at Department of design, Linnaeus University, Illustration from presentation at JST, Tokyo. 6th of April 2018.

Heteroglossary

by mashahupalo

1 Rhythmoterritory 

Elisabeth Grosz in her reading of Deleuze and Guattari (Chaos, Territory, Art, 2008) unpacks how a milieu or a combination of them after establishing relationships give birth to rhythm, and through this form a territory. In other words, there is no territory without a rhythm, no parking territory without a traffic rhythm.

2 Opti-Toxic Narrative

Techno-optimism of digital mobility platforms and traditional automobile manufacturers about autonomous shared fleets of vehicles streaming down the streets of our cities is one of the most pervasive global narratives that proposes an all-inclusive explanation of future mobility. Marco Armieto and Massimo De Angelis in “Anthropocene: Victims, Narrators, and Revolutionaries“(2017) argue that such grand narratives – in their example it is a tale of Anthropocene – make it increasingly difficult to develop knowledges oppositional to “global truths”.

3 Driver Care 

Bruno Latour indicates a necessity of caring for the technologies that we introduce into this world. It is not that he uncritically glorifies Sports Utility Vehicles or Aramis transport system that never came into being but rather suggests that prior to demonising “others” there is a responsibility of understanding their concerns (Latour, 1992). Caring for drivers in a climate of pervasive pedestrianisation of cities becomes almost controversial.

4 Movement Parasite

In line with thinking of Michel Serres in “The Parasite” (1980), any parking space is a parasite of the territory that it serves. He underlines the specificity of the parasite that can develop “only in certain organism and is carried only by a certain vector”. Infrastructures of stillness are not random or generic; they appear in very specific places of the city organism, they feed from it. They mark the start points of automobility vectors across the urban body, and slightly alter their directions.

5 The Thing in the Making

A responsible critic assembles and “offers the participants arenas in which to gather”. This is the path of engagement with the “matters of concern” that Bruno Latour suggests in his essay “Why Has Critique Run Out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern” (2004). He advocates for the realism of an object that turns into a Thing comprising a myriad of contradicting opinions, concerns and decisions.

6 Navigation Umwelt 

Each human subject that moves through the transportation grid constructs a specific environment-world consisting of “carriers of significance” or of “marks”. This personal navigation Umwelt has the same underlying logic as an environment of an animal.  One of the founders of the ecology, Jakob von Uexkull, distinguished this notion from the Umgebung, that he defined as “the objective space in which the human being is moving”, free from perceptual.

7 Conversing with the Text

The text reveals and conceals, like any other conversation partner. Understanding it requires interpreting. David Tracy in “Plurality and Ambiguity” (1987) lays down the rules of conversing, questioning and listening to the text to avoid being its passive recipients. The texts of urban planning legislation are repositories of professional values that can tell plenty about societal aspirations and dreams at a specific moment of time. But only if we read and converse with attention and respect.

8 Protomapping

Maps get a sense of meaning as a thick overlay of information that is brought into relation through a process of gathering and assembling. James Corner in “The Agency of Mapping: Speculation, Critique and Invention” (2011) develops this line of thinking further by illuminating the power of mapping to construct prototypes of futures to consider and debate.

9 Site of Negotiation 

In “Why Site Matters”(2005) Andrea Kahn and Carol Burns understand the site as a composition of three areas: area of control, area of influence, and area of effect. They overlap physically and engage in different sets of relationships. By approaching the site as a table of negotiation between different forces – legislative, economic, or cultural – we acknowledge its power to shape the urban fabric.

Reflection on The Agency of Mapping by James Corner

by shydes

I have always loved maps. I gather maps wherever I go. Pile them up at home, thinking that they will be a great project one day. What is a map? Or what is NOT a map? Carroll´s Mein Herr said after he had realized that the map they had was useless: “So, now we use the country itself as its own map, and I assure you it does nearly as well”.

Mapping, definitions: James Corner:  a way of re-shaping worlds where people live. Reformulate what already exists and actualize the potential. Searching, finding, unfolding. Description of reality that is culturally situated. Deleuze and Guattari: Experimentation in contact with the real. But what is the real? Whose reality will be on the map? The one who are doing the activity, will be the one telling us what he/she wants us to see. The inverted map by Torres- Garcia shows who have been in charge of constructing the maps and the world.

What can a map do? Winnicott suggests that we should include transitional objects possessed by imagination. What a possibility to have transitional parks where citizens can imagine a perfect spot. My view on this, is that we often plan every inch of our space in the city just because we can. We can afford it and we want everything to be planned. No space for imaginary places.

Reflections: The extreme power of the Municipalities planning offices. Do the planners understand that? Are the people working there ticking boxes or are they imagining better futures? Tools from modernism. Tools from the past to form our future is not an ideal combination. I would love to see kids and all citizens making maps of our milieu where transitional objects take place. Where mapping and planning are a joint activity to “unfold and support hidden conditions, desires and possibilities nested within our milieu”. It should not be one map of the city. There should be several layers showing different perspectives. Gender, age, culture etc. One map to use at dark nights on my way home, another one for a sunny Sunday stroll.

I have lived in the countryside the most time in my life. I loved walking in the forest with trees that are several hundred years old. No street names, no shops. You turn by a big oak, big rock or where there is a funny grown pine. That would be a great map. How would it be made trustworthy? The big oak may be looking small to someone visiting, living close to Redwood national Park.

Thank you, Suha, for sharing the article. I will try to use it in my research how to share in the city. How could a map for sharing look like?

SHARING Heteroglossia and Concept-Tools

by shydes

Concept

There is no concept with only one component. All concepts are connected to problems without which they would have no meaning and which themselves only be isolated or understood as their solution emerges.

Deleuze, G et Guattari, F. (1994) What is a Concept? What is Philosophy? New York: Colombia University Press: 15-34

Tool

Etymology: Old English tól neuter, = Old Norse tól n. plural (compare Norwegian tøler ) < Old Germanic *tôwlom , tôlom , <*tôw- to prepare, make (cognate with Gothic taujan : see taw v.1) + agentive suffix -lom , -el suffix1.

Anything used in the manner of a tool; a thing (concrete or abstract) with which some operation is performed; a means of effecting something; an instrument.

“tool, n.”. OED Online. March 2018. Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/203258?rskey=bj5bv5&result=1 (accessed April 19, 2018).

 

Zone of Neighbourhood, Humans being together

 

Care                         

More than maintenance […] caring as a loving connection […] fostering […] caring relations […] concern of feminist thinking

Puig de la Bellacasa, M. (2011). Matters of care in technoscience: Assembling neglected things. Social Studies of Science  Vol 41(1): 85-106.

Care by Volvo: A new alternative to owning or leasing a Volvo car. Welcome to the future of the car experience, where a simple monthly subscription is all you need. This is Care by Volvo – a symbol of our commitment to give you back more time to do the things you love.

https://www.volvocars.com/intl/cars/care-by-volvo

Care by me: A mutual agreed action to relief everyday life.

Conflict

[…] communication which included solving conflict as well as building partnership. Lefebvre understands conflicts in Marxism terms, as a quality and not as a problem.

Schalk, M et al. (2009). Taking care of Public space. Architectural Research Quarterly Vol 13 no 2: 141-149.

There is a chance that a conflict can become a forum for change, when norms are not only repetitiously and performatively re-enacted and re-experienced, but also overwritten and changed.

Schalk, M et al. (2009). Taking care of Public space. Architectural Research Quarterly Vol 13 no 2: 141-149. (Inexcitable Speech. Zum Rechtsverständnis postmoderner feministischer Positionen am Beispiel Judith Butler, inHornscheidt, Antje / Jähnert, Gabriele/ Schlichter, Annette (Hg.), Kritische Differenzen – geteilte Perspektiven, Opladen: Westdeutsche Verlag 1998, 229-252)

Assignm 2c SHC

Inequality                    

Ranking, violates a moral norm of equality […] inequality is avoidable […] morally unjustified […] hierarchical differences

Therborn, G. (2012). Killing Fields of Inequality. International Journal of Health Services, Vol 42, No 4: 579–589

Equality                      

That every person is considered as much as everyone else in a political and often an economical aspect […] Used since 1713, more common since1960s.

(my translation) Nationalencyklopedin, jämlikhet. http://www.ne.se.proxy.lnu.se (accessed 2018-04-12)

Equity

Moore P. (2016), industrial designer, gerontologist, author,  Keynote Cumulus Conference, Hong Kong

Class

Class is a term that in the social sciences is used to separate people into groups based on economic and social criteria. The concept was established in the 1800s as a basis for both classical liberalism and early socialism. The concept of class has been the most relevant in Marxist theory, where social classes have different roles in or in relation to the production of goods and services. What is in focus is the power over ownership, and in Marxist thought the concept is also a cornerstone of a theory concerning social mobilisation, so-called class struggle, aimed to change the economic power structure in society.

https://www.genus.se/en/wordpost/class/ (accessed 2018-04-12)

Segregation

Etymology: < late Latin sēgregātiōn-em, noun of action < Latin sēgregāre : see segregate v.

  1. The action of segregating.
  2. The separation or isolation of a portion of a community or a body of persons from the rest.

“segregation, n.”. OED Online. March 2018. Oxford University Press. http://www.oed.com/viewdictionaryentry/Entry/174893 (accessed 2018-04-19)

Late Latin segrega’tio ‘separation’, ‘separation’, of Latin ‘grego’ separating (from the flock) ‘), the spatial separation of populations.

Nationalencyklopedin, segregation. http://www.ne.se.proxy.lnu.se/uppslagsverk/encyklopedi/lång/segregation(accessed 2018-04-12)

A high priority issue for the government is to break segregation. The work is done on several fronts and ten ministers work together to reverse the development and contribute to reduced gaps and to create a safe Sweden where we keep together

http://www.regeringen.se/artiklar/2018/03/regeringen-vaxlar-upp-arbetar-for-att-bryta-segregationen/ (accessed 2018-04-19)

Human Needs

[…] fundamental human needs are not only universal but are also entwined with the evolution of the species. They follow a single track. […] Fundamental human needs must be understood as a system, the dynamics of which do not obey hierarchical linearities. This means that on the one hand, no need is more important per se than any other; and that on the other hand, there is no fixed order of precedence in the actualization of needs.

http://www.wtf.tw/ref/max-neef.pdf (accessed 2018-04-12)

Zone of Neighbourhood, Ontology

 

Knowledge                  

Is the quiet knowledge really quiet? A vocational practice as a mediator of quiet knowledge, ie such knowledge conveyed through training and socialization into a profession´s tradition. The most important moments in a professional practice are thus quiet, ie contextual, cultural bound, implied and bound to be expressed in skills and talents. One acquires the quiet knowledge by learning to live in a given practice.

[my translation]      Molander, B. (1993). Kunskap i handling [Knowledge in practice]  http://arkitekturforskning.net/na/article/viewFile/729/673  (accessed 2018-04-19)

[…] The knowing itself is partial in all its guises, never finished, whole, simply there and original; it is always constructed and stitched together imperfectly and therefor able to join with another to see together without claiming to be another.

Haraway, D (1988). Situated Knowledge: The Science question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective. Feminist studies Vol 14 No 3: 575-599

Illustration of Knowledge

based on the text;  Gustavsson, B. (2000). Philosophy of knowledge: Three Forms of Knowledge in a Historical Perspective

Presentation Approches

Zone of Neighbourhood, Methods

 

Participatory design

Participatory design (PD) is an approach where all stakeholders are involved in the design process. Traditional design projects typically include the paying client and professionals within similar and related industries; in participatory design, members of the wider community — from the users who are directly affected by the design, to the local business owners who may be peripheral to it — are also recognised as legitimate stakeholders with the ability to impact the project. The extent of their involvement can range from being passively informed of a project’s development, to actively sharing roles and responsibilities in decision making. While there may be times when informing is a necessary part of the process, we believe that real impact is often made when we intentionally build up a person’s capacity to contribute at higher levels.

http://participateindesign.org/approach/what/ (accessed April 19, 2018).

Action research

A succinct definition of action research appears in the workshop materials we use at the Institute for the Study of Inquiry in Education. That definition states that action research is a disciplined process of inquiry conducted by and for those taking the action. The primary reason for engaging in action research is to assist the “actor” in improving and/or refining his or her actions.

Guiding School Improvement with Action Research, by Richard Sagor

  1. Selecting a focus
  2. Clarifying theories
  3. Identifying research questions
  4. Collecting data
  5. Analyzing data
  6. Reporting results
  7. Taking informed action

http://www.ascd.org/publications/books/100047/chapters/What-Is-Action-Research%C2%A2.aspx (accessed 2018-04-19)

Meta design

We define metadesign as an emerging framework of practice that will enable designers to change, or create, behavioral paradigms

https://metadesigners.org/Metadesign-Introduction (accessed 2018-04-19)

Tham, Mathilda, professor at Department of design, Linnaeus University, Illustration from presentation at JST, Tokyo. 6th of April 2018.

Kimchi

by notallergictocatsanymore

cabbage

salt

gochugaru

ginger

garlic

that which is already there

eriks_kimchi_square.png

The intense smell of grated ginger, garlic, and gochugaru has passerby students slow their steps through the studio kitchen on their way to class. I massage the cabbage, breaking vacuoles to push water out of the cells. Tiny grains of salt stick under my fingernails. After transferring the chunky, red vegetable pieces and spices into glass jars, layer by layer, we seal them. Now it’s up to Leuconostoc mesenteroides, Lactobacillus plantarum, and the rest to do their work.

Peter Sloterdijk writes (2009) that the defining, original features of the 20th century are terrorism, product design and the concept of the environment. Through the concept of environment the domains of life and knowledge are intertwined tighter than ever before. Sloterdijk situates the “discovery of the environment” to the trenches of Verdun 22 April 1915 where the German army intentionally used chlorine gas as a weapon against the Franco-Canadian infantry. The move from targeting individual enemy soldiers’ bodies with bullets and bayonets to rendering the enemy’s environment unable to sustain life is a defining point for the 20th century, according to Sloterdijk.

Fermentation practices – such as the kimchi-making session with the Posthuman Design Interest Group at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design glimpsed above – predates the atrocities of World War One by thousands of years (Boethius 2016). Here we find a less violent history of the environment. Transforming the environment of bacteria to produce a desirable, lasting and delicious outcome is an ancient technique of preserving vegetables and other foodstuff. It is a practice that requires care and patience – as well as a readiness to wait and to let go of precise, instrumental control.

The practice of wild fermentation (Katz 2016) eschews the control of the biotechnology lab. That/those which/who are already there, in the cabbage and on our massaging hands, are put to work. We can only try to create suitable living conditions for those microorganism we favour. Then we wait. We have to wait. Control hates waiting. We surrender some control so we have to wait. What kind of design act is this? Action space design?

References

Boethius, A., 2016. Something rotten in Scandinavia: The world’s earliest evidence of fermentation. Journal of archaeological science, 66, pp.169–180.

Katz, S.E., 2016. Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods, White River Junction: Chelsea Green Publishing.

Sloterdijk, P., 2009. Airquakes. Environment and planning. D, Society & space, 27(1), pp.41–57.