Back to basics

October 16, 2013


Elizabeth Diller writes in Bad Press about how the body is being ruled over in different ways, how the body is being used, and how we use our bodies,  to keep within the unwritten (or written) rules of society. In the end the text talks about folding. ”A folded mixture is neither homogeneous like whipped cream, nor fragmented like chopped nuts, but smooth and heterogeneous.” (p. 92) It is about ambiguity, about contrast, and about repetition.

”The play between the words property, propriety and proper” fascinated me. Your home is your private property (or rental place), were you make the rules, and your body is something (even more) private, but regulated from the outside. And it is not proper at all to show  (to much of it) in the public space. To parafrase the text, and making it a slogan: Spare the public from your private parts!

What does this really tell us about the private-public discourse, or semiprivate space? What does this tell us about how to act as a human being in this modern world?

My thoughts  becomes a murmur of contradicting social codes…

… Keep your feelings to yourself, but do not be a quiet, boring person. Be yourself, but fit in at the same time. Stay in shape, enjoy food, keep moving, find serenity. Stay connected, and coherent, but find new friends, and be spontanious. Everything is speeding up. You have to have a good job, a partner, many friends, money, hobbies, knowledge about culture and art, to be a master in the kitchen as well as in the bed, to have dreams and plans for the future, to stay intouch with your family, to start a new family, to have a nice home, to care about the environment and animals. To know about history, philosophy, and math. To try out everything new. To be adventurous. To be on the internet. To be good looking, to wear the right clothes, to say the right things, to laugh at the right jokes, to criticize everything around you.. Breathe lightly, and do not be embarrased if you say something stupid. Never say anything stupid. Keep going. Look happy. Be happy. Know what makes you happy. Do not be afraid to cry. Don’t cry, you’re a big girl. Don’t be to feminine. Don’t be to masculine. Be you. You are singular. But you are not alone. Everybody dies alone. Take care of your loved ones. Be strong. Be funny.. Hahah. And so on …


What has this to do with architecture, you might ask?

And it goes on… Calm down. Sit down. Rest here for a while. Under my roof. Behind this wall. Within this cultural context, in this place in time, and space…

Let us go back to where it all began. Efficience is not the only drive anymore. People need room for thought and space for contemplation.

Do not mind the dust in the corners or the spot on your cheek. Do not mind ”the corrosions of age” or the”standards and values (…) produced and sustained in the popular media.”

Let’s go back to basics.

/ Klara


2 Responses to “Back to basics”

  1. ninelniazi Says:

    You wrote a good post in a nice way which could be understandable for everyone not only professionals. As you mentioned in your post, we need all kind of spaces talking about public and private. I agree with you back to basics could be a good tool. But there should be a clear definition of what is public and what is private.

  2. gerdholgersson Says:

    I think what you write about is very relevant to a discussion about the meanings of architecture. The private/public analysis can often simply too much, but if we – as you do – go back too ourselves and our own basic experiences and needs, then i think its possible to make this public/private discussion less dicotomic and more productive. Because, as you say, we do need spaces for both contemplation, communication, to be alone and with others, and all of these spaces has private as well as public aspects, and especially today its becoming harder and harder to distinct between the two. I think that going “back to basic” in the sence of rethinking ur needs and how architecture can support them, without getting stuck in an idea about either private or public, is a good start! /Gerd Holgersson

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