The continuous ongoing

October 1, 2014

Bild seminarium 2

Reflections on reading ”The Thing” in Architecture from the Outside by Elizabeth Grosz.

Things and objects. The text mostly discusses things. A thing is a created object. Objects can be both created or found objects. Objects would exist even if humans were gone. Things would not exist in a world without humans. Things are our way of adapting the world to ours. “The thing is a certain carving out of the real” as Grosz describes it. I would say that this position includes objects as well. Objects are a way of organising the matter of the world into comprehensible pieces. But using the term object does not necessarily mean that we have transformed or processed the matter, which is the qualification of a thing. Things are objects but objects are not necessarily things.

Things change the way we are living. When a thing is made it gives us new opportunities, new suggestions of how to live and new suggestions of what to create. Things generates new things. Things generates new ways of living which generates the need for new things, and so on. There is a continuous ongoing development of things and human life.

A thing is active, an object is passive. An object is something you act upon. A thing makes you act or is part of the act.

A thing has a purpose, that is why it exists. An object can be a thing, but when we use the term “object” the thing is looked upon in a neutral way, seeing it more as a form or shape than as a thing with a purpose. Using the word “thing” suggests that it has a meaning for its existence.

At the site Hornsberg strand is a long narrow concrete deck meandering along the waterside near the water level. It is a stylization of a natural shore. It is a thing since it has a purpose; to make you associate with a natural shore and to experience the water wash over the deck. But is it a thing although it is firmly based in the ground? Does a thing mean something that is movable? Or something that clearly has an end? This deck has a clear line between the grass and the concrete, but is a line enough as a clear end? Is this deck really a thing or is it a part? A part of something bigger, of architecture.

Lovisa Wallgren


2 Responses to “The continuous ongoing”

  1. eltejp Says:

    I think that you could also view the “thing” as what is in the human understanding of a “something” while the object is the physical actual properties. In such a view the object would always be beyond our reach, a theoretical construct that we assume must exist. But since everything we experience is mediated by both our senses and our understanding the object is thingified at the moment of experience.

  2. elsajannborg Says:

    This respond to the text by Elizabeth Grosz made the context of her text more understandable for me. And I really like the picture! It connects so well to the part of the text that talks about how things generates new things. “Things generates new way of living which generates the need for new things”


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: