Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/28248
An androgynous approach in architecture and design was conceived as a menstruum to dissolve fixed identities, to move on towards a liquid way of living. It was enacted for the first time at the Íslenski bærinn (The Icelandic Farmstead, Turf-House) as an open, transformative platform for socio-material constructions. There, design students from different fields gathered around the bær, listening to the voices of the winds. Once immersed in the language of the land, they moved inside the house. In the mist and the shadows of the collective baðstofa (bathing room), instrumental thought, vital matter and poetical time, converged.
“[W]ithin a prevailing architecture discourse construction is often not seen as a social and cultural construction at all but appears to be a strangely essentialist term. The construction is driven by so-called rational arguments about function and economy far from superficiality, ornamentation or other “effeminate” characteristics.”
In contrast to modern paradigms of design and architecture, vernacular aesthetics of the world have, throughout history, carried the invisible but constant threads holding the balance of an ever-changing life. Traditional architectures, such as the Turf-House, are no less than collective forms of poetry (from the greek, poiesis meaning creation). Rooted in universal indigenous thinking, they evolved responding to the spiralling motion of natural systems along generations, permeated by ethics of respect and reciprocity towards nature and life.
All of a sudden, in the historical blink of an eye, such an indigenous wisdom was somehow reduced to the second class category of mythical thinking. During industrialization, the collective learning<>living processes of intergenerational tradition and evolution were disrupted all over the world. Either in the search for a better life or because of the illusion of fast capitalistic “progress”, vernacular aesthetics became part of an undesirable past.
Nowadays, metropolitan intellectual violence has left almost no clear water; nor space for ingenuity, experience and collective poiesis. Values that are not only essential for cultivating the Earth within our bodies, but the most precious legacy for further generations.
This project is therefore, a first call for joining a collaborative poetic space. Addressed to designers willing to defeat the rules of linear space-time by bringing together memory and imagination. Six young volunteers will be transforming into ants for undertaking a reflective 4 weeks hands-on journey. Following the bodily-smart potential of vernacular aesthetics, their main goal will be finding out how the Turf-House as a site-specific design method can inspire materializations towards an androgynous approach in design?
Free of the social mutilations of heteronormativity and detached from anger, humans of the future have learned to transform from ice to steam, oscillating between their female and masculine nature. After capitalism, they recreate the universal codes of multi-species life more than ever before. This design-journey is meant for them.
Keywords: Time Decolonization, Autopoiesis, Applied Indigenous Thinking, Ecocentrism, Self Exploration, Metaphors, Crafts, Vernacular Aesthetics, Feminist Theory, Icelandic Turf-house, Androgynous Design, Post-humanism