CRITIC / FERDA KOLATAN
COMPLETED / SPRING 2015
Currently, the identification of a new common ground, market or environment, has become the departure point of design culture. The ordinary, the accessible, and the rational have become the new normal. Any language that aims for universal recognition necessarily faces problems of uniformity and in some cases may fall towards the totalitarian. With the growing realization of this condition the last few years have given rise to a number of theories, concepts, and ideas, which actively seek to establish counter-positions without falling into older paradigms of the vernacular or the subject/individual. Among these we can identify one, labeled as the ‘concept of the weird’.
This line of thought has been introduced into architectural thinking by philosopher Graham Harman in conjunction with his object-oriented philosophy. The “weird” here takes on two distinct meanings. First, it is understood as an indispensable ingredient of all objects, a withdrawn quality which cannot possibly be accessed, explained, or rationalized by any human strategy. But through this very quality objects maintain the ability to change, surprise, and become other things. The other meaning of the "weird" in this context reflects back on us and our approach to objects and in extension to the world itself. The weird can become a tool in the way in which we describe the world and how we reflect on reality. Along these lines a strategy of the weird can be viewed as a counterpoint to the traditional mechanisms that establish the concept of a well-understood reality.