Building Architectural Provocations

Johan Liekens


This paper ventures from a sharp distinction between modes of acting/reflecting/ expressing in the field of art and architecture. Each mode confined to the inside of a specific practice, seeking its relevance there. Contrary to this, I argue that design-based research has to gain from an interweavement with outsides: outside modes and outside worlds. The argumentation is guided by designerly cases. On an evident level, I identify an inter-weavement of different modes of acting/reflecting/expressing as a fertile breeding ground for new insights that would otherwise remain veiled. On a fundamental level, I argue for the interweavement with another outside, i.e. the everyday world, if design-based research is to fulfil its full potential. I venture from Kwinters call for a revision of the architectural object. I argue that if design-based research, working through artefacts, is to regain its political working, we as design-based researchers are to adopt a critical questioning design attitude, inducing dynamics of negotiation. In this, I then identify the deliberate interweavement of established consensual mechanisms such as affordances with dissensual mechanisms to be a promising strategy for architectural research. I conclude connecting to Rancières notion of dissensus and his distinction between political and policing practices.

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