Kolk Essay; What do I SEE, what do you LOOK at

gerardhadders

“...Urban space is, in contrast with television or the internet
where navigation takes place through ‘exclusion’,
the space where we encounter the maximum of ‘static’
and through which we move by ‘inclusion’; Inclusion
meaning the appropriation of the visual culture of an urban
space we do not necessarily understand, probably
don’t even want to understand. Nevertheless this appropriation
is needed dearly to be able to navigate through
urban space...”

We all have the following experience: you are waiting
for a traffic light to turn green and suddenly you spot
a building that you have never seen although you have
passed this point at least a hundred times this year
alone.
And worse... the building was obviously already standing
there before you were even born.
This difference between seeing and looking has been
described many times in science and is a thankful topic
in literature and art but is generally neglected by the design
community since design is very rarely concerned
with looking at the ‘whole’ of a given environment as
this environment is technically split up between planners,
engineers, architects, industrial designers, media
placement specialists, graffiti painters, greenery landscapers,
house painters, graphic designers and so forth
and so forth with zoning committees as a kind of general
overseers.
This difference between looking and seeing becomes
spectacular if you come to think of the myriad of
different categories you can put potential users of
urban space in:
running from goth teenagers all the way to immigrant
pensioners.
They all have a different speed and need and speech...

Gerard Hadders for study group Ornament & Rhetoric, Post St. Joost

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