Kitsch, Inclusivity and Kids / Hanna Panschar, Leticia Lordes Pontin, Mariana Derias

07 6th, 2021

In this book, we will show our process of research and Participatory Design with kids through Kitsch and how it can help to make architecture more inclusive. We begin with readings on Irony and Postmodern Architecture, Irony, or, the Self-Critical Opacity of Postmodern Architecture, from Emmanuel Petit, where he tries to find the relation between Postmodern Architecture  and Irony.  Subsequently, Contingency, Irony, and Solidarity, by Richard Rorty, more specifically the fourth chapter Private Irony and Liberal  Hope, where he points the characteristics of an Ironist (she),  from an Ironist point of view (his own). In the book, he compares her, always trying to expand her vocabulary by learning, with the Metaphysician (he), considering his vocabulary one and superior. Aftermost The Language of Post-Modern Architecture, part three Postmodern Architecture, written by Charles Jencks, points  to the main features of PM Architecture and its contrast to Modern  Architecture, reinforcing the main  aspects: plural coding, complexity, the return of ornament, and  hybridization. After reading the texts, we found interesting connections between Ironists and Postmodernists, among the similarities, the usage of different codes/vocabularies to build their own final one. We also discussed about FAT (Fashion Architecture Taste), an office led by Sean Griffiths, Charles Holland, and Sam Jacob, that tries to give architecture  meaning and break the monotonous look of cities like London.  One of the projects that called our attention was The Villa, in the Netherlands. This project is one  of the many from FAT, that considers the community and history  as its main focus, their projects bring meaning to the building, not  just on the facade but to the usage.  Understanding more their approach and style, not just Postmodernist, FAT could then also  be considered Kitsch. This act of taking something that already exists and putting into a new usage  with different material and scale, but still passing a message. This is why we decided that we want 5  ed to work with Kitsch.  When we actually started searching for definitions of Kitsch, we  noticed not everyone sees it the way we do, contrariwise, it’s actually seen as bad taste, as its german definition translates, but, if it’s that bad, why does it work? We also came across Queer spaces, and one thing we’ve  learned, from different marginalized groups, is the reappropiation  of words, and how we can apply it to our research. The main topic in our research, is Participatory Design, where  we, professionals with more experience in design methods, work  together with the participants, in our case kids. Including them in  our design process, we understood that kids, by nature, are  more inclusive and that we can learn a lot from them. How can the kids’ thinking help  and influence to make architecture more inclusive? We intend to  answer these questions, not only with our theorie but also with our Doll House. We want to create spaces where people are not just users, but rather part of it.

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