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Pause: Unmapping Methods
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå School of Architecture.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8752-5712
2013 (English)In: By Design Symposium “Plenitude and Emptiness”- The University of Edinburgh, College of Art, 4-6 Oct 2013, 2013Conference paper, Presentation (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

“Sometimes I see something so moving I know I’m not supposed to linger. See it and leave. If you stay too long, you wear out the wordless shock. Love it and trust it and leave.”

(Don DeLillo, Underworld)[1]


Standing in the middle of plentitude of images, objects, impositions, there is a need for explosion of silence, of emptiness where imagination finds a chance to flourish. Here architecture could become the art of editing, erasing, liberating, decolonizing the space. Design becomes a powerful method of thinking of planning a process to understand when we should stop adding to the world and instead decolonizing the space, creating points of pauses, ‘creating frameworks where interesting things can happen’[2] and at the same time breaking down those very frameworks. In other words it is about creating ‘infrastructure of pauses’; about “the architecture that leaves space for the uncertainty of the real”[3].

 That recent revolutions are mainly taking place through roundabouts, bridges, highways or in other words ‘infrastructure of high speed’, calls us to look more deeply at ins and outs of urban struggle and its subtle strategies. When increasing speed is the reality of today urban life, pause and slowing down, as a strategy to occupy infrastructure, blocks off and disturbs everyday routines and established flows. Metaphorically it makes a “stammering”[4] moment that is capable of being ensued by change in speed, shift in direction or building a completely new route. This shift, change or pause could be simply called revolution. In this matter pause becomes a method of ‘unmapping’ the city through action. Contemplating further on the idea of pause and its revolutionary potentials brings this question to mind if and how the idea of pause as a stammering moment could be applied in architecture profession and methodologies of performing in the world.

Inspired by “fictocriticism” and taking the urban context as an established literary text this paper focuses on the concept of “pause” as a method to interrupt the dominant urban flows and tries to investigate how architecture (design) is able to perform and create ‘infrastructure of pauses’ to unmap the dominant city. How “emptiness” could not only be applied but also be created; not as a “terrain vague” but as a field that invites different forces and creates a revolutionary shift. To develop the concept of “pause” and its revolutionary potentials, part of this research[6] is being done through combination of images and text that is carried out by everyday photography.

[1] . Don DeLillo, Underworld, Picador, 2011, Kindle ed.

[2]. Rolf Hughes, From Form to Transformation, presentation from KU project at Konstfack, 17 May 2013

[3] . Sten Allan, Field Conditions, 1985

[4] . Gilles Deleuze, Three Questions about “Six Fois Deux”

[6] . ”Image and Dialogic” research is an ongoing part of my PhD working with photography, dialogues and texts.

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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-108314OAI: diva2:852302
Plenitude and Emptiness
Available from: 2015-09-08 Created: 2015-09-08 Last updated: 2015-09-08

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Karami, Sepideh
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