{ boundaries of power }


What you learn in architecture school is the act of making. Rarely is it fully acknowledged that the making of something new is accompanied by the act of unmaking of what was there before. It is simply seen as a given, an inevitability, a point of origin; not so much as an active (often violent) act of removal, erasure even.

Traces are always left in the form of physical remnants, archive materials and memories of people. However, over time, if deemed invaluable to the structures of power, these traces will continue the process of disappearing, becoming erased. The space is being unmade.

The making process isn’t innocent either. With every room that is created, access is given to certain persons while others are excluded. Who is made room for? Who is the owner of the room? Which bodies are allowed in? Which bodies are deemed ‘good’ bodies worth designing for? What are the histories narrated by the room? Which stories get told?

(un)making room can go beyond the physicality of space. You can look at processes of exclusion from institutions, knowledge production, histories, practice. Which positions are being valued and heard and which aren’t?

To make room for other ways of doing and thinking sometimes requires, as Sepake Angiama calls it, the disruption of fixed modes of practice. Depending on your position of power and privilege it’s often not possible to unmake violent structures or make something new. But maybe a temporary unmaking, in the form of destabilization or disruption is possible, through acting space in a different, albeit temporary ways, through performance / alternative pedagogies / care / ruptures / collectivity /. As a glimpse of something different, yet to be made.


Sue Jeong Ka