critical

confronting current realities and presumptions of tourism

definitions:

critical

adjective
 1. Expressing adverse or disapproving comments or judgements

2.Expressing or involving an analysis of the merits and faults of a work of literature, music, or art and society

3.(of a situation or problem) having the potential to become disastrous; at a point of crisis

 

synonyms

censorious, negative, fault-finding evaluative, analytic, explicative serious crucial

conformist

 

noun

A person, project or a practice which conforms to accepted behaviour or established practices

synonyms

concentionalist, traditionalist, bourgeois, formalist,
conservative, diehard

discourse:

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de Certeau, Michel, The Practice of Ever

69

cr_critical geography

Hill, Jonathan, Rendell, Jane, Critical

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CRI 1

Heindl,_Gabu_,_Jeinic,_Ana,_Klein,_Micha

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CRI 3

societyofthespectacleperlman

for-forest-flaus-littmann-worthersee-sta

unending

Superarchitettura_ Radical Italian Desig

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Bakker, Gijs, Bey, Jurgen, Bless, Fausti

Philippe Ramette _ The Suicide of Object

CRI 2

desire managment__STILL

yona friedman

 

when does criticism become a necessary call to crisis?

Socratic Questioning
Socrates
1st Century BC

This concept is a method of critical thinking through disciplined questioning that gives a person a comprehensive overview of a situation leading to thoughtful dialogue. This is an effective way to thoroughly explore ideas.

 

...as a disciplined and systematic structure of thinking​​

 
Three Critiques
Immanuel Kant
18th Century

This concept is the premise of Kant’s three influential works, Critique of Pure Reason, Critique of Practical Reason and Critique of Judgement. Offering a non-empiricist critique of rationalist philosophy, Kant maintains that our understanding of the external world manifests not merely in experience, but in both experience and a priori concepts.

…as an approach towards criticism as opposed to justification of knowledge

The Society of the Spectacle
Guy Debord
Zone Books
1967

This book deliberates on the concept of the “spectacle”, defined as the “autocratic reign of the market economy.” Debord notes the loss of authenticity as real social life becomes increasingly replaced by its mere representation.

 
“A by-product of the circulation of commodities, tourism, human circulation considered as consumption, is basically reduced to the leisure of going to see what has become banal. The economic organization of the frequentation of different places is already in itself the guarantee of their equivalence. The same modernization which has removed time from travel has also removed from it the reality of space.”
- Guy Debord
p. 168
Critical Geography

This concept progressively promotes societal change and liberation through rejecting empiricism, revealing the processes that produce inequalities, studying how representations of space can sustain power or be used as a tool to challenge power, while remaining self-critical.

...as an establishment of critical scholarship

 
 
The Frankfurt School of Critical Theory
Carl Grünberg
1923-53

The Frankfurt School was a school of social theory and critical philosophy. Their theory research indicated alternative paths to realizing the social development of a society and a nation.

…as an organised interrogation and critique towards the contradictions of society 

The Frankfurt School _ Critical Theory.j

rethinking-tradition

influencers now and then

anti-design

role of designer,

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Superarchitettura • Archizoom & Superstudio •1966 • Radical Italian design, Italy

Superarchitechturra was a theoretical and conceptual framework addressing the dynamics of mass production and mass consumption in the 1960’s. 

The Radical Design movement challenged the societal trend of super-this and super-that, and expressed a critical view towards developments of the time.

Superarchitettura • Archizoom & Superstudio •1966 • Radical Italian design, Italy

Superarchitechturra was a theoretical and conceptual framework addressing the dynamics of mass production and mass consumption in the 1960’s. 

...by establishing a theoretical and conceptual framework for a critical superimposition within contemporary cultural production

 

to what effect can institutional critique drive alternative solutions?

The Production of Space
Henri Lefebvre
Wiley-Blackwell
1992

This book outlines the influential theory of the social production of space, or the reproduction of social relations of production. Embracing everyday life against the generalization of industry, Lefebvre concerns himself with the complete and impending urbanisation of society.

“Eventually, critical thought (where it is not proscribed by the orthodox) wakes up to the fact that systematic reduction and reductionism are part and parcel of a political practice. The state and political power seek to become, and indeed succeed in becoming, reducers of contradictions.”
- Henri Lefebvre
p. 106
The Practice of Everyday Life
Michel de Certeau
University of California Press
1980

This book, one of the key texts in the study of everyday life, examines the individualisation of mass culture and the alteration of things, from utilitarian objects to street plans to rituals, laws and language, in order to make them their own.

 
”The presence and circulation of a representation (taught by preachers, educators, and popularizers as the key to socioeconomic advancement) tells us nothing about what it is for its users. We must first analyze its manipulation by users who are not its makers. Only then can we gauge the difference or similarity between the production of the image and the secondary production hidden in the process of its utilization.”
- Michel de Certeau
 
 

how can critical structures constantly adapt to context?

Desire management • Noam Toran • Venice Architecture Biennale, Italy • 2004

This project is a video divided in five sequences, each depicting objects used to express dissident behaviours. The domestic environment is where these acts can be freely manifested.

 

…as a deliberate act of subversive behaviour through the use of everyday objects

Seeking Comfort in an Uncomfortable Chair • Bruno Munari • Domus, Milan, Italy • 1944

This project is an article collecting pictures and thoughts criticising the tendency of design to follow and create new trends. Research should instead be focused on a durable, perfectioned object.

 

…as a personal appropriation of existing everyday objects

 
 
Strange Design: From Objects To Behaviours
Jehanne Dautrey and Emanuele Quinz
Idea Books
2016

This book raises questions rather than offering solutions. Through a strategy of modifying objects away from their usual forms and utilitarian functions, unusual uses and behaviours are evoked.

“Materializing unusual values in products is one way that design can be a powerful form of social critique.”
- Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby
Critical Design
Anthony Dunne & Fiona Raby
1999

This concept challenges the assumptions and ideas about the role objects play in everyday life, increasing awareness, provoking action and sparking debate with the aim of keeping design relevant in a changing world.

…as a confrontational design method by challenging assumptions and conceptions of the role of objects in everyday life

 
Critical Spatial Practice
Jane Rendell
2003

This concept involves questioning and transforming the social conditions of the sites in which one intervenes, as well as testing the boundaries and procedures of one's discipline through everyday activities and creative practices. This practice looks to resist the dominant social order of global corporate capitalism

…as an ongoing practice of criticism through spatial intervention

 
 
​Object for Lonely Men • Noam Toran • 2001 • London, UK

This project is an attempt to understand what initiates loneliness. The objects, such as “cold feet” to put under your blanket, are designed to alleviate loneliness after a girlfriend has left you.

 

…as translation of personal desires into physical action

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The Suicide of Objects • Philippe Ramette • 2001 • Paris, France
 

The Suicide of Objects depicts everyday objects committing suicide, showing the domestic banality of everyday life. ​

…as a provocation, highlighting human’s relationship with everyday objects

 

what is the imperative for interdisciplinarity?

Hegelian Dialectic
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
1812

This concept is an interpretive method in which an apparent contradiction between a proposition (thesis) and an opposing proposition (antithesis) is resolved at a higher level of truth by a third proposition (synthesis).

…as a method of discourse between two or more people holding different point of views

 
Speculative Design
Anthony Dunne & Fiona Raby
1999

This concept looks at designing for the purpose of cultural commentary, social interventions and exploration, using design to speculate about possible futures.

…as a future-oriented design method of addressing global issues through fictional scenarios

 
Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction and Social Dreaming
Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby
MIT Press
2013​

This book proposes design as a tool of speculation on possible futures. Grounded in contemporary practices of designers, Dunne and Raby draw on futurology, political theory, the philosophy of technology and literary fiction to open debate and discussion about the kind of future people want.

 

 
“We believe that by speculating more, at all levels of society, and exploring alternative scenarios, reality will become more malleable and, although the future cannot be predicted, we can help set in place today factors that will increase the probability of more desirable futures happening. And equally, factors that may lead to undesirable futures can be spotted early on and addressed or at least limited.”
 
- Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby
p. 6
 
Critical Architecture
Edited by Jane Rendell, Jonathan Hill, Mark Dorrian and Murray Fraser
Routledge
2007

This book examines the relationship between critical practice in design and architectural criticism in an interdisciplinary context, investigating the relationship between theory and practice, and examining the different modes of critical practice.

 

‘‘Given the disastrous changes to the earth’s climate caused by carbon dioxide emissions, along with the intensification of imperialist aggression by oil dependant nations as demand outstrips supply, it is not possible to go along with corporate capitalism in a pragmatic mode, without critique — to do so would be to support without question the inequalities that are integral aspects of this economic system.’’
- Jane Rendell
p. 3

Building Critique: Architecture and Its Discontents
Edited by Gabu Heindl, Michael Klein and Christina Linortner
Spector Books
2020

This collection of essays written by multiple authors deliberate the roles of critique in architecture throughout history and in modern time. Critique is endangered because of the interdependent relationship between architecture and profit and business.

 
‘‘When we turn our gaze to the current urban planning dynamics in cities, we find a debate around the production of space covering the scope defined by the two poles of, on the one hand, large and intricately composed concepts of market-driven spatial design and, on the other, the vitality of bottom-up processes. The first one relates to the currently dominant production of urban space, shifting toward economic growth, where financial capital has a major role in shaping cities around the world. In this context, the cities are losing the public spaces and social and cultural services in favor of the construction of shopping malls, luxurious office spaces and residential buildings. Simultaneously, bottom-up processes are emerging across European cities, operating along principles of self-organisation in order to challenge the dominant urban reality, where corporate capital has a significant role in the production of space and services.’’
 
- Iva Čukić
p. 167
 

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For Forest - The Unending Attraction of Nature • Klaus Litmann • Wörthersee Stadion, Klagenfurt, Austria • 2019

This project was a temporary art intervention using 300 Trees to cover up the entire playing field with a mixed forest characteristic of Central Europe. Visitors could admire the spectacle from the grandstands free of charge.

…as an appropriation of existing forms of cultural spectacle

 

how can critical structures constantly adapt to context?

 
Critical Spatial Practice
Jane Rendell
2003

This concept involves questioning and transforming the social conditions of the sites in which one intervenes, as well as testing the boundaries and procedures of one's discipline through everyday activities and creative practices. This practice looks to resist the dominant social order of global corporate capitalism

 

…as a future-oriented design method of addressing global issues through fictional scenarios

 
A Map to the Future
Yona Friedman
2014

This diagram, more relevant than ever in these days of uncertainty, finds an uncertain present caught between the fog of the past and the fog of the future. Friedman delineates this relationship in a nonlinear trajectory, accompanied by the text: “history does not know the straight line”.

 

…as a hyper-awareness of the present in relation to the past and the future

case studies of nanotourism:

 
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further aspects of critical characteristics identified in the above case study:

Perception / awareness

 

Critical observation allows us to understand and critically rethink certain habits and circumstances. Getting aware of the toxic effect of sunscreen.

Reactive provocation

Using shade to shed light on a larger issue with a provocative prototype. After researching and understanding the local context, this reaction prototypes a provocative way of thinking critically.

Self-reflection

 

The experience of this project will create a sense of critical thinking that should collectively encourage changing our habits. It even goes beyond only the sunscreen’s effect on the coral reef, but promotes critical thinking towards everyday life.

 

further aspects of critical characteristics identified in the above case study:

Awareness of the crisis

 

Knowing about the threat of deforestation is the basis for creating a critical reaction.

Protest

 

 

 

The tree-tent serve as a tool for protest. They provide a comfortable place for activists to stay during their habitation of the forest and prevent the trees from being cut down.

Stimulation of collective critic

 

The collective action of saving the trees shows how much power collectivity can have. One action can lead to the developing an established critic.

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further aspects of critical characteristics identified in the above case study:

Perception + awareness

 

Critical perception allows us to understand and critically rethink certain facts and stories we are told, becoming aware of the subjectivity.

Reactive provocation​

 

In the formal language of traditional tourist practices, a monument atop Vitanje encourages a certain distance which is far enough away to observe things critically.

Self-reflection

 

 

 

A sense of critical thinking encourages a constant requestioning pre-existing facts, raising awareness about mass tourism phenomena: institutions based on one book and loose facts, glorifcation of individuals, and so on.

 

extracted patterns:

Acknowledgment of crisis:

(immediate)

Subversive reaction:

(short-term)

Self-reflection: 

(long-term)

Critical observation enables perceptiveness and self-awareness in the face of conformist presumptions within  the current realities of tourism, reassigning responsibility otherwise disregarded within established practices.

An act of subversion emerges as a reaction to the crisis, using the same language of conformist tourism.

Systems of critical tourism normalize into conformist practices with trend and time. By retaining a reflective attitude, criticality within context-specific alternatives is able to continually arise.