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The other


Emmanuel Levinas, a Western philosopher who criticizes the basic premise of Western philosophy: the subject 'I' that takes center stage. Just think of Descarte's famous quote "I think, therefore I am". The same 'I' perspective is often taken as a central point in architecture. The central point of Levinas is 'the other'. However, our mind is trapped in the 'I' dimension, quickly forgetting the other in it. With this research I want to give shape and substance to this phenomenon, the awareness of the other in the city, in the public space. I saw my home city of Ostend as a spatial lab, as a place where alterity thinking can be introduced.

The philosophy of Levinas shows that the interior of the house is an important place to be open to others. When we can show this inwardness to the other, we can build relationships with others. When the interior remains hidden, it misses the opportunity to reveal the other. In other words, if we can combine interior architecture with the Levinasian philosophy, we give the other a chance to be received through interior architecture in public space.

with this research I tried to expose the deep inside (the interior) into the public space for the other. The other is thus valued in his actual alterity in the public space. In addition, I argue that if we can turn the fixed points of the interior outwards, we better embrace the other by moving the central 'I-perspective'. It is therefore through our imagination that we get the chance to shape alterity thinking.

The design proposes a surrealistic cut, in which a shift between the boundary of the 'I' and 'the other' occurs by reversing the fixed architectural points. The act of inverting these values ​​is a spatial fact that results in a design strategy.

Winner of the audience award of the A-Place Mapping contest "Share your artwork" 2021

Link to an external source of the artwork: https://chelseywatthy.wixsite.com/watthychelsey

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