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Accepted Paper:

Kirsten Marie Raahauge (The Royal Danish Academy of Architecture, Design and Conservation, The Design School)

Paper short abstract:

A new kind of surfaces has emerged concerning the things and interiors of Danish homes. Increasingly, the aesthetics is oriented towards cleanness, practicality, transparency, and flexibility. When surrounded by surfaces that reject traces of the past, what happens to the capability of remembering?

Paper long abstract:

In Danish homes, something new is happening. The order of the interior gravitates towards fewer and more efficient things and rooms. A significant part of this change has to do with the surfaces becoming still smoother and more hygienic, dust refusing and easy to clean, qualified by their newness and lack of ability to receive information from their surroundings, and produced to reject wear and tear. Furthermore, many of the things are produced to be replaced if they are marked by traces or stains. IKEA-furniture, nano treated windows, TVs, and I-pads have in common that the patina of old age is rejected by their surfaces, lowering their level of remembrance-capabilities. This recurrent trope in my fieldworks in Danish homes over the years (1996-now) gives rise to some dilemmas. What happens when things are broken or scratched? What if the home is haunted? How do you recognize the inhabitants, if this surrounding is generic and flexible and stays hygienic and shiny? How to deal with time passing, when the social web of thing-space-inhabitants is challenged by smooth surfaces? All of this points to new perceptions concerning the social role of things and homes. How is “hygge” integrated into these settings? How do time-refusing things become part of social life? What are the balances between tableaux and secrets? Where is the clutter? These changes point beyond the social life of homes, suggesting that much more is in transformation towards efficient, practical, smooth lives, where oblivion replaces remembrance.

Panel P099b
Reordering Domestic Spaces: Wild Ecologies of Things in the 21st Century II
  Session 1 Friday 29 July, 2022, -