Mediating Tactics

The intricate milieus in which architecture participates are intensive, contingent and dynamic, and characterised by altering conditions, connections, and inter-actions. The capacity to act within these contexts requires modes of thinking and ways of operating that are resourceful, versatile, resilient and attentive, and have an aptitude to evolve in time-space. For this reason, the orthodoxies of architecture -its myths, modes and means- must be challenged, and subjected to recursive and rigorous scrutiny, criticism, and creative manipulation, experiment and speculation. Mediating Tactics is an environment for realising this aim. It is also a place from which to reach out to other of knowledge -social, political, artistic, technological, biological, ecological, philosophical, curatorial, etc.- and for setting up hybrid forms of situated collaborative practices with them. The fields of mediation thus created, are the locus for the development and deployment of radical and wicked strategies for improving architecture’s capacities to shape and organise the world(s) we inhabit. A supplementary objective is to provide an enabling learning-environment that is as heterogeneously diversified and wide in spectrum, composition, and approaches as the world of architecture that it takes as its primary matter of concern and care. Ultimately, it must provide a haven for (re-)claiming the licence …
to kill architecture’s darlings;
to welcome those who have been excluded from it;
to silence the masters’ voices;
to give space to disagreement and contention;
to oppose its institutionalised structures and relations;
to embrace and engage the conditions and urgencies/emergencies of now;
to take perspectives that are transversal, oblique, inverting, and to extend, stretch, push and kick architecture around;
to make potentially everything questionable;
to affirm that architecture is not alone but part of something that is both bigger and smaller than itself;
to consider theory as a practice, and as something that is designed and constructed;
to state that what is generally accepted, is not by definition good or legitimate;
to push to the limit and beyond
to place that which is now in the fringes at the centre of attention;
to develop capacities to be(come) ‘response-able’ and ‘stay with the trouble’, as Donna Haraway puts forward;
and to claim the space to develop and raise a voice, even when one is not invited to.

Thierry Berlemont
Curator Mediating Tactics Engagement, Faculty of Architecture, KU Leuven
March 2021