The Closet: A Series of Techno-Affective Devices

David Gil Delgado

Originally published as a Master's thesis in Architecture, in University of Alicante
Tutor: Miguel Mesa del Castillo Clavel

The closet is the space where we can assert our true selves. It is the opposite of what we are expected to be in the public realm. It is in its interior where we save the masks we avail ourselves of in the outside world. It contains both our biological and socially produced material. Not only is it metaphorical but also a space that we always carry with us, and which is only open when the context permits it.

Everyone has their own kind of closet: bigger or smaller, permanent or transportable, more open or more closed. However, the content and use that everybody can make of their closet is determined by the spaces we go through throughout our lives. If such content is not accepted by the exterior spaces, maybe this closet will never dare to open and enable the affective realisation of its owner.

This project’s catalyst is formed by all those closets that endure and contrive a way to trawl through a space where they can open. It falls into two working areas: a fragmented cartography – contact with case study subjects and sites; and a propositional research – 10 material sceneries. Both working areas are simultaneous and still open to further discussion, liable to keep developing. They are both intended to articulate an Affective Ecology applied to architecture as a working method for criticism and the proposal of affective spaces.

The fragmented cartography consists of learning, discovering and assorting, whilst not unveiling, manifold human agents and miscellaneous technologies –techno-affective devices – that skirt the rules of certain spaces. Their strenuous efforts result in affective satisfactions that would not be accepted in the prevailing spatial and social context. These people, communities and technologies form an arena where affective issues can be debated and contested on a global and local scale, creating a package of knowledge that can be applied in architectural design. The main goal is to eschew the oppression of minorities and “outsiders” existing in whichever context we conduct research.

 The series of techno-affective devices is centred on creating n sceneries, written in n chapters – at the moment and in this context, there will be 10 – with the aim of building a critical method against any kind of affected oppression linked to architecture. All proposals endeavour to empower the anti-normative “deviations” so as to achieve the sentimental and physical realisation of one or more human agents. 10 affective stories, 10 architectural proposals, 10 challenges against the normative, 10 vindications against control, 10 social debates, 10 queer spaces, 10 institutionalizations, 10 multi-performances, 10 freedom trials, 10 struggles for equality… We can label them in different ways.

We can also read each proposal either individually or linked with the others. Nevertheless, they all share the same objective: opening the closet.

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