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Far from being a neutral tool, design software is encoded with politics. Their underlying parameters need to be examined, challenged, and questioned. What is the default setting upon start-up? What data categories define menu options? Which input fields are obligatory for calculation to compute? Whose data does the default white skinned avatar represent? Arakawa and Gins designed the Reverse Destiny Lofts with Helen Keller in mind, the quintessential antithesis to the standardized human body that the Modulor depicts. Rather than optimizing space and building processes, their design allowed for a sensory experience of the space within which the body lives, is activated, and is challenged. Could architecture, designed for specific bodies, generate alternate experiences and perspectives? Similar to a virtual camera in three-dimensional space that has the ability to observe from multiple angles producing various realities, each one truthful in their own right, architectural space designed with an anti-standard body—a Queer Modulor—would perhaps allow visitors an alternate perspective to their own. Rather than a new attempt at an anthropometric standard, the idea of a Queer Modulor proposes a deconstruction of existing body measurements, representations, and interfaces to allow for multiple realities.

Measuring produces the conception of being in control, of understanding through analysis, reduction, and sortation. In turn, the unknown Other becomes excluded, and as such rendered non-existent. Historian Alfred W. Crosby describes Western society’s obsession with measurement and quantification as it occurred during a shift between auditory to visual authority in information transmission during the twelfth century by describing a society within which “the recipient of light ruled: the eye.” A similar analogy could be drawn today.[9] The emitter of light is the computer monitor. Mirrored in the recipient’s eye: the graphical user interface.



1. Johan Huizinga, The Waning of the Middle Ages (New York: Doubleday, 1954), 284.

2. Yanni A. Loukissas, “Keepers of the Geometry,” in Simulation and its Discontents, ed. Sherry Turkle (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2009), 153.

3. Denis Wood et al., Seeing Through Maps: Many Ways to See the World (ODT, Inc, 2006).

4. Alfred W. Crosby, “The Measure of Reality: Quantification and Western Society, 1250-1600” (Cambridge University Press, 1997), 168.

5. Le Corbusier, The Modulor: A Harmonious Measure to the Human Scale, Universally Applicable to Architecture and Mechanics (Basel & Boston: Birkhäuser, 2004)56.

6. Kathleen M. Robinette et al., Civilian American and European Surface Anthropometry Resource (CAESAR) Final Report, Volume I: Summary (Dayton, Ohio: United States Air Force Research Lab., Human Effectiveness Directorate, Crew System Interface Division, 2002).

7. Kenneth Wong, "In Harm's Way," Computer Graphics World 35, no. 5 (Aug/Sept 2012).

8. Momoyo Homma, “‘We Have Decided Not to Die’ The Work of Arakawa and Madeline Gins,” The Funambulist 7 (2016).

9. Alfred W. Crosby, “The Measure of Reality: Quantification and Western Society, 1250-1600” (Cambridge University Press, 1997), 133.


Marina Otero Verzier
Katía Truijen
Amal Alhaag, Beatriz Colomina, Marten Kuijpers, Victor Muñoz Sanz, Simone C. Niquille, Mark Wigley
Jane Chew and Matthew Stewart, Northscapes Collective (Hamed Khosravi, Taneha K. Bacchin and Filippo laFleur), Noam Toran, Giuditta Vendrame, Paolo Pattelli, Liam Young.
Raphael Coutin, Marina Otero Verzier
Hans Gremmen
Christiane Bosman, Eveline Mulckhuyse
Simone C. Niquille
Nick Axel
Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science Creative Industries Fund NL Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Rome, Italy

With the title WORK, BODY, LEISURE the 2018 Dutch Pavilion addresses the spatial configurations, living conditions, and notions of the human body engendered by disruptive changes in labor ethos and conditions.