The Invisible: Free the Space! #1
Virtual Indonesia Pavilion at Somerset House, London
In London Design Biennale 2021
An investigation into how the indigenous community faces shortcomings in their modern domestic space. The pavilion invites the audience to immerse in the inhabitant’s imagination to resonate inclusive design and social equality.
In public housing, design acts as an agency of power. Architecture has the power to persuade inhabitants, and to manifest a certain ideology. Within disinvested communities and spaces in urban areas, there is a discrepancy between the designed space and the way it is perceived by inhabitants. The universal design of public housing often disregards the communal culture and the inhabitant’s psychological needs. In architectural practices, the boundaries between private-public, production, and living space has collapsed. This can be perceived by an outsider as a failure of design, where the design has not been informed properly by those who will inhabitant it. On the other hand, there are informal designs formed by spatial patterns which are practiced collectively across Indonesia. These resonate with the global housing crisis and challenges faced by indigenous communities. As an agency of politics and culture, design needs to promote inclusivity and social equality.
The pavilion portrays home as a transient space. The installation explores the fluidity of space, creates an impression of doubling space, where boundaries are blurred between real-imagined space and a virtual-physical space. The pattern ‘doubling’ can be seen in how the installation juxtaposes site-specifically in Somerset House’s interior, using the projected screen to show the interior of public houses.
Within these illusory interiors, there are seven fragments of narrative which tell the audience about the uncanny situation of where the design failed to accommodate the inhabitant’s innate needs. Each of these narratives are performed by the installation through audio and video. The story resonates with the struggle to live in a modern building. For the audience, installation will be a multisensory: the 360-degree environment will invite them to imagine the inhabitant’s perceived space.