Georges Perec – The Infra-Ordinary

In this reading, Georges Perec begins by talking about how day-to-day tragedies and major incidents affect us much more than the ordinary events of daily life. Perec was a French essayist and novelist who lived from 1936 to 1982. He then defines and describes the “infra-ordinary”, which he refers to as things, matters and occasions that are banal, habitual and common.

In relation to the studio project, I felt that the concept of the “infra-ordinary” somewhat relates to the idea of serendipity – in that these are moments that, while observed, or do occur, they are not anticipated. Thus, I would argue that a serendipitous occurrence can be classified as a subset of the “infra-ordinary”.

Extrapolating from this, one thing that I could relate this to was to the existence of “unnoticeable design” and this made this set of readings meaningful for me¬†as “unnoticeable design” is something that I hold quite close in my practice as a designer in training.

Personally, I would define “unnoticeable design” as design that achieves its function without being overtly designed, such that it is able to work without being noticed. At a personal level, I admire design that achieves its purpose in such a way as it shows that the producer has managed to avoid placing too much emphasis on the intricacies of form and visuals but instead focused on allowing it to seamlessly function and achieve its aims.

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