Interpretation of ‘The Infra-Ordinary’
Our interpretation of Georges Perec’s piece is that we as a greater society and as individuals have become jaded toward that which makes our lives possible living. The cogs of the system so to speak. We take the things and structures and processes around us for granted, not realizing the possibly extraordinary or unexpected circumstances in which they have come about, or the ingenuity it took to realise them.
We revel in the sensational and the transient, the events or occurrences that deviate from the complacent sense of normalcy that we have found ourselves blindly contented within, and these things often have no inherent value in themselves and are originating from and indicative of more extensive underlying issues that instead should be the focus of our attention, but that we have been blindsided from. Perhaps it is because of the pace of modern life, and the daily sensory overload we receive from merely existing in a space that offers input from every direction, that inundates our minds and renders us unable or unwilling to seek for more. But the irony is that the things that we take for granted today, were borne of asking questions and seeking answers. The conundrum is that if the people of the past were as complacent as we are now, there would not exist the things we have and use without giving a second thought for.
From the perspective of design, I believe that it is our responsibility as designers to familiarize ourselves with the processes and methods in which systems operate, be they social, cultural or mechanical. Only in this way can we responsibly design for the wider populace, as that which we create becomes a part of the social and physical environment, and directly or indirectly influences the lives of people.