Critical Vehicles Response 2


Okay I actually did a long response to “Critical Vehicles” by Krystof Wodiczko last semester, which you can find here.

It was one of the readings that impacted me the most. However, as to not reiterate too much what I have said there. Here I shall respond to the reading in relation to the other readings we have done thus far for this module and if my thoughts has changed thus far(over the summer lels).


  • Democracy is suffering and we must heal it.
  • His works tries to heal it by waking people up from the numbness. In other words, making people realise what they have overlooked for so long.
  • One way he does so is by making his art an active intervention in normal life. (something that disrupts such that it attracts attention)
  • A critical vehicle is a medium that is used to transport  important ideas ideas and emotions for the purpose of catalysing thought, new visions and action within people. Such that they themselves will in turn become catalyst who would do the same.
  • And in his words, a critical vehicle has to be “ambitious” and “responsible”.
  • Design should deconstruct life. IT should unmask and uncover lives.
  • Design should be done to respond to problems that should not exist.
  • Design should attract attention to itself first and foremost.
  • It should not be permanent. In the sense that once the problem is solved, the design should no longer have purpose.
  • It should be akin to a bandage. A bandage attracts attention and informs that there is a wound there. A bandage is also discarded when that wound has healed.
  • Design must critically explore and painfully reveal the problems it is trying to solve.
  • Design should not represent or speak for the survivors (or the vanquished) of the problem rather it should be designed with them
  • Interrogative design could also be done in a way such that viewers and participants will question preconceptions and assumptions.
  • It should not just be a decoration. Because in that form it does not beautify but does the opposite.
  • Architecture is no longer just a collection of buildings. Rather they must be recognised as a social system.



Thoughts on Reading

  • In previous weeks through Zumthor and Siah Armajani we saw architecture and public art in a more traditional sense. But we recognise that it should be designed with the human presence in mind. And we should consider their experience when moving through the space. Last week, through Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, we saw how architecture does not need to be permanent and could be changed and reactive through technological intervention. And now we have another layer. Krystof Wodiczko, is a big proponent of art (and the use of architecture) as tools and mediums to solve social issues. As mentioned in my previous response I totally agree with this notion. We as artist have the gift of voice and I feel like we have a social responsibility to use this voice to bring to light social issues of the people who don’t have the luxury.


  • In my previous response I talked about how we should turn and look to America and the UK to see that democracy is ill. Now I want to use our very own Singapore as an example. If we want to talk about a society that is dumb and sleepy from the illness of democracy, our own society is a great example of this. I feel that our government does a really good job at meeting our basic needs. When it comes to jobs, food, facilities, money, infrastructure, we are all very well taken care off. However that has caused us to be fat, lazy and sleepy. One example would be LGBTQ+ legitimacy in Singapore. I the past year there has been increased dialogue with regards to 377A. So far the establishment’s response with regards to this has remained the same pivots. “It is not enforced” “Everyone is welcome to work in Singapore regardless of sexual orientation.” And these talking points cleverly keeps us passive, it causes us to fail to realise that we are still second class citizens because so many benefits are tied to marriage. The other issue would be racial harmony in Singapore, but I digress. Basically, Singapore has its own gamut of issues too that we must and should at least talk about. And Krystof Wodiczko’s model of design and art can help with this.


  • We should recognise architecture and buildings as powerful tools to be used as the medium of our art because they are important points in our lives. We don’t always recognise it, but these buildings are very prominent and the moment they are disrupted, they become a point of space time compression where many consciousness focus on. This can be used to place attention on our art.

Thoughts on Artworks

“City Hall Tower Projection, Krakow.”

I think, my favourite work by Wodiczko is still his projections(not just City Hall Tower Projection,Krakow, but his other projections on monuments too). Mainly because it displays and illuminates so much. Simply by being in dialogue with people that we ignore. And by showing others this conversation, we now see. In essence it is such a simple artwork. But still so very powerful.



  • Must all art have a social issue tied to them? Must all art be politicized? Obviously no, art for arts sake is also valid. But with the state of the world being what it is, rife with problems, is it responsible for artist like us, who have the power to inspire and catalyse thoughts, to ignore these issues ? Then again to be angry and at arms about everything is physically impossible. Would it be possible to do both at the same time. Art that simply helps people enjoy the moment and lifts the participant’s spirits, but at the some time be read as something more. But only if the participant wishes to do so. Art that gives participants the choice of ignorance?

Thank you for taking time to read this and I wish you a happy day 😀


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