Waiting Room of Democracy
As argued by Peter Sloterdijk in his article “Atmospheric Politics,” “democracy depends on the ability to lend a spatial dimension to things said one after the other; it therefore implies constant training in patience.” In order to become a citizen, then, one has to exercise the necessary patience to listen while others speak. If previous spatial types of democratic assembly have always been about getting together, this waiting room is a location where two individuals are randomly paired up in order to speak and listen to each other.
As other instances when people are asked to wait, this room places its soon-to-be-citizens in limbo. This waiting room puts things in a state of temporary suspension while two strangers patiently discuss what it takes for citizens to live with each other. As other waiting rooms, this room is not an end in itself. Nevertheless, it is a necessary means for reestablishing the most essential quality for citizenship to continue to exist in times of instant gratification and simulation.
The Waiting Room of Democracy is part of Typologies for Big Words, an ongoing series of speculative projects imagining new types of spaces as holes opening in society’s big words.
Waiting Room of Democracy by Holes of Matter/Sergio Lopez-Pineiro.
Speculative Project, 2018.
Project Team: Sergio Lopez-Pineiro, Tammy Teng.
Sergio Lopez-Pineiro is the founder of Holes of Matter, a research and design practice exploring voids as sources of freedom, diversity, and spontaneity. Lopez-Pineiro is a lecturer in landscape architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design where he teaches studios and seminars on architecture, landscape architecture, and urbanism. holesofmatter.com