Idiosyncratic Infrastructure

Year:

2020-

Filip Geerts and Giacomo Rizzi

Author(s):

The design of infrastructure and its component parts is dominated by standards, codes and

conventions that are intended to enhance efficiency, safety and feasibility, cemented in a

repository of proven knowledge that is above all normative. At the same time infrastructural

objects are always grounded in complex pre-existing realities, produced by contradictory desires,

and often influenced by conflicting agencies. The customized intersection of standards, codes

and conventions with the specificities, resistances and opportunities of a real terrain has

produced often clever, inventive, and imaginative solutions. These “idiosyncratic” solutions have

however often remained off the radar, and do not prominently contribute to the body of knowledge

of infrastructure design, mainly because of being too specific and difficult to categorize. The

publication, made in collaboration with TU Delft’s Deltas, Infrastructures & Mobility Initiative (DIMI), intends to remedy this knowledge gap, by collecting, representing and categorizing pieces of infrastructures. Analysing the specific circumstances conditioning these artifacts, investigating

modes of representation specific to infrastructure, and focusing on the very "thingness" of the

infrastructural artifact, will eventually result in a catalogue of “idiosyncratic infrastructures”.

Idiosyncratic Infrastructure