BLOB is an institutional criticism in the form of a piece of provocative furniture, aiming to bring attention to the unbalanced power structure of TU Delft in gender and culture. BLOB believes students are confronted with a lack of diversity of institutional role models at least 85 percent of the time during their education in the Architecture Faculty of TU Delft. This is derived from analysing the diversity of the leaders, committee members and the academic staff, as well as investigating the exhibitions, invited lecturers, and corridor displays. BLOB is a design tool to trigger conversations around the problem through the application of sexuality, provocative performances and humour.
BLOB is a creation of a group of anonymous activist students, who operates through the rejection of institutional norms. We see the bureaucratic organisation method and the top-down decision-making of the university restricting free expression and censoring institutional criticism. This time we wanted to test a new strategy and leave a sign behind through finding a loophole in the bureaucratic system. We promote risk-taking, shameless behaviour and provocative actions.
We extended the archive of TU Delft’s Chair Collection with a self-made outrageous piece of furniture as a critique in order to highlight the unbalanced power structure in gender and culture. BLOB was installed to the collection on the 10th of May through a series of disruptive performances in emblematic spaces of BK City. We designed our choreography, gender-blurring costumes and our mode of detailed operation.
We chose to play songs from the feminist punk group Pussy Riot during the rebellion in order to place the performance in a larger context. We consider the costumes successful tools as they gave us both adrenaline and the power of being an unexpected and uncontrolled element in such a regulated and controlled environment.
"BLOB is a diagram-like visualisation reflecting on the current unbalanced power structure. BLOB is a manifesto of an activist group promoting action. BLOB is a chair made out of synthetic materials. BLOB is a part of a body. It is human, handmade and imperfect."
Having many faces, identities, genders and cultural backgrounds, we wish to develop ourselves in a rich environment surrounded by diverse role models. Gender imbalance of idols restricts the creativity of both the student body and the academic staff. The outdated value system of TU Delft's Architecture Faculty and the representation of a dominant gender in the profession needs to change. This institutional problem is beyond BLOB or even the operation of TU Delft. We do not offer solutions, however we believe in the influential capability of activist events. They can contribute to long-term change. They act as a bug in the power system, triggering conversations and fast reactions in an institutional context.