A Brick Presumes a Body and other attempts at (not) exhausting myself (in real life)

Kaiya Waerea


A brick presumes a body. A hand to hold it, fingers to grip it, muscle to lay it. A house built of presumptions, of hands, of fingers. Design, like language, like love, leans forward, projecting bodies into the future – who is allowed there?

Through chronic illness, my body articulates a resistance to what is normative. Design shapes normativity; our structuring or lack thereof though sites, frameworks, objects, timetables, and discourses shapes who has access to the future. Against this, my body is demanding its own language, in its own tongue.

Points Toward an Attitude of Design Cripistemologies:

We are bodies in a room. Bodies that cough, ache, and flutter. Bodies that need to eat, that love and want, and are engaged in the sensual world. We need to understand that bodies are not constant, but are in flux, and so are their needs.
Question:  How can we think our bodies?

Accessibility questionnaires are the start, not the end, of the question. This conversation needs to be ongoing, and occur through a range of formats; in writing, and face to face. It is not ‘what is wrong?’ but ‘what do you need?’ that should be the concern.
Question:  How can we listen, and re-listen, and re-listen?

Our boundaries of thought are entangled with the boundaries of language, and borne of White Capitalist Patriarchy, our languages are so often imbued with violence.
Question:  How can we sift through languages to find logics of love?

Our physical arrangements reflect power dynamics that shape who is comfortable speaking, and who is willing to listen. The pedagogical spaces we create need to set up participation that allows for a multitude of exchanges.
Question:  What do we need to learn and unlearn together?

The models of resistance readily available to us operate on white, male, able terms, more often than not perpetuating the dichotomies they are attempting to critique.
Question:  How can we find new aesthetics of resistance?

Amongst the exhaustion of navigating the daily experience of being in a world not designed for you, one can quickly become stuck living in just-in-time. The task of imagining futures is left to those with the privilege of having time and energy to do so.
Question:  How can we look forward with tired eyes?

Prioritising consent means respecting that sometimes now is not the time. Consent can slip out of relationships shockingly discreetly, but we can no longer ignore each other’s boundaries around what we expect from each other to meet what is normative; as workers, as patients, as lovers, as friends.
Question:  If not now then when?

You can watch my film, A Collision, on Criposium's online exhibition by clicking here