transforming the home to match the inhabitant, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin 2005
making your home look like you, Berlin 2005

First we have to know what we are talking about.

This is how the Longman Dictionary of contemporary English defines it:

strange /streɪndʒ/ adj
1. unusual or surprising, especially in a way that is difficult to explain or understand: a strange noise / Does Geoff’s behaviour seem strange to you? (…)There is something strange about that house.
2. someone or something that is strange is not familiar because you have not seen or met them before: all alone in a strange city.

Merriam-Webster adds to this:
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French estrange, from Latin extraneus, literally, external, from extra outside
1 a archaic: of, relating to or characteristic of another country: foreign 1 b: not native or naturally belonging in a place: of external origin, kind, or character
2a: not before known, heard or seen: unfamiliar 2b: exciting wonder or awe: extraordinary
3a: discouraging familiarities: reserved, distant 3b: ill at ease
4: unaccustomed: she was strange to his ways

I’m looking for the extraordinary, the unique and the exotic (which is nothing new for 21st century arts or architecture) but I will also try to look for the quaint, the peculiar and the eccentric. Because I think that the strangeness of the ordinary can reveal something important. The result might be an architectural freakshow or a guide to better homes.


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