To be a stranger is a preferable condition: to relax preconceptions, to absorb, to learn. It is to confront the new, even where it was thought not to exist. It is to enjoy the privilege of seeing difference – even within a global society where ‘sameness’ is said to be the only condition. The Berlage Institute fosters the status of ‘stranger’; it encourages the seeing of difference. In this first issue of Hunch, multiple encounters of strangers are documented, not only in the Netherlands, but also in Los Angeles and Tokyo. ‘Difference’ deals with dialogue space and space for negotiation. Architecture is art of a discourse with multiple disciplines; it is related, more then ever, to technological innovation. Difference deals with programmatic fluctuation and the condition of the nomad – the free movement of an element of exteriority. There are no boundaries anymore; no eternal form. To deal with difference is less a critique than a positive exercise; it starts from the outside to break constraints. We should look upon differences as an open system that does not pretend to be defined; it aspires to create a fabric of intense conditions, among which any number of connecting routes could exist. ‘Difference’ also explains Hunch itself. Since the Berlage Institute’s beginnings, it has communicated its activities through the Berlage Papers each trimester, and the Berlage Cahiers each year. Hunch is a new approach – one that attempts to reach a diverse audience; one that demonstrated architecture’s true multidisciplinary character and finally one that we hope will reflect the depth, the originality; and of course the difference of ideas, visions, and perceptions at the Berlage institute.

Wiel Arets, Hunch No. 1, The Berlage Institute, 1999, pp. 8