Avsar Gurpinar

I live, teach and design in the UK. I am a lecturer in Loughborough University, School of Design and Creative Arts. I am a co-founder of Ambiguous Standards Institute. I am a member of Design Research Society, a reviever for The Design Journal, an occasional critic for DAMN and Monu magazines and autodidactic tennis player.

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Le Grand K2, 2021, Barite on scale, Istanbul Pera Museum, The Art of Weights and Measures.

Le Grand K, a platinum-iridium cylinder with a mass of exactly one kilogram, was the global measure of the absolute standard of weight for 130 years. Although it had lost only fifty micrograms, or a speck of dust, of its weight in that entire time, it was discarded in 2019 with the words "it is clearly intolerable that the official definition of a kilogram is a piece of old metal locked in a safe". It also meant the end of an almost prehistoric system in which the measure of weight was based on the weight of an object found in nature.
However, in an age where all that is solid melts in the air and all units in the International System of Units (SI) are based on absolute numbers and constants one by one, this extremely precise system brought to our flexible and variable Earth, which is far from perfection in every aspect, full of flaws and margins of error, is without question, unacceptable. That's why there is a need for a new Le Grand K that can keep up with our imperfections, is indexed to a real object, allows analogue conversion, and makes us feel safe.