TEACHING / EXISTENZMAXIMUM radical:common

Housing Design Studio, 2022/23

Research Unit of Housing and Design, TU Wien

Niemeyer_HQ Partie communiste.jpg

„We speak a different language. 

They say representation; we say experimentation.

They say identity; we say multitude. 

They say control the banlieus; we say let’s mix the city. 

They say human capital; we say multi-species alliance. 

They say horsemeat on our plates; we say let’s get on horseback to escape the global slaughterhouse together. 

They say power; we say potency. 

They say integration; we say open source. 

They say interdisciplinary; we say undisciplined. 

They say man-woman, Black-White, human-animal, homosexual-heterosexual, Israel-Palestine; we say you know very well that your truth-production apparatus has stopped working...”

 

(Paul B. Preciado, An Apartment on Uranus - Chronicles of the crossing, 2019)

 

It is time to think radically differently.

 

Confronted with changing social realities, the emerging consequences of an advancing climate change, geopolitical shifts, increasing distributional injustices and a commodification of architecture, we as planners are challenged to question our social role and mechanisms in the production of space and city.

 

In the spirit of the term NORMCORE described in archplus 220, we want to investigate the radicality of the normal. This is about freeing architecture from marketability as an object towards cultural vessels with social programming. Away from the spaces of expectation of current housing production and towards building structures that are resource-efficient, cost-effective and use-open enabling spaces for a diverse urban society.

In this way, how can the ordinary, serial, simple, and affordable also enable the wild, the unconventional, and "the other"? Instead of ensuring a scarce existential minimum, how can we rather strive for the structural framework for a liberated existential maximum?

 

The ambivalence of the term common as "the ordinary" on the one hand and "the shared" on the other hand will be seen as a potential to infuse all these considerations with a new understanding of community, communality and cooperation, following the ideas of Silvia Federici.

 

We want to deal with a real urban context. The transforming city of Paris with its high density and cultural/social diversity appears to us as a suitable real laboratory.

 

The idea of the final projects is always to pursue the radical other, to create the basis for a common spirit and to transfer this into a building structure in the parisian context.

 

Led by Michael Obrist and Max Utech