An architecture for one, two and many. The House. The neighborhood. The City.
The city that we inhabit today is based in capital accumulation. The form of the city surrendered to the possibilities of efficient modes of relations to promote production for the sake of accumulation of the surplus.
The cities are at the same time the result of need and desire, the cities exist because they are the place of exchange, encounter, opportunity, knowledge, productivity, cultural exchange but fundamentally they exist because of a fundamental essence of our own nature, cities exist because us human beings need each other to exist.
The city of production seems to ignore it, in the city of today relationships are sustained on an exchange basis, and to exist on it we need to produce, in this city we can’t exist if we don’t earn it before. The fundamental friction comes to play when we understand that to produce anything we need first to exist.
The current house(ing) typology is by all means shaped basically and profoundly designed to respond to our mode of existence (=producing), the way we use energy to fuel everything and how we consume, and space serves those purposes on top of anything else. Contemporary domestic environments are highly commoditized and although are conceived as a fundamental component of our lives, is the one single most powerful apparatus of discrimination. This typology, that comes from a complicated history, was established in our society as a means of economic and political control, that defined clearly the roles of different genders and of course of different classes and races. Dreams and aspirations drive our world and those are also created to exist within the frame of the city that we inhabit today.. A Lazy Sunday morning is only one of them, an aspiration that only some are able to enjoy, but actually the vast majority can’t and will never achieve. On Sunday’s we work. Work with an economical retribution or a non-paid one. Sundays are for those privileged having a 5 day Monday to Friday retribution work schedule, which means a day of house work.
In this studio we will consider the house well apart from the modern apparatus that considers it a from of marketable asset1 and will challenge the definition by understanding what is a place that responds to that basic necessity and that by all means recognizes the importance of its existence to serve humans with diverse bodies and lives and not the political and economic system.
The studio will engage critically in understanding how to design domestic environments in the city of today but proposing a different paradigm. How shall we design a house that responds to the neighborhood that proposes a different form of city. The city of care.
We will start by imagining what is the platform that holds those environments, what is the city we want to inhabit, what are the stories we want to give agency to, the second part will be to think and intervene on the neighborhood scale, what would be elements that would be needed to transform this place to give agency for the domestic environment we will imagine. The last part will be focused on designing that domestic environment.
The final project will be conceived individually but always knowing that this is part of a collective, the neighborhood scale will be in groups of two or three and the scale of the city will be thought collectively.
We will not only challenge current typological architectural spaces, but also its current forms of representation, the forms in which the projects will be presented will be also a subject of study in parallel to the project.
We will be working on a specific neighborhood in a central enclave of Mexico City.
The studio trip will be designed to understand two very different types of cites and its neighborhoods and domestic environments.
1 Aureli, Pier Vittorio, Tattara, Martino, Ceragno, Daniele, “Beyond the Commons” (Arquitectura Viva No. 250, December 2022), Pag. 43