Photo © Lisa Schmidt-Colinet

Inhabiting the City


Conflictual Spaces – Ambitious Edges

BArch 5 Studio: History Theory Criticism

Lisa Schmidt-Colinet | Daniela Herod

 

This semester, we will continue to explore the relationship between housing and the city by asking the question: How can housing contribute to the spaces of the city, and vice versa?
The following thoughts and questions will guide our work:

The distinction between the German terms “Wohnen” (housing, living) and “Unterbringung” (accommodation), as Joachim Krausse formulates it in his article “Henry David Thoreau – Oder: Ist das Wohnen dem Experiment zugänglich?” , puts forward the quality of housing as space for the individual, free from observation and control. The term “Wohnen” is etymologically connected to terms such as “unbekümmert sein” (being carefree), “zufrieden sein” (being content) and “nicht unwohl sein” (not being uncomfortable). “Unterbringung”, on the other hand, describes a controlled environment and an instrument of repression. This primary meaning of “Wohnen” has lost its predominance, if we call to mind the regime of the standardised floor plan, produced by restrictive regulations that dominate subsidised housing production today. By which means can we reintroduce spaces that bypass such controlled practices?

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Inhabiting the City


Conflictual Spaces – Ambitious Edges

BArch 5 Studio: History Theory Criticism

Daniela Herold | Lisa Schmidt-Colinet

How can planners enable autonomous and self-determined ways of inhabiting space? And do we need massive deregulation? Or do we need to introduce different regulations to create spaces where inhabitants exercise their agency? Further, through which spatial settings is it possible to expand such an idea of “Wohnen” into the surrounding city?

To explore the potential of living spaces extended into the city, we relinquish the notion of the housing complex as an enclosed entity. Diluting the structure of the block and assuming a more fluid state of housing and the city, we ask which new spatial correlations will crystallise. Extended into the urban realm, these proposed habitats transgress the spatial conventions of private/housing and public/street. We will work on transitions between the room (as the smallest unit), the street and the neighbourhood. We propose these transitions as an entity in its own right. Thus, the disciplines of architecture and urbanism are understood not as a series of consecutive planning stages, but rather as a common design process. What formats and tools do we need to generate visions for cities and models for living in a vibrant exchange?

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