17th Annual International Conference of the Architectural Humanities Research Association
In the early twentieth century, a desire to master the workings of the city linked it explicitly to the provision of housing. The processes of ‘the urban’ became an ‘ism’, the multiplication of houses became housing. In the twenty-first century, we are witnessing new ways of working, changing social demographics, increased geographical mobility and mass migrations, as well as the pervasive threat of climate change, all of them leading to new modes of urban domesticity - of ‘co-living’ for young urban professionals, of ‘co-housing’ of various kinds, of ‘live-work’ units and of other versions of domesticated working. Sometimes, these trends are born of economic necessity; sometimes, they are driven by aspirations of inclusion, solidarity and sharing. In either case, they are often promoted as desirable styles of life, experiments in housing and working that are linked to the promise of a new kind of collectivity, a new kind of city. The concern of this conference is to interrogate the link between housing and urbanism, not necessarily to disentangle it, but in order to ask what these new forms of living and working might mean for the city and its future.
The primary question asked by the conference is this: what does it mean to be at home in the city in the twenty-first century?
We invite contributions from a variety of disciplines such as architecture, urbanism, sociology, philosophy, geography, anthropology, as well as written and visual contributions from the arts, such as photography or film to explore this question.
Themes to be explored might include, but need not be restricted to, the following:
- Philosophical and theoretical positions on the intersection between housing, urbanism and subjectivity
- Historical and typological investigations of the persistence and transformation of the architecture of housing over time, and in different cultural and ecological contexts
- The legacies and futures of mass housing
- Architectural and urban design research or projects investigating the urban domestic across different scales
- The politics of housing, the family and urban collectivities
- The economies and ecologies of collective dwelling
- The social practices of urban housing
- Representations interrogating the categories of urban and domestic, individual and collective
- Migration, dwelling and the city
Open interest: We seek contributions that explore the interactions between the urban, the home and the self in both material and conceptual terms, in different contexts, and from the rise of the metropolis to the present, but always in order to reflect on the present urban condition. We invite contributions from a variety of disciplines such as architecture, urbanism, sociology, philosophy, geography, anthropology, as well as written and visual contributions from the arts, such as photography or film. We are keen to discuss projects and theories at a range of scales, from the home to the metropolitan region, from the individual to the collective; we are interested in design projects or design research by architectural practices that showcase the specifically architectural contribution to the question of the urban understood in relation to domesticity.
We will also consider proposals for entire conference sessions – please contact the conference organisers if you are interested in formulating a session.