Activism at Home

Architects dwelling between politics, aesthetics, and resistance

Isabelle Doucet / Janina Gosseye (eds.)

17 × 24 cm
384 pages, 150 col. and b/w ill.
ISBN 978-3-86859-633-5


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Activism at Home offers a unique study of architects’ own dwellings; homes purposely designed to express social, political, economic, and cultural critiques. Through thirty case studies by architectural scholars, this book highlights different forms of activism at home from the early twentieth century to today. The architect-led experiments in activist living discussed in this book include the dwellings of Ralph Erskine, Paulo Mendes Da Rocha, Charles Moore, Flora Ruchat-Roncati, Kiyoshi Seike, and many others.
Offering candid appraisals of alternative living solutions that formulate a response to rising real estate prices, economic inequality, social alienation, and mounting environmental and cultural challenges, Activism at Home is more than a historical study; it is an appeal to architects to use the discipline’s tools to their full potential, and a plea to scholars to continue bringing architecture's activist practices into focus—whether at home or elsewhere.

"The projects in this volume alone make it worth every penny, but they shouldn't distract the reader from the real treasures found within. The explanatory texts go well beyond the expected psychological mining of the architectural authors and into uncharted cultural-historical contexts, opened up by the editor's activist framing. Once started, the book is almost impossible to put down."
—Peggy Deamer, Professor Emerita of Architecture, Yale University

"Quixotic, visionary, socially experimental, technologically and politically daring, even cabinets of curiosities, the case studies in Activism at Home are polemical treasure troves. This book impresses upon the reader that the Architect's own house can be considered the ultimate laboratory.
The editors have opened the door for new readings of an understudied type, exposing intensely personal manifestos with the power to encompass everything from the simplest domestic desire to a complete rethinking of the city."
—Philip Goad, Chair of Architecture and Redmond Barry, Distinguished Professor, University of Melbourne

"This book presents a wealth of material about architect's homes in many parts of the world, discussing how their ambitions, hopes, and frustrations materialised in dwellings they designed for themselves and their families. The book combines detailed documentation with in-depth interpretations, thus offering an innovative framework for understanding 'activism at home'."
—Hilde Heynen, Professor of Architectural Theory, University of Leuven

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