16 March 2015, Helsink

Lecture @ Kultursauna




Housing of Society

Explaining the Urban Geography of Vienna @ Kultursauna, Helsinki
Image: © Franz Raschbacher

The withdrawal from society to some (exclusive) housing island is not an alternative, I argue. Projects are needed that are not limited to a target group but are thought in a way to include ALL.

A work-in-progress, the Gesellschaftliche Wohnungsbau project, which translates as ‘housing as a societal project’, is such an endeavour. Both emancipatory and contemporary, it attempts to overcome modernity and its functional, cleanly differentiated order. At the same time it is modern in the sense that it mirrors the reality of the dissolution of the boundaries of life while simultaneously subverting the liberal mechanisms of production of the contemporary city.

I claim that it is a universal project; with the motto ‘luxury for everybody’ it produces living space for all, not just for the fringes, the middle or the one per cent of society. Social housing is rethought in relation to our contemporary living and working conditions. Living space becomes a habitat that dissolves boundaries – in keeping with a contemporary worklife. Finally, its social housing is organised on a micropolitical level. Truly contemporary housing can only develop from society itself – without leadership from above.