The seventh installment of the CUE Critical Urban Ecology events organised by and for the MArch course took place on 1st February. This year’s event focused on Housing, with three speakers from within the School talking about their practice, research, and theoretical ideas on housing.
Since the 1980s, in the UK and elsewhere, the dismantling of social housing, inflated property prices, and the failure of government and financial institutions to enable democratic forms of house building have undermined earlier 20th century efforts, and indeed achievements, in providing decent housing for all in society.
Arguably, the lack of affordable and secure housing has been a contributing factor to the recent seismic shifts in UK and US politics, while at the same time, the housing crisis itself is clearly a product of politics and twisted socio-economic relations. As Friedrich Engels wrote in 1872, “in order to put an end to the housing shortage there is only one means: to abolish altogether the exploitation and oppression of the working class by the ruling class,” however, at present, this appears more wishful than even in Engels’ time.
Short of leading the revolution, what role do architects have to play in finding solutions to the present crisis? Which tactics and strategies may produce answers to the housing question? Do we need to bring housing back into the centre of architectural debate and education? And what is at stake in ‘housing’ at the present time beyond politics and property prices
Coming Home: On Spatial Forms in the History and Education of Housing
A Guide to Beginner Urbanists (Where to Build? How to Build? How Can We Join In?)
Professor Charles Holland
Do It Ourself
Question Time: Panel Discussion