House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate was part of an ongoing, multi-year research project conducted by the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University. The initiative has sought to encourage a public, historically informed conversation about the intersection of architecture and real estate development. The untimeliness of this history, as indicated by the project’s title, is twofold. First, it returns us to financial matters widely discussed in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 foreclosure crisis and only now reentering the American public sphere via the campaign trail. Second, it discloses surprising repetitions of themes, tendencies, and actions—reminding us that the economic infrastructures on which architecture rests are the outcome of such repetitions, rather than an a priori, natural ground. These infrastructures locate housing at the center of the current economic regime, with the United States as an influential node in a transnational network.
House Housing consisted of a growing body of research that draws on multimedia sources. The results have appeared in numerous locations as exhibitions, panel discussions, and publications, and relate to different institutional frames. Following exhibitions in Venice during the 2014 Architecture Biennale, in 2015 at the National Public Housing Museum during the first Chicago Architecture Biennial, and as a part of the Wohnungsfrage (“The Housing Question”) project at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, House Housing came to the MAK Center at the Schindler House. The artifacts assembled in the installation considered typologies from architect-designed houses to prefabricated apartment blocks to suburban gated communities. All of these architectures were analyzed in light of their position at the intersection of design, policy, and finance. New narratives emerged out of surprising juxtapositions.
The Art of Inequality: Architecture, Housing, and Real Estate—A Provisional Report, Reinhold Martin, Jacob Moore, Susanne Schindler, eds., Buell Center, 2015, 240 pages, Illustrated; Available in the MAK Center bookstore.
House Housing was directed by Reinhold Martin and curated by Jacob Moore and Susanne Schindler, along with a team of researchers at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. The exhibition was designed by MTWTF.
About The Buell Center
The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture was founded in 1982. Its mission is to advance the study of American architecture, urbanism, and landscape. Located within the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation (GSAPP) at Columbia University, it sponsors programs and research projects focusing on issues of both scholarly and general interest.