Around the world, cities are experiencing a profound housing emergency. While we need many new ideas to address the condition, availability, and attainability of shelter. We also need to examine the promise and pitfalls of overlooked knowledge from the recent past.Mass Support explores the legacy and contemporary relevance of the Stichting Architecten Research (SAR), a Dutch architectural think tank active between 1964 and 1990 that proposed a radical new way of thinking about mass housing, one that fused the efficiency of industrial construction with the flexibility of user customization. Initially led by John Habraken, the SAR suggested new functions for the construction industry, for households, and, crucially, for architects.
After premiering at Eindhoven Technical University (TU/e) in the summer 2022, an updated version of this exhibition opens at the Spitzer School of Architecture at City College, City University of New York (CCNY) on March 21st. This new iteration highlights ten recent projects that resonate in different ways with the legacy of the SAR’s pathbreaking work — from new models of social housing in Berlin and Barcelona to new applications of prefab construction in Beijing and Brooklyn.
On April 26th, an international, virtual symposium on flexibility, resident input, and modular building in contemporary architecture will complement and extend the exhibition’s themes, exposing students, academics, policymakers, and practitioners to the under-examined interface of robust community engagement and innovative construction technology.
The exhibition and symposium are the products of a unique collaboration between the Spitzer School of Architecture at CCNY, The Architectural League of New York, and the Curatorial Research Collective of the TU/e with support from the Dutch Culture USA program of the Consulate-General of the Netherlands, New York.
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