Call for Papers: GAM Architecture Magazine 16: gewohnt: un/common

In the context of European multistory housing, similar floor-plan typologies have kept being reproduced over the last seventy years, yet social relations among the generations—as well as
among individuals and the community—have been immersed in a process of dynamic flux, thus engendering new forms of social cohabitation. The number of single-person households is rising, new forms of family structures are emerging, while the elderly are increasingly relying on themselves. The once fundamental separation of the functions of work and housing is now losing meaning, which in turn gives rise to new spatial and social constellations. Social relationships are increasingly taking on virtual form, and the classical (nuclear) family as a structure is being challenged. This shift is playing out during a period in which international and transnational mobility is on the rise, with more and more people subjected to increasing inequality within society and also to the heightened pressure of competition within the neoliberal working environment.

Practices of the profit-oriented market economy are currently being counteracted by the revival of “commons” movements, whose adherents advocate the just global distribution of resources and also collaborative or coproductive forms of organization and ownership. Silke Helfrich describes “commons” as “structures of enablement for sites of relative autonomy, spaces of creative development, and processes of self-empowerment” (Silke Helfrich, “Commons als Alternative zum Neoliberalismus,” Gegenblende 16, 2012). GAM.16 – gewohnt: un/common transfers this potential to the field of architecture: How can spatial concepts affect opportunities for cohabitation and thus also strengthen awareness about community resources and convivial relations among people? In order to analyze the space-formative consequences of this development and to draft visions of diverse modes of cohabitation as spatial practice, it is necessary to engage in open reflection and take inventory of different concepts of living, but also to revisit historical models. For example, the unusual hybrid spatial logics and experiments of postmodernism, which already in the 1960s had explicitly countered the standardization of housing programs, were granted only peripheral meaning in terms of actual planning practice.

GAM.16 – gewohnt: un/common fields various questions: How can contemporary ambitions to change society, sparked by divergent life forms and eroding social ties, be put into practice as a spatial program? What historical research and design approaches can we identify, with potentials that are translatable into the present to address this question? How can living space and community, social and built space, start referencing each other in new ways? In this sense, what are adequate spaces that, instead of focusing on accommodation and technical supply, actually spotlight social engagement and “living together”? Which designs are currently conceivable for developing this theme in a transdisciplinary manner? On what explorative questions and analyses are such designs founded? GAM.16 – gewohnt: un/common invites architects and social and cultural scholars to respond to these questions.

Abstracts (max. 500 words), accompanied by a short biography, may be submitted by 3 May 2019 to gam@tugraz.at. The deadline for contributions is 2 September 2019.

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