Visions of Residential Futures – Spatial Advention as Creative Catalyst. The Case of Cité Manifeste in Mulhouse 2005. Renewed approaches to research and design strategies
Paper in proceedings, 2008
To the background of a formerly constructed theoretical framework around the concept of exploring architecture as a tool for potential cultural invention, this contribution will address the particular issue of extreme housing. It will be focused on a recently realized experimental project in France, within a classical working class setting, modelling how spatial advention potentially acts as a creative catalyst within a specific architectural situation, radically altering inhabitant’s domestic spatial practices. Thereby the attempt is to outline an analytical model able to identify characteristic aspects conceived as crystallized visions of sustainable residential futures.
The paper will initially try to re-situate some innovative conceptual approaches to housing invention formulated in the late 60’s, carried out by the psychologist Monique Eleb-Vidal and architect Anne Debarre concerned with the intimate interrelation between ways of residing and built form as disclosed in the historical and contemporary context. Sociologist Henri Raymond also inquired on these aspects in a widely acknowledged analysis titled L’Habitat pavillonaire, from 1966. This classical analysis and distinguished methodology explored the social characteristics of individual housing and inhabitant’s perceptions of the symbolic virtues of family residences in relation to images of collective housing.
With these reflections as a scientific context the intention is to formulate consistent trans-disciplinary research strategies in a renewed analysis of innovative key projects. This is done as a preparation for a planned international research cooperation dedicated to residential spaces and home cultures. The team will reassess the dynamic contemporary housing situation and initiate new theoretical perspectives and interpretations. Thus, considering the impacts on life quality created by persistent turbulent cultural transformations on the one hand and the prospects of meeting new market demands arising from intensified diversification in consumer aspirations on the other, the research will ultimately outline new operational design strategies directed towards the realization of emerging radical new ways of residing.
Design and Research Strategies