Flexibility and Resident Agency in Housing
21. April 2023
All photographs by John Hill/World-Architects
Mass Support: Flexibility and Resident Agency in Housing is an exhibition now on display at the City College of New York that “examine[s] the promise and pitfalls of overlooked knowledge from the recent past,” specifically the Stichting Architecten Research (SAR) think tank in the Netherlands. World-Architects visited and snapped some photos.
On display at CCNY's Spitzer School of Architecture until May 7, Mass Support is an updated version of an exhibition of the same name that was shown at Eindhoven Technical University (TU/e) in the summer of 2022. TU/e was a fitting location for a show on SAR, considering that it was initially led by Dutch architect N. John Habraken, who also set up TU/e's new Department of Architecture in 1967.
In the years SAR was active, between 1964 and 1990, the group “proposed a radical new way of thinking about housing,” per the exhibition text, “fusing the efficiency of industrial construction with the flexibility of user customization.” The NYC iteration of the exhibition adds ten recent projects that resonate with the legacy of SAR’s work, “from new models of social housing in Berlin and Barcelona to new applications of prefab construction in Beijing and Brooklyn.” Below is a visual tour of the exhibition with brief commentary in the captions.
As part of the exhibition, the Spitzer School of Architecture is hosting an online symposium on April 26, when “panelists will share architectural strategies that connect to broader, structural issues in housing today.” Register for the free event via the link.