The future of space appears to entail an ever more privatised, commodified, artificially scarce resource.
Is there really no alternative?
In the original title for his seminal text ‘Towards a new Architecture’, Le Corbusier outlined his belief that an efficient, industrialised architecture was the only way to avoid a class based revolution.
The architecture of today, whilst both efficient and industrialised, appears to have forgotten the original intent of Corb’s warning.
Housing the masses is not its objective.
The present moment is defined by rampant inequality, a global housing crisis ensues and political turmoil causes tectonic shifts in the current world order.
Simultaneously we are surrounded by an unprecedented level of development; however rather than provide solutions, such development largely exacerbates current problems.
Through a process known as creative destruction, today’s investor driven urbanism is overseeing a complete transformation of the urban sphere. Populations are pushed aside and cities increasingly become landscapes of speculation.
The neoliberal period has seen housing transformed from spaces of inhabitation to that of a commodity that primarily functions through its exchange value. Form now follows finance, and architecture has been reduced to a medium of window dressing with the hope of extracting higher returns.
Almost all of the housing stock that is developed today comes with a price tag that is out of reach of everyday people. Instead property is amassed in the portfolios of those with significant capital reserves and often remains vacant as capital gains provide lucrative returns.
As this system continues to alienate an ever greater portion of the population and as the investor driven housing market continues its rampant growth, we foresee a time in which such blatant speculation will come into direct conflict with an increasingly dispossessed local population.
The future we have sought to illustrate is one that plays on these current trends and attempts to project them to an (il)logical end. It is an attempt to question the ideas of ownership and property rights, which we hold as sacrosanct in our society, by redefining space through value of use rather than that of exchange.
Intended as a provocation, the project does not contend to hold the answer to current problems but instead hopes to open up new dialogue in the discussion of pathways to better living conditions in the future.