Talk & conversation Housing: Exhibitions and Books on a Global Problem

© MTWTF / Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture / Haus der Kulturen der Welt © MTWTF / Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture / Haus der Kulturen der Welt


Goethe-Institut New York

© MTWTF / Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture / Haus der Kulturen der Welt

Housing forms the rooms, neighborhoods, and streets of our daily lives. But housing issues are increasingly reduced to real-estate problems and dissociated from the cultural practices of architecture. The result is that growing numbers of people are finding it increasingly difficult to access affordable housing on their own terms. The project Wohnungsfrage at Berlin's Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) investigates the fraught relationship between architecture, housing, and social reality in an exhibition of experimental housing models, an international academy, and a publication series (edited by Nikolaus Hirsch, Jesko Fezer, Christian Hiller, Wilfried Kuehn, and Hila Peleg) that examines various options for self-determined, social and affordable housing in a mix of annotated historical pieces and contemporary case studies. House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate, an exhibition series by Columbia University's Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, forms part in the collaborative Wohnungsfrage project.

For this evening event, Nikolaus Hirsch (co-curator of Wohnungsfrage) and Reinhold Martin (Director of the Buell Center) will be in conversation about two books published in conjunction with the exhibitions: Friedrich Engels: Zur Wohnungsfrage (Commentary from Reinhold Martin and Neil Smith; Spector Books, 2015), an annotated edition of Friedrich Engel’s essays on the housing question (first published in the Leipzig newspaper Der Volksstaat, 1872) that is part of the aforementioned HKW series, as well as The Art of Inequality: Architecture, Housing, and Real Estate (Reinhold Martin, Jacob Moore, Susanne Schindler, eds.; Buell Center, 2015), which builds on the research of the House Housing exhibitions, putting the historical relationship of architecture and real estate in the context of the contemporary debate about dramatically rising rates of inequality.

Joining the conversation will be Jacob Moore (Program Curator, Buell Center), Susanne Schindler (Adjunct Associate Research Scholar, Buell Center), and Wenzel Bilger (Director of Programming, Goethe-Institut New York).

Nikolaus Hirsch is a Frankfurt-based architect and curator. He was the dean of Städelschule and director of Portikus in Frankfurt (2010-2013) and previously taught at the Architectural Association in London. His architectural work includes the award-winning Dresden Synagogue (2001), Hinzert Document Center (2006), Cybermohalla Hub in Delhi (2008-12), and currently a studio residency at Rirkrit Tiravanija’s The Land and the extension of Art Sonje Center in Seoul. Hirsch curated Cultural Agencies (Istanbul, 2009/10), numerous exhibitions at the Portikus, the Folly project for the Gwangju Biennale (2013), and Real DMZ (Korea, 2014). Hirsch is the co-editor of the Critical Spatial Practice series at Sternberg Press and has recently edited Architecture as Intangible Infrastructure, the special architecture issue of e-flux journal.

Reinhold Martin is Professor of Architecture in Columbia University's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation where he also directs the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture. He has written widely on the history and theory of modern and contemporary architecture and has maintained a research practice with his partner, Kadambari Baxi. His publications include The Organizational Complex: Architecture, Media, and Corporate Space (MIT, 2003), Multi-National City: Architectural Itineraries (with Kadambari Baxi, Actar, 2007), and Utopia’s Ghosts: Architecture and Postmodernism, Again (Minnesota, 2010). He is also a founding co-editor of the interdisciplinary journal Grey Room. Martin's current work focuses on the architectural and cultural history of the American University since the eighteenth century.

Jacob Moore is a critic, curator, and editor based in New York. Prior to joining the Buell Center, he worked as an editor at Princeton Architectural Press. Moore received a B.A. in Architecture from Columbia University, and a M.S. in Critical, Curatorial, and Conceptual Practices in Architecture from Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation. His work has been exhibited internationally and published in various magazines and journals including Artforum, Future Anterior, and the Avery Review, where he is a also contributing editor.

Susanne Schindler is an architect and writer focused on the intersection of housing policy and design. She has taught design at The New School and Columbia University, and has been with the Buell Center since 2013. Schindler writes frequently for journals including Bauwelt, Urban Omnibus, and Places. She holds a B.A. in history from Columbia, an architecture degree (Dipl.-Ing.) from the University of the Arts in Berlin, and is currently completing a PhD at ETH Zurich.

Presented in collaboration with Columbia University's Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture.