Disobedience

Dwelling on Standards

@ Camiel Van Noten
@ Camiel Van Noten
Lux Guyer, Haus Sunnebüel, Zurich, Switzerland, 1929
Karl Flatz, Wohnüberbauung Lochergut, Zurich, Switzerland, 1963-66
ADP, Hellmutstrasse, Zürich, 1991
Meili Peter, Riffraff 3+4, Zurich, Switzerland
@ Camiel Van Noten
@ Camiel Van Noten
@ Ties Linders
@ Ties Linders
@ An Fonteyne
@ An Fonteyne
@ Camiel Van Noten
@ Camiel Van Noten
Arghavan Khosravi
Ernst Giesel, Atelierhaus an der Wuhrstrasse, Zurich, Switzerland, 1953-54
Georges Perec
Billie Zangewa
@ Camiel Van Noten
@ Camiel Van Noten
@ Camiel Van Noten
@ Camiel Van Noten

“I don't know, and don't want to know, where functionality begins or ends. It seems to me, in any case, that in the ideal dividing-up of today's apartments functionality functions in accordance with a procedure that is unequivocal, sequential and nycthemeral. The activities of the day correspond to slices of time, and to each slice of time there corresponds one room of the apartment.”

“The space of our lives is neither continuous, nor infinite, nor homogeneous or isotropic. But do we know exactly where it breaks off, where it curves, where it disconnects and comes together? We confusedly experience cracks, gaps and points of friction, sometimes vaguely aware that something is stuck, that it breaks loose or collides. Though we seldom seek to learn more about it and more often than not, wander from one spot to another, from one space to another, without measuring, without taking into account or considering the course of space. The issue is not to invent space and certainly not to re-invent it (too many well-intentioned individuals are already there to reflect upon our environment...), the problem is rather to question space, or more exactly, to read space; for what we call the everyday is not the obvious, but opacity.”

“What does it mean, to live in a room? Is to live in a place to take possession of it? What does taking possession of a place mean? As from when does somewhere become truly yours? Is it when you've put your three pairs of socks to soak in a pink plastic bowl? Is it when you've heated up your spaghetti over a camping-gaz? Is it when you've used up all the non-matching hangers in the cupboard? Is it when you've pinned to the wall an old postcard showing Carpaccio's 'Dream of St Ursula'? Is it when you've experienced there the throes of anticipation, or the exaltations of passion, or the torments of a toothache? Is it when you've hung suitable curtains up on the windows, and put up the wallpaper, and sanded the parquet flooring?”

It is from these and similar elementary observations by French writer Georges Perec in his book Species of Spaces that we will depart to develop a critical reading and engaging writing of places to dwell. We will approach architectural precedents as a repository to learn from and open up dialogues with. We will reflect on dwelling types. their past and present relevance and their potential meaning to address current needs. We will engage with a number of building sites to explore and project ideas of contemporary dwelling. We will take the time to get up close and personal with both references and proposed sites. We love to walk, over and over again and at different times of the day; to wander around our sites, to work in them, dwell in them, read in them and as such, to not just understand but also feel and experience them through our own bodies and biographies. By walking, building, drawing, reading, smelling, listening, touching and ignoring, we will, together with you, use the semester to dwell on Building Standards.

Excerpts from Species of Spaces - Georges Perec (1974)

Enrolment here