WORKSHOP OVERVIEW


The recuperation, occupation and reprogramming of urban fragments have evolved into recurrent and decisive practices for anti-neoliberal activists and collectives. The prefiguration of alternative spatialities, has allowed urban social movements to expand their repertoire for political contention. A new wave of urban activism has found in the materialisation of infrastructural supports; from productive dwellings to educational facilities, a means of framing an autonomous politics, one that seeks to alter the way everyday exchanges, associations and circulations manifest in urban space.
 

A plethora of architectural practices have been deeply involved in the production of these autonomous and prefigurative spatialities. Through the creation of cross-disciplinary platforms and structures, these material interventions are fostering a revision of the margins of architectural production and diversifying the content produced in architectural language. 

 

The aim of this workshop is to explore the relation between architecture and contemporary forms of urban activism. The workshop will investigate the political dimension of prefigurative architectures. Prefiguration will be presented as a set of socio-material interventions that disrupt existing urban practices and project - in the present - an alternative way of experiencing relations of exchange, association and production.


Prefigurative politics moves away from the significant - yet negative - instance of denunciation and instigates the conditions for testing and experiencing alternative models of social organisation, production, exchange or habitation. Prefiguration points to a temporal disruption, where politics is no longer structured around mediating processes, demand frames and antagonic fields. Making and doing delimit a new terrain of politics, where the discussion shifts from assessing models of accountability and the fidelity by which party organisations and leaders interpellate majorities, to arranging forms of implementation, securing autonomous funding channels and correcting and updating programs and action sequences. In architecture, prefiguration entails revisiting the margins of design and exploring the transformative potential of spatial practices. It subordinates form development to a critical understanding of the socio-economic conditions that underpin the production of space.
 

Prefiguration is forcing an actualisation of the boundaries, principles and practices previously associated with social or community architecture. Moving beyond the implementation of participatory platforms, the workshop will interrogate the role construction practices play in the configuration of new forms of urban activism and the challenges and opportunities it affords for new architectural practices.

PREFIGURATIVE ARCHITECTURES

 

                   THE DECOMMODIFICATION OF HOUSING

                   Chetham Hill, Manchester, United Kingdom

2016

Course Convener: Dr Leandro Minuchin

Teaching Assistant: Eira Capelan

Visiting lectures: Dr Salvador Martí

STUDENT WORK

This year, the focus of the workshop was on dwelling infrastructures. In deprived settings of the global urban north, urban land is fuelling a process of accelerated accumulation. This process of planetary urbanisation is restricting access to secure forms of housing, forcing dwellers into irregular forms of rental practices, overcrowding and constant displacement. The workshop will seek to position housing as a social infrastructure. A platform that allows for the unfolding of everyday practices. A dwelling infrastructure will be seen as a space where skills and knowledges circulate, where social assistance can be provided and alternative logics of exchange can be explored.


Students engaged with a Community Centre seeking to develop housing prototypes to temporarily house volunteers that have no means of securing safe and regular rental accommodation.

PROJECT: PLEASE LEAVE YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS AT THE DOOR

Rose Haberstitch - 

Arron Reed - 

Jenny Bedford -

Kathleen Lucas - 

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Andrada Calin - 

Stella Charbit -

William Davidson - 


Adriann Jeevananthan - 


James Killeavy - 

PROJECT: COMMUNITY LINK

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PROJECT: "OCCUPOD" INFRASTRUCTURE OCCUPATION PROTOTYPE

Isobel Robertson -
 

Celia Cooper - 


Xinming Ma -


Ross Neal -

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2015

                    PEDAGOGICAL SPACES

                    Nuevo Alberdi, Rosario, Argentina & Colonia Los Pinos, Tegicigalpa, Honduras.

Course Convener: Dr Leandro Minuchin

Teaching Assistant: Eira Capelan

Visiting lectures: Dr Alfredo Stein, Ben Tunstall, Alejandro Gelfuso

© Material Politics.