Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW)

António de Cunha Telles, Os indios de Meia Praia (still), 1976. Film.
October 8, 2015
October 23–December 14, 2015
Opening: October 22, 7pm
Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW)
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin

T +49 30 397870
F +49 30 3948679

Wohnungsfrage (The Housing Question) examines the fraught relationship between architecture, housing, and social reality. It was developed in response to a set of conditions whose consequences can no longer be ignored: the reduction of housing to a matter of real estate markets and property relations; the withdrawal of the state and the subsequent dismantling of social housing; the disappearance of alternative housing models; and, finally, a growing systemic break between mainstream architectural practitioners and the individuals and communities for whom they work.

At the heart of Wohnungsfrage stands the social and cultural practice of architecture. The exhibition is manifold and features experimental concepts for dwelling, research projects and artistic commissions, as well as presentations by and with architects, artists, activists, and scientists. A comprehensive series of publications on historical and current housing models will accompany the exhibtion as well as the setting up of an international academy in pursuit of the possibilities of self-determined, social, and affordable housing.

Wohnungsfrage presents artistic and documentary projects concerned with the history and mechanisms of housing and associated social and cultural phenomena. While it endeavors to showcase existing alternative housing models, some are actual historical projects while others remain speculative. Presented as 1:1 models, the latter category presents the outcome of unique collaborations (initiated by the Wohnungsfrage project) between a host of social protagonists in Berlin—ranging from tenant associations to student organizations, syndicate groups to squatting pensioners—and international architects who designed and executed full-scale prototypes, based on the knowledge produced and the needs defined and argued by these groups.

A twelve-part publication series has been published to augment and expand Wohnungsfrage. The series includes seminal historical works interpreted by contemporary authors, a volume featuring international case studies, as well as artists’ statements and documentation of the collaboration with initiatives and architects participating in the exhibition. 

In a two day program of events on October 23–24, all the participants of the exhibition will give accounts of their own contributions to the project and discuss innovative approaches on how to tackle the acute housing problems. Wohnungsfrage will be accompanied by a comprehensive public program including panel discussions, workshops and guided tours. 

The Wohnungsfrage Academy “The Housing System” (October 22–28), under the direction of Reinhold Martin (Columbia University) offers its 65 participants the opportunity to investigate new strategies for interdisciplinary research in the field of contemporary housing. 

With: Lara Almarcegui, Thordis Arrhenius, Pier Vittorio Aureli / Martino Tattara (Dogma), Galia Bar Or / Zvi Efrat , Daria Bocharnikova, Franziska Bollerey, Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture, André Cepeda, Caterina Alves Costa, Teddy Cruz / Fonna Forman (Estudio Teddy Cruz + Forman), Kenny Cupers, Reinier de Graaf, Maria Eichhorn, Catherine Fennell, Mariana Fix, Andrew Herscher, Sandi Hilal, Andrej Holm, Anne Kockelkorn, Angelika Levi, Li Hu, Maria Lisogorskaya / Lewis Jones (Assemble), David Madden, Reinhold Martin, Mpho Matsipa, Philipp Misselwitz, Andrea Phillips, Damon Rich, Martha Rosler, Delfim Sardo, Susanne Schindler, Florian Schmidt, Amie Siegel, AbdouMaliq Simone, Ashok Sukumaran, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto (Atelier Bow-Wow), Jean-Philippe Vassal, Jeronimo Voss, Florian Zeyfang / Alexander Schmoeger / Lisa Schmidt-Colinet, as well as representatives of Berlin-based initiatives: Kolabs, Kotti & Co, Stille Straße 10 and Realism Working Group

Wohnungsfrage concept and program: Jesko Fezer, Nikolaus Hirsch, Wilfried Kuehn, Hila Peleg

Wohnungsfrage takes place as part of 100 Years of Now

Haus der Kulturen der Welt is supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as well as by the Federal Foreign Office.


Press contact:
Anne Maier, Haus der Kulturen der Welt
T +49 30 39787 153 / anne.maier [​at​] hkw.de

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Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW)
October 8, 2015

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