October 10, 2019 - Forecast - Housing the Human Festival
e-flux Architecture
October 10, 2019
October 10, 2019


Simone C Niquille/Technoflesh, HOMESCHOOL (Video still), 2019. 12:44. © Simone C Niquille.

Housing the Human Festival
Five Prototypes for Coexistence
October 18–19, 2019

Holzmarktstraße 33
10243 Berlin


Housing the Human brings together art, science, and technological innovation to explore speculative concepts for the future of living and coexistence. Marking the culmination of more than a year of research with a two-day festival in Berlin, Housing the Human unveils the results of five projects that tackle questions on how will we live in the near future. These projects are based on both existing developments in the consumer industries and current shifts in thinking about the centrality of the human species in the post-Anthropocene.

Three projects explore the concrete spatial ramifications of sharing our homes with AI, but also the emotional and psychological impact of cohabitation with technology at close quarters: Certain Measures present a domestic setting that adapts to its human inhabitants’ requests. But what does it mean for robots to have such intimate knowledge of our every need? Lucia Tahan’s Cloud Housing imagines an app catering to a nomadic creative class and offers on-demand rentals and upgrades on their décor—but shedding the burden of ownership comes at a price. Simone C Niquille’s HOMESCHOOL analyzes the standard datasets now used to train domestic robots, and asks what human biases are passed on to the machines we let into our homes. Meanwhile, Mae-ling Lokko’s Agrocologies suggests sharing our kitchens with mycelium cultures, and feeding them with our food waste. The resulting bio-material can be used to create new objects. And as we’d share our homes with robots, biomes, and other species, Dasha Tsapenko’s Lovaratory wonders whether we’d also enter into new types of relationships of codependency, trust, or even romance with our nonhuman cohabitants.

The designers will present the prototypes to the public with experts who will offer critical observations on the topics at hand: Architects Tatiana Bilbao and Rahul Mehrotra, architectural theorists Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley, art historian Margit Rosen, designer Daniel Perlin, and curator James Taylor-Foster will walk through the presentations and initiate conversations.

ARCH+ features will host a talk between writer and editor Anh-Linh Ngo and architecture curator James Taylor-Foster on practical futurology and transdisciplinary research. In addition, architectural theorist and curator Beatriz Colomina will discuss “The 24/7 Bed” in a talk on the shifting role the bed occupies in the age of social media. Following her lecture performance, she will invite architectural theorist Mark Wigley, the five designers, and others to a “Bed-In” for a series of conversations in pajamas.

The public is also invited to After Money, a game night-as-public forum that asks how new networks of care and sociability can emerge in a world without money. The players—politicians and prominent decision-makers—barter in skills and influence in order to survive natural and man-made disasters. The Urban Works Agency of the California College of the Arts designed the role-playing game for Housing the Human, presented in collaboration with Future Architecture Platform.

The festival's second day includes a public seminar with renowned experts and professionals centered around three defining themes: Methodological Frictions, on the practical hurdles of working across disciplines; Usefulness, on the tension between artistic freedom and practical implementation; and Prophecies, on the promise and missteps of working with innovation and future-oriented topics.

For a detailed schedule and full list of participants visit housingthehuman.com

Housing the Human is a collaboration between Forecast in Berlin; Copenhagen Architecture Festival CAFx; Demanio Marittimo.Km-278 in Senigallia, Italy; Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts/Istanbul Design Biennial; and Z33/House for Contemporary Art in Hasselt, Belgium.

Housing the Human is supported by the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) within the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR) of Germany, the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, the Fritz Thyssen Stiftung and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Berlin.

Festival partners: radialsystem, Future Architecture Platform, acatech – German National Academy for Science and Engineering, California College of the Arts, OBLIK, Prinzessinnengärten, Dan Pearlman

Media partners: ARCH+, DAMN° magazin, brand eins, tip Berlin

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