Wohnungsfrage (The Housing Question)

Wohnungsfrage (The Housing Question)

Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW)

Hannes Meyer, Co-op Interieur, 1926. photograph. © copyright Galerie Berinson, Berlin.
May 29, 2015
Wohnungsfrage (The Housing Question)
Architecture exhibition, publication series, academy
October 23–December 14, 2015
Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW)
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
10557 Berlin

T +49 30 397870
F +49 30 3948679

Housing forms the rooms, neighborhoods and streets of our daily lives. Our personal happiness and societal well-being originate and find their expression there, as do social ills and personal dramas. But housing issues are increasingly reduced to real estate problems and disassociated from the cultural practices of architecture. And alternative players are clearly lacking. The result: Growing numbers of people are finding it increasingly difficult to gain access to self-determined, affordable housing. The HKW project Wohnungsfrage investigates the tension-ridden relationships between architecture, housing, and social reality in an exhibition of experimental concepts for living, a publication series and an academy.

The interdisciplinary Wohnungsfrage project centers on the socio-cultural practice of architecture, which arises in an exchange between users and planners. Berlin-based initiatives committed to the consequences of gentrification become the clients of renowned international architects. In a dialogic process they develop 1:1 residential models. The tenant group Kotti & Co collaborates with the San Diego-based Estudio Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman. The Stille Straße 10 senior center meets the Assemble architects collective from London. The student group Kooperatives Labor Studierender (Kolabs) collaborates with Atelier Bow-Wow from Tokyo, while Dogma, founded by Pier Vittorio Aureli and Martino Tattara in Brussels, cooperates with the Realism Working Group from Frankfurt as well as with Florian Schmidt, Studio Commissioner of the Kulturwerk bbk berlin. 

Research projects such as House HousingAn Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate by The Buell Center, Columbia University, a survey by Florian Zeyfang, Lisa Schmidt-Colinet, and Alexander Schmoeger on Cuban microbrigades, and the historical case study Communal by Commune: The Case of Kibbutz Yagur by Zvi Efrat and Galia Bar Or will position the new residential formats in a global context. Artworks produced by Lara Almarcegui, Maria Eichhorn, Angelika Levi, Martha Rosler and Amie Siegel for Wohnungsfrage will address the housing question from an artistic viewpoint. The results will be presented in the exhibition at the HKW starting on October 23, 2015 (opening on October 22).

The first titles in the Wohnungsfrage book series will be published in June by Spector Books: Das wachsende Haus (The Growing House) by Martin Wagner, Hannes Meyer’s Co-op Interieur, Zur Wohnungsfrage by Friedrich Engels and Proletarische Bauausstellung (Proletarian Building Exhibition) by the Kollektiv für sozialistisches Bauen (Collective for a Socialist Architecture). These key historic works are commented by contemporary authors such as Aristide Antonas, Pier Vittorio Aureli, Tom Avermaete, Franziska Bollerey, Heinz Deutschland, Tatiana Efrussi, Thomas Flierl, Raquel Franklin, Gregor Harbusch, Reinhold Martin, Pedro Moreira, Philipp Oswalt, Ludovica Scarpa, Tatjana Schneider, Neil Smith, Daniel Weiss, Karin Wilhelm, Andreas Zeese and others. These first books will be followed by contemporary international case studies and publication projects by the participating initiatives, architects and artists.

The international Wohnungsfrage Academy directed by Reinhold Martin aims to re-think the housing question in the sense of a universal “housing system.” Tutors include Daria Bocharnikova, Kenny Cupers, Catherine Fennell, Mariana Fix, Andrew Herscher, Sandi Hilal, Anne Kockelkorn, David Madden, Philipp Misselwitz, Andrea Phillips, Damon Rich, Susanne Schindler, AbdouMaliq Simone, Ashok Sukumaran, and Jeronimo Voss. Applications for the Academy, taking place October 22–28, 2015, can be submitted by June 1, 2015 here: http://www.hkw.de/wohnungsfrage-academy 

Wohnungsfrage is conceived and curated by Jesko Fezer, Nikolaus Hirsch, Wilfried Kuehn, and Hila Peleg


Wohnungsfrage takes place as part of the HKW series 100 Years of Now, examining current social issues in the context of historical perspectives. 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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May 29, 2015

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