Under the pressure of a global pandemic, the built environment and the protocols for its inhabitation are being challenged and re-formatted at unprecedented scale and speed. A series of colliding thresholds – from Zoom screens to facial masks and quarantines – can be understood as the sites of transformation of a long-established social contract negotiating private and public spaces of individuals, communities and regions. At the core of this is a fundamentally architectural question: “How do we structure spatial protocols of distribution and movement to support the welfare of a larger community? Put more simply: How do we co-exist with others?”
We will pay particular attention to the transforming character of domestic space in which ideas of public and private /ness are continuously negotiated, where the ever-expanding neoliberal ambition of uninterrupted productivity continuously challenges the separation of work and leisure. Framed in this way, the space of the house and its contested typology moves beyond the territory of the individual and begins to highlight its role in systemic oppression on the basis of gender, race, and class.
Taking cues from AMO’s recent body of research highlighting the radical reorganization, abstraction and automation that occurred in the ‘Countryside’ to support the densities and excesses of modern urban life, we will look at the distributed network of the Italian ‘Borghi’ as a fertile site to rethink contemporary patterns of inhabitation. Engaging closely with the existing built environment, and negotiating between historical identities and projective scenarios, we will respond to the radical and long-lasting consequences of remote-home-working practices as they have been accelerated by the ongoing pandemic. By assembling rituals, materials and preoccupations each project will aim to construct specific world-views of how we could, one day, live together again in the space of the Italian Borgo.
"This is a unique call for a radical reinvention of the idea of housing that rejects the hegemony of the family (and private property) as the only way to live together."
— Pier Vittorio Aureli and Martino Tattara | Production/Reproduction: Housing beyond the Family (2015)
"how do we develop cultural forms of identity and belonging that are commensurate with the rapid growth in political, economic and social interconnectedness of the last few decades"
— Ursula K. Heise | From Blue Planet to Google Earth (2013)