[artinfo] HdKW: call for applications for Wohnungsfrage Academy

Art&Education edu-news at mailer.e-flux.com
Sun Apr 19 11:28:52 CEST 2015

Wohnungsfrage Academy
The Housing System

October 22-28, 2015

Open call deadline: June 1, 2015

Haus der Kulturen der Welt 
John-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10
D-10557 Berlin

<mailto:housing at hkw.de>housing at hkw.de

The housing question is universal. Everywhere, it speaks differently 
but directly to the challenges that define our times: inequality, 
ecological crisis, displacement, refuge, migration, privatization and 
more. Against this backdrop, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (HKW) 
aims to rethink the housing question in terms of a global housing 
system. During the century and a half since Friedrich Engels 
published the series of articles titled "Zur Wohnungsfrage" what was 
once a housing question became a global system. This housing system 
is at the center of the theoretical and practical approach of the 
Wohnungsfrage Academy directed by Reinhold Martin (Buell Center, 
Columbia University) in collaboration with Nikolaus Hirsch 
(co-curator of HKW's project Wohnungsfrage). Over the course of one 
week, the Academy will bring together scholars, practitioners, 
artists and other experts from various fields and disciplines and 
provide the context for cross-disciplinary inquiry of this system.

Encouraging new modes of transdisciplinary discourse and research, 
Wohnungsfrage forms the frame of the Academy. It investigates the 
relationship between architecture, housing and social reality. In an 
exhibition of experimental housing formats, a series of publications, 
a discursive public program and the international Wohnungsfrage 
Academy, the project aims to stimulate the discourse on social, 
affordable and self-determined housing. The Wohnungsfrage program is 
curated by Jesko Fezer, Nikolaus Hirsch, Wilfried Kuehn, and Hila 
Peleg and will initiate a collaborative process among international 
and local actors in architecture, urban planning, politics, art, 
science, and activism. 

The term "housing system" describes a transnational, relational 
field, a network of interactions that cannot be reduced to official 
policies, architectural typologies, or market imagery. Neither does 
it refer to unspecified "global" connections. Instead, it can be seen 
as a highly specific, highly differentiated mixture of laws, 
politics, investments, activities, objects, proposals, practices, and 
imaginaries, held together-and apart-by infrastructures of all sorts: 
technological, financial, social, institutional, and spatial. 

The Academy has three basic goals. The first is to provide 
participants with the analytical tools to recognize the housing 
system and to see it at work in any of its parts-in a single block, a 
single building, or a single room-anywhere. The starting point is to 
learn how to read different subsystems and deal with complexities. 
The second goal is to identify the particular hegemonies-the modes of 
power and of exploitation, the inequities and the exclusions-that 
guide the system. Thirdly, it aims to open the imagination to 
possible alternatives and to the means by which these might be 
discussed in a critical fashion. These insights will be used to test 
possibilities of practical action. Together with 16 tutors, 60 
Academy participants will examine in detail a series of examples, 
excerpted from the housing system, from all over the world. The 
participants will interpret this material in different formats and 
constellations; they will analyze it; they will add to it; they will 
isolate facts and compare values; they will narrate histories; they 
will debate assumptions; they will test hypotheses; they will outline 

This call is addressed to doctoral students (or equivalent) from a 
wide range of disciplinary backgrounds as well as highly motivated 
advanced master's degree candidates or advanced professional degree 
candidates. Postdocs are also encouraged to apply and the call also 
extends to researchers and actors from outside of academia, including 
initiatives from civil society, the arts, and politics.

All applications must be submitted by June 1, 2015. Applicants must 
submit a CV and a brief description of their interest in the housing 
system in general-as well as the Academy in particular-and name a 
reference person. 

No tuition is charged for participation. The participants are 
expected to procure their own travel funding. A very limited number 
of need-based travel grants can be provided. Please indicate and 
specify your need in the application.

For further questions or information, contact: 
<mailto:housing at hkw.de>housing at hkw.de 
Press contact: Anne Maier
T +49 30 39787 153 / <mailto:presse at hkw.de>presse at hkw.de

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