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Symposium on housing hosted by Rice Architecture and Swiss Consulate

March 2–3, 2023

Rice Architecture presents a symposium on housing on March 2–3, 2023.

More Than Fifteen Years: Six Takes on Housing After the Neoliberal Turn. Session one: March 2, 1pm–6pm / Session two: March 3, 1pm–7pm. In person and livestream participation; register here.

Housing is a universal difficulty, although it is frequently viewed as a narrowly defined issue governed by forces such as a streamlined building industry, restricted rules and codes, turbulent real estate markets, and their supporting instruments. Without a doubt, the housing issue is inextricably linked to both global economic and local social and political pressures. This symposium will feature the work of six architects working in and around Switzerland who are interested in the potentials of housing as an architectural challenge. It will provide housing perspectives that go beyond the common dichotomy between social responsibility and profit maximization, reflecting programmatic and formal explorations that are responsive at all scales and addressing technical and cultural issues in architectural terms.

In the United States, housing is all too often overlooked as a design issue. Its advancement is left to investors and developers, who view housing as a commodity that will depreciate in fifteen years. This market’s altering dynamics are especially visible in a polycentric metropolitan agglomeration like Houston, the fourth largest and one of the most diverse cities in the United States. Revised housing concepts that offer appealing housing choices for all socioeconomic strata, close to workplaces and public infrastructures, and therefore with less reliance on the car as a source of mobility, are in demand. What if we designed and built in a more responsible manner, using fewer resources, and for a shared future beyond the fifteen-year cycle?

This conference intends to introduce local architects, stakeholders, and students to alternative housing concepts and research. The critical evaluation of the discussed models and practices, as well as their possible modification and acceptance in light of local socioeconomic, political, environmental, and cultural pressures, will contribute to an increasing conversation on modern living in Houston and beyond.

Presenters: Emanuel Christ (Christ & Gantenbein, Basel; ETH Zurich), Sophie Delhay (Sophie Delay Architecte, Paris, EPF Lausanne), Simon Hartmann (HHF Architects, Basel; Karlsruhe Institute of Technology); Éric Lapierre (Experience, Paris; EPF Lausanne); Oliver Lütjens (Lütjens Padmanabhan Architekt*innen, Zurich; Harvard GSD); Christian Inderbitzin (Edelaar Mosayebi Inderbitzin Architekt*innen, Zurich; Karlsruhe Institute of Technology).

Rice Architecture respondents: Scott Colman (Assistant Professor), Andrew Colopy (Associate Professor), Albert Pope (Professor), Troy Schaum (Associate Professor), Brittany Utting (Assistant Professor), Jesús Vassallo (Associate Professor).

Panelists: Kevin Batchelor (Hines), Ryan LeVasseur (Rice Management Company), Elaine Morales (Connective/Houston Community Land Trust), George Ristow (Rice University Architect), Eva Thibaudeau (Temenos CDC), Reto Geiser, Moderator (Rice Architecture).

More Than Fifteen Years: Six Takes on Housing After the Neoliberal Turn, is organized by Rice Architecture Associate Professor Reto Geiser with the Consulate General of Switzerland in Atlanta, in partnership with Presence Switzerland, Swissnex in Boston and New York, and with support from Schindler, and Rice Architecture. It is free and open to the public.

Rice Architecture
MD Anderson Hall
6100 Main Street
Houston, Texas 77005
United States
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