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Mass housing – Grands ensembles – Grote wooneenheden

Education: Advanced Topics
Academic year: 2012/2013
Staff: Manten Devriendt Pieter Uyttenhove

Between the two world wars the Modern Movement in Germany, France, the Netherlands etc. developed various models for mass housing. They were strongly based on state intervention, industrialised building techniques, technocratic planning principles and an utopian belief in modernity. The seminars dealt with the deterministic aspects of these ‘grands ensembles’ in Eastern and Western Europe before the breakdown of the Wall, and with the question if architecture and urban planning can organise and build human society ?

In order to question these problems, the seminar proposed four tracks: ‘autonomy’, ‘economy’, ‘typology’ and ‘representation’. As a case-study mass housing in Riga was visited and discussed. Three guest speakers were invited to give feedback: Jan van de Pavert, Carmen Popescu and Manten Devriendt, who also organized and guided the trip to Riga. The students assembled their research in a book.

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