Architecture in the utopias of here-and-now
Architecture is a process, in which ideas and meanings are turned into a material reality that shapes everyday life. We live in an architectural environment that represents to us the meanings, and guides us through the motions, which maintain the “contemporary market states”. Thus, I answer the question; “How do we cultivate ecologies of solidarity and care beyond capitalism, patriarchy, racism and the state?” from an architectural perspective, answering; by engaging in different architectural practice, through which all those ecologies can be imagined and lived.
My doctoral research investigates the nature of architecture in contexts, whose ideological and political basis promotes alternatives to the hegemonic system. I studied architecture in places, which through occupation and inhabitation of a territory aim to hinder the expansion of new capitalist infrastructures. As I am still in the last phase of field research, I will mostly let data speak for itself, and let the preliminary analysis stay in the level of selection and organization.
The places drawn and people interviewed are in central Europe. To maintain anonymity, names of the places or interviewees are not revealed, and interview fragments are not necessarily from the same place as the drawings before or after. Writings in walls, signs, or banners that were in local languages have not been reproduced.
“People can come here. It's open, no one has to, I don’t know, register or have to do something to come here. People can just come here.” (Interview 16.7.2022)
“Here you have the possibility to have a place where you can try to self-organize and learn to self-organize more than 100 people. And then also to find and to learn, okay, how do you deal with conflicts, how you're organized, which kind of structure or institution you give yourself.” (Interview 7.4.2022)
“Here, there's the possibility you come here and you get everything from food to a place to sleep, and materials or stuff you need for maybe your daily living, or we try to give it to the people. And then you can use it and you don't have to give something back. You can only use it, and you should use it. And then also try to work with it and to sustain it.” (Interview 7.4.2022)
“You could go to the tent and get the materials and get all the stuff for construction and then you could start [to build]” (Interview 7.4.2022)
“We try to do a lot of things without money and we try to use the things which will be thrown away anyways. Or we try to organize the things which no one else wants to have, or which we can just reuse, because there is so much resources around and we don’t need to get new things and also we don’t need to have super new things.” (Interview 16.7.2022)
“This thing of building a tree house. It's a lot of children's dream. And I heard so many people say like, “Oh, I always wanted to have a tree house when I was a child. And I never had one”, or, “This is my dream since I was a child””. (Interview 12.7.2022)
“I also learned a lot of building just by doing, but also from other people. Like in the beginning, […], I just joined some building projects. So I learned when people were already doing things and then when I wanted to know something I tried to ask around. And then it was like working together with other people I learned a lot.” (Interview 12.7.2022)
“You can decide all what you want. I mean, also for building the tree houses. I always felt like I can adjust it the way I want, like, I can build it the way I want. So it fulfills almost all of my needs because I do it as I want it and [building] with other people together it’s the same.” (Interview 12.7.2022)
“We had plenary every day, every morning 10 o'clock, and after that also a building plenary and there people discussed okay, what kind of project I have, do I need help. And also we tried a little bit to organize what kind of stuff people are building.” (Interview 7.4.2022)
“We made a plan for the area, in a workgroup, that was open to everybody. And the workgroup made a plan where had to be what.” (Interview 14.6.2022)
“And also the neurodivergent safer space, we built it after people came here and said; “Okay, I need a timeout room. It's too stressful for me”. And then we thought okay, and then people said okay […]. And then we built one.” (Interview 7.4.2022)
“The [place for female, lesbian, intersex, trans and agender people] was created to have a space where people can organize more against patriarchy, against the patriarchy system, also inside [here] and it was nice to have another kind of space.” (Interview 16.7.2022)
“If it's somehow declared as a communal space then everyone can do things there, or actually everyone should do things there, because who otherwise takes care of it?” (Interview 2.8.2022)
“You need more places where […] you can show maybe in a small way people okay, here is a different way to organize outside the market, outside capitalism.” (Interview 7.4.2022)
“People who are visiting and just want to see what, like, alternatives there are, and a lot of people are super excited or they didn't know that anything like this could exist” (Interview 16.7.2022)