Housing and the City

!7th Annual International AHRA Conference

University of Nottingham

November 19 2020 - November 21 2020

In the early twentieth century, a desire to master the workings of the city linked it explicitly to the provision of housing. The processes of ‘the urban’ became an ‘ism’, the multiplication of houses became housing. In the twenty-first century, we are, it seems, witnessing the rise of new modes of urban domesticity – of ‘co-living’ for young urban professionals, of ‘co-housing’ of various kinds, of ‘live-work’ units and of a kind of domesticated working. Sometimes, these trends are born of economic necessity; sometimes, they are driven by aspirations of inclusion, solidarity and sharing. In either case, they are promoted as desirable styles of life, experiments in housing and working that are linked to the promise of a new kind of collectivity, a new kind of city. Our concern is to investigate the link between housing and urbanism, if not to disentangle it, at least to interrogate it, in order to ask what these new forms of living and working might mean for the city and its future.

This conference aims to investigate the historical and theoretical genealogy of the following question: what does it mean to be at home in the city in the twenty-first century, in an age of evolving social and work patterns, increased geographical mobility and climate concern?

We invite contributions from a variety of disciplines such as architecture, urbanism, sociology, philosophy, geography, anthropology, as well as written and visual contributions from the arts, such as photography or film to explore this question.