A series of books published in conjunction with the exhibition project

Editors: Jesko Fezer, Christian Hiller, Nikolaus Hirsch, Wilfried Kuehn, Hila Peleg
Spector Books, with Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2015
Design: Studio Matthias Görlich
ISBN 978-3-95905-056-2 [complete series]
EUR 160.00

Available at bookstores, the shop at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt and online at Spector Books.

Housing creates the rooms, neighbourhoods, and streets of our daily lives. But housing issues are increasingly reduced to real-estate problems and dissociated from the cultural practices of architecture, with the notable absence of alternative social actors being painfully apparent. The result is that growing numbers of people are finding it increasingly difficult to access affordable housing on their own terms. The HKW project Wohnungsfrage investigates the fraught relationship between architecture, housing, and social reality in an exhibition of experimental housing models, an international academy, and a publication series that examines various options for self-determined, social and affordable housing. The series presents key historical works accompanied by new commentaries, contemporary case studies from around the world, and publications by activists concerned with urban policy issues, architects, and artists.

Martin Wagner: The Growing House
Text: Martin Wagner
Commentary from Tom Avermaete, Franziska Bollerey, Ludovica Scarpa, Tatjana Schneider
German / English
ISBN 978-3-944669-96-0
EUR 29.00 The book at Spector Books

In 1931, Martin Wagner, head of planning for Berlin, set up a working group tasked with developing a design for a “growing” house. The group included Egon Eiermann, Walter Gropius, Ludwig Hilberseimer, Erich Mendelssohn, Hans Poelzig, and Hans Scharoun. As an architectural response to the Great Depression and the collapse of the building industry, they formulated plans for adaptable micro-houses, which were to provide only what was necessary and expedient and whose design should be capable of being modified in accordance with the socio-economic circumstances of the inhabitants. These models were exhibited in Berlin and documented in the publication Das wachsende Haus (The Growing House). More about the book...

Hannes Meyer: Co-op Interieur
Texts: Aristide Antonas, Pier Vittorio Aureli, Raquel Franklin
German / English
ISBN 978-3-95905-045-6
EUR 16.00 The book at Spector Books

In his photographs of the corner of a room that is characterised at least as much by the absence of people, objects, and spatial features as by the distinctiveness of its design, Hannes Meyer gave expression to a radical, anti-bourgeois style of interior. Architecture and design were not meant to fulfil historically determined needs but to overcome these very constraints. Meyer’s Co-op Interieur was not a recommendation for a mode of interior design but rather a manifesto proclaiming an alternative principle of housing and “living” and, by extension, a new world. More about the book...

Friedrich Engels: Zur Wohnungsfrage
Text: Friedrich Engels
Commentary from Reinhold Martin, Neil Smith
ISBN 978-3-95905-046-3
EUR 12.00 The book at Spector Books

In a series of three essays published by Friedrich Engels in 1872 in the Leipzig newspaper Der Volksstaat, the author analyses the structural conditions surrounding housing shortages in capitalism and delivers a polemic against the reformist ideas of middle-class socialists and the bourgeoisie. He rejected a pre-revolutionary approach to improving living conditions. The housing question could not, in his view, be resolved with architectural ideas or urban-planning concepts but required the overthrow of social relations. More about the book...

Collective for a Socialist Architecture: Proletarian Building Exhibition
Texts: Heinz Deutschland, Tatjana Efrussi, Jesko Fezer, Thomas Flierl, Gregor Harbusch, Christian Hiller, Alexandra Nehmer, Philipp Oswalt, Pedro Moreira, Daniel Weiss, Karin Wilhelm, Andreas Zeese
German / English
ISBN 978-3-95905-047-0
EUR 24.00 The book at Spector Books

The Proletarian Building Exhibition took place in Berlin in 1931 and was developed by the Collective for a Socialist Architecture, who intended it to stand in opposition to the German Building Exhibition. Wohnungsfrage has revisited original historical documents and made them the focus of discussion in a conference run in conjunction with the project bauhaus. Research into individuals like Arthur Korn, Alexander Altberg, and Hermann Duncker and their links to projects like the CIAM, the Marxistische Arbeiterschule, and the Bauhaus, as well as their connections with the USSR, demonstrates the degree to which the networks and political attitudes of modernist architecture were interwoven with one another. More about the book...

Housing after the Neoliberal Turn.
International Case Studies

Texts: Rana Dasgupta, Mariana Fix, Andrew Herscher, Sandi Hilal, Anne Kockelkorn, David J. Madden, Reinhold Martin, Justin McGuirk, AbdouMaliq Simone
ISBN 978-3-95905-048-7
EUR 16.00 The book at Spector Books

The housing question is a universal question. Everywhere, it speaks differently but directly to the challenges that define our times: social inequality, ecological crisis, displacement, asylum, migration, and privatisation. The volume International Case Studies brings together contributions from Delhi, Hong Kong, Berlin, New York, London, and other cities around the globe. Its formats range from architectural research to literary and artistic projects. More about the book...

Amie Siegel: Love Letters
ISBN 978-3-95905-049-4
EUR 12.00 The book at Spector Books

An artist’s book that juxtaposes the photographic and the epistolary, race and class, and gentrification and displacement in the Brooklyn neighbourhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant. Amie Siegel is an artist based in New York. Her works range from photography, film, and video to performance, often tracing the undercurrents of economic and political cycles. More about the book...

Kotti & Co + Estudio Teddy Cruz + Forman
Authors: Kotti & Co, Ulrike Hamann, Sandy Kaltenborn, Estudio Teddy Cruz + Forman, and others
Design: Image Shift / Sandy Kaltenborn, Studio Matthias Görlich
Book: German
Booklet: German/English/Spanish/Turkish
ISBN 978-3-95905-050-0
EUR 20.00 The book at Spector Books

One night, in 2012, the tenants’ initiative Kotti & Co built a gecekondu (an informal dwelling built overnight) at Kottbusser Tor in Berlin-Kreuzberg. In conjunction with wide-ranging protest actions, the initiative formed itself into the main venue for negotiating new rent and urban development policies and for tackling issues relating to migration, racism, and poverty. The book und deswegen sind wir hier documents the history of this social protest and the central role played by Kotti & Co. The supplement presents the result of the collaboration of Kotti & Co with architect Teddy Cruz and political scientist Fonna Forman within the context of the Wohnungsfrage project: a socio-spatial model that draws a connection between housing issues in Berlin and the informal design practices found in the Mexican border town of Tijuana. More about the book...

Stille Straße 10 + Assemble
Authors: Stille Straße 10, Assemble, Wilma Renfordt
ISBN 978-3-95905-051-7
EUR 12.00 The book at Spector Books

In “Stille Straße 10” in the Pankow district of Berlin, a group of elderly people saved their meeting house from closure. The members of the group occupied the building for 112 days and took the initiative to organise and run it themselves. The fate of the place is still unresolved. The London-based architecture collective Assemble set up a dialogue with the group about community building, active citizenship, and housing for the elderly and have developed a housing model for Wohnungsfrage based on spaces for shared activities. More about the book...

Kooperatives Labor Studierender + Atelier Bow-Wow: Urban Forest
Authors: Kooperatives Labor Studierender + Atelier Bow-Wow
ISBN 978-3-95905-052-4
EUR 12.00 The book at Spector Books

Can architecture enable the sharing of space and knowledge? As part of Wohnungsfrage, the Kooperatives Labor Studierender (Kolabs) and the Tokyo architecture office Atelier Bow-Wow are developing a housing model called “urban forest” for people in education. The dimensions, shapes, and qualities of private, communal, and public spaces are debated in a dynamic atmosphere of activism and cooperative endeavour. More about the book...

Dogma + Realism Working Group: Communal Villa. Production and Reproduction in Artists’ Housing
Authors: Pier Vittorio Aureli, Robert Burghardt, Florian Schmidt, Jessica Sehrt, Martin Stiehl, Martino Tattara, Jeronimo Voss
ISBN 978-3-95905-053-1
EUR 12.00 The book at Spector Books

How can the housing question (Wohnungsfrage) be appropriately reformulated in an age in which the work / life distinction is becoming increasingly blurred? The Realism Working Group and the architecture firm Dogma – in consultation with Florian Schmidt, Studio Commissioner of the Kulturwerk bbk berlin – are developing new living and working spaces for artists that challenge traditional designs and their underlying economic frameworks. More about the book...

Wohnungsfrage: Exhibition Guide
ISBN 978-3-95905-055-5
EUR 6.00 The book at Spector Books

Architecture is born at the moment when users and planners actively trade experience and apply themselves to jointly designing a living space. The Wohnungsfrage project builds on this process of constructive dialogue: together with a group of international architects, Berlin initiatives are developing 1 : 1 models for the exhibition. Older ideas of collective construction and self-determined dwelling complement the new projects, placing them in their historical context. Contemporary artistic works and public debates examine how housing policies and practices shape our social experience and the reality we live in.