关于 “家庭,住宅,家” 的一次实验性探索

An Experimental Investigation in Family, House, Home:
Fiction as Methodology



程婧如 Jingru Cyan Cheng (AA, UK; ACROSS Architecture, UK)
布兰登·卡林 Brendon Carlin (AA, UK; Urban System, UK)
玛丽亚·派斯·冈萨雷斯 Maria Paez Gonzalez (AA, UK; Foster&Partners, UK)

ABSTRACT Derived from the interrelationship between “Family, House, Home”, this paper introduces the fiction as a methodology for an experimental investigation in tropical dwellings. Through a process of “observations-interviews-diagram-film-thesis-debate”, this methodology is intended to construct an outsider’s view and to open a potent means of reading tendencies in context, socio-economic structure and identity in relation to ideas of home and its physical, formal manifestation, the house. At the end, in the context of Costa Rican culture and society, issues on home as a gendered idea and house as a gendered space are explored.

KEY WORDS family, house, home, fiction, methodology

Architecture is always associated with the syntax of language, especially for language systems like Chinese, in which characters are a form of ideogram. Reviewing the oracle-bone inscription of the character Jia, the physical space can be easily identified (it does not even matter whether one knows Chinese or not): an iconic shape of a shelter and an animal, normally recognised as a pig, under the roof. These two elements symbolise the permanent settlement of home in agricultural economy. Because, in most agricultural civilisations, in order to maximize productive capacity and efficiency, it is essential for all family members to live under the same roof, to produce physical materials together and to worship their common ancestors. The richness in both cultural and spatial meanings in the single Chinese character Jia, which can be referred to Family, Home, House in English, is revealing.

The interrelationship between Family, House, Home depicts a backdrop for life and sets the stage for the everyday. Home, in its elementary meaning, is a dwelling-place where a family lives. It may refer to a house, a flat, or more broadly, a village, a town, a city and a country. To dwell is a primary act of human being and it plays a predominant role in assembling the social nexus. Thus, dwelling has not only been formed by, but is productive of both spatial and cultural formations.

Admittedly, the investigation in Family, House, Home is one of the most discussed topics in architecture and beyond. These topics are really common but comprehensive; they are intimate but could be alienated at the same time. Thus, when coming to the investigation in this ‘familiar stranger’, a critical methodology is just as important as the findings. The Tropicality workshop in Costa Rica, a visiting school programme of the Architectural Association, introduces an experimental approach to explore tropical dwellings. Through the conversation with Brendon Carlin and Maria Paez Gonzalez, directors of the Tropicality programme, the methodology and results of their initial studies are revealed.

(Jingru Cyan Cheng - C; Brendon Carlin and Maria Paez Gonzalez - C&G)

Part I Fiction as Methodology

C: One may argue that home is probably the most familiar and intimate domain for everyone and the materialisation of home is the backdrop for everyday life. However, our extreme familiarity with the topic home in both professional and personal terms may actually make us “blind” without us even knowing it. So, in this regard, what is your approach? And why do you choose it?

C&G: The approach we developed for two week workshop Tropicality in cludes an interview in and observation of a home, the constructing of a diagram and thesis around the inhabitants story, the editing of audio down to a two-to-three minute fiction, and the filming of the home and context; these materials inform and are then edited into a short, two-to-five minute film. The ambiguous use of the term fiction – serving as a conceptual provocation for the workshop - is intended to open critique of dominant historical narratives and imply that architects exert a potentially radical agency as interpreters of socio-economic context, and as the authors of composed material, space and form. Therefore, the approach was crafted in an attempt to open a potent means of reading tendencies in context, socio-economic structure and identity in relation to ideas of home and its physical, formal manifestation, the house.

There was an awareness that narratives of home are increasingly be coming part of a globalised shared experience - which often goes largely unrecognised and or unquestioned by us because of our overfamiliarity with and acceptance of it as a natural course of things - but is also experienced in very different ways by every individual. In order to expose and map these dynamics, we needed to construct an outside observer as a critical vantage point to enable our own mindfulness of the interrelationships between shifting meaning, function and the material manifestation of the home, effectively building acute insights into an amorphous complexity at the core of what we do as architects. The hope is that the process - observations, interviews, diagram, film, thesis, debate - not only hones our ability to identify larger problems surrounding the composition of the city today but also constitutes the building of a process and language as means to respond to them.

C: The concept of fiction as your methodology both conditions and represents the research and design work. Such a process is an experiment in itself, where observation as the first step is crucial. Even though you did not address design specifically, the design component is always there. In my understanding, the design
process actually takes place in forms of writing storyboards and editing all the visual and vocal materials, rather than designing an
actual house.

When watching the film, what I feel ambiguous is that sometimes the camera represents the observer’s eye; whereas sometimes it is like the inhabitants themselves looking at their own houses through the camera. I found this ambiguity in perspective intriguing. For me, it constructs a fine line between the sense of detachment from an observer and the sense of intimacy from an inhabitant; in other words, it creates an atmospheric juxtaposition of presence and absence. This peculiar way of representation is a powerful means to unsettle the reality and to problematise what we take for granted.

C&G: With specific regards to house and home, the approach developed for Tropicality was conceived of as a method to conduct a material and emotional survey of the home at a time when long-in-place meaning and structure is dissolving from one generation to the next. Informed by forensic and anthropological studies, namely some readings of the methods of Francis Glesner Lee and of structural anthroplogists like Claude Lévi-Strauss, the approach is concerned with allowing materiality of the home to stand alone in its object-hood, but also be read as a structure of meaning and spatial agency in relation to the narrative of everyday life. We studied writings, photography and film focused on identity and place, home and subjectivity formation, tropical architecture and domestic labour; from Frampton’s notorious Critical Regionalism essay, to recent publications on the house and home including for instance Hilde Heynen and Gulsum Baydar’s Negotiating Domesticity. The selection of these different vantage points was largely related to the fact that they give us a range of ways of seeing - of identifying potential problems and formulating the tactics to confront them.

Part II A Gendered Space

C: I cannot help noticing that every film produced in the workshop is juxtaposed with a female voice. Is it because it’s predominant in Costa Rica that woman is always the dominant figure in the domestic domain?

C&G: All of the stories from the first year of Tropicality were voiced by women, as were two-thirds of the students whom constructed the films, diagrams and writing. This was unintended; it merely happened that initially only women were in the home, accessible and willing to host interviews.

The Costa Rican home has been, since the time of Spanish colonisation, a domain governed over and maintained by the matriarch who is typically the eldest female, and remains very much so. This is yet to have changed substantially, and remains true in the majority of family based living arrangements. However, in many cases now immigrants from neighbouring, poorer countries like Nicaragua are hired to supplement female labour in the house. This happens in many cases because Costa Rican women frequently work outside of the house also. The female unemployment rate is near identical to the male in Costa Rica while the underemployment rate for women is predictably slightly higher because of maintained workload in the house. It was clear in all of the stories from the first year of the programme that women held primary sway in and shouldered the emotional wellness and physical labour of home.

C: Interms of the division and collaboration of domestic labour, how is the relationship between female and male in cases you encountered?

C&G: We recorded some interesting twists on the dominant multi-generational or nuclear family, matriarchal condition. In the case of Cartago four siblings live together in one house, the elder sister whom tell the story describes how labour and decision-making are shared within the house, however, it is clear that she wields the real control of the shared areas of the house and performs the daily domestic labour. In the story Curidabat three generations inhabited an architect designed house specifically designed for them until all of the youngest recently married and moved out. In this case their mother is a highly career-driven woman, working long hours and often travelling. Their grandmother was a housewife who now actively pursues and enforces an independent identity through groups, classes and mobility. Because the grandmother was used to life with three to four generations in one home; she didn’t feel comfortable or safe moving out on her own. Her daughter wanted her independence as well, so she asked the architect to design independent yet attached houses, with two kitchens, two living rooms and two studies. The grandmother’s house became essentially an autonomous matriarchal domain within that of her daughter. The grandmother told us the story of the house while supervising a maid, from inside of the larger dining area, in her daughter’s part of the house. It seems as though in the previous two examples discussed, the elderly matriarch remained in emotional and physical control of the house, though the prevailing narrative obscures this reality and perhaps accommodates the younger generations need for a feeling of control and independence. Many women born around or after 1970 are strongly career focused but their homes remain a highly gendered space; the woman’s domain and responsibility. Men only have dominion over one room of the
house, typically a study or ‘den’ type room, in many cases this room is semi-detached from the home or has a private entry.

C: Women always seem to possess an intimacy to the home. This phenomenon is commonly accepted among a range of social mentalities in different countries and cultures. The domestic labour and labour relations that largely rely on female figures have become normalised, as a consequence taken for granted and thus exploited. Do you think is it a task for architects to use the agency of spatial design to expose the domestic labour and to create a non-gendered realm?

C&G: What we discovered is that Costa Rica is a country in which the traditional roles of women in the home are shifting, albeit slowly, but the house remains largely a place of gendered labour even while women increasingly work outside of the home. It is probable that these gendered boundaries - role, labour, space, responsibility - will continue to dissolve in Costa Rica much as they have and continue to do in advanced capitalist countries like the United States. Eventually obligations predicated on gender in the house and home will be effectively rendered taboo and potentially the concept even forgotten. The emancipation of women from what are oppressive forms of subjugation and restriction seems a promising development. In light of these kinds of developments which see individuals and society increasingly liberated from historical traditions and structure, we might pause and ask ourselves: does a now pervasive form of culture and economy want this to happen, and if so, why?

摘要 立足于“家庭,住宅,家”这三者之间的微妙关系,以英国建筑联盟学院Tropicality访问学校的研究实践为例,介绍了基于“影像化小说”的一种实验性研究方法。该研究方法通过“观察—访谈—制作图解—影像记录—论题设定—讨论”这一过程,建构一种局外人的视角,探索一种有效的方式,以解读与家的观念和家的物理空间相联系的背景中的趋势、社会经济结构和居住者对自身身份的认知。最后以哥斯达黎加的文化和社会为背景,探讨了家庭的概念和实体空间里的性别色彩。

关键词 家庭 住宅 家 影像化小说 研究方法


“家庭、家、住宅”是我们日常的舞台也是生活的背景幕布,这三者之间的相互联系与相互作用无处不在。“家”在其最原始的定义中是一个家庭成员共同居住的地方。作为一个相对抽象的概念性词汇,它可以是一栋房屋,一套公寓,或者更广义地说,一个村庄,一个小镇,一座城市,甚至一个国家。定居(to dwell)是人类的基本行为,是人类社会和社会关系(social nexus)形成的必要条件。因此,住宅在被空间与文化定义的过程中同时也在产出空间与文化的意义。

在建筑行业中,不论是学术领域还是实践领域,关于“家庭,住宅,家”的研究都是个被反复触及的话题①。这三个关键词普通而复杂,熟悉又陌生。因此,对这样“熟悉的陌生人”的探索中,独特的观察视角和批判性的分析手段几乎和研究本身一样重要。Tropicality工作坊,作为英国建筑联盟学院(Architectural Association)的访问学校之一,就试图提出一种实验性的研究方法,以探索热带地区的居住模式②。下文通过与工作坊负责人布兰登·卡林(Brendon Carlin)和玛丽亚·派斯·冈萨雷斯(Maria Paez Gonzalez)的对话介绍他们的方法论以及由此引发出的思考。

Brendon Carlin & Maria Paez Gonzalez:后文简称C&G。

一 以影像化小说为研究方式

C:通常大家会认为“家 (Home)”是每个人最为熟悉和亲密的领域(domain)。每天的生活、日常的柴米油盐都在这个被称为“家”的物理空间中展开。然而,不管是从专业的角度还是个人的角度,恰恰是这种过度的熟悉很可能成为建筑师在“家庭、住宅,家”这一话题研究中的障碍。我们似乎天天“看见”,却又“看不见”。对这样一个话题,你们的介入角度是什么?又为什么选择这样的方法?

C&G:我们采用的研究方法大致分为以下几个部分。首先选择一个家庭进行访问并对之进行观察,针对采集到的居住者的故事建构一个概念性图解和一个论题,然后对居住者进行声音纪录,对住宅本身及周边环境进行视频纪录。所有这些材料合在一起并被制作成一个简短的(2-3mi n)“影像化小说(fiction)”(图1,2)。“影像化小说” 这个方式被我们看作是对整个工作坊的“概念引擎”③[1]。这个概念刻意地模糊化使用是为了拓展一种对主流研究方式的批判性视角。这个方式背后的理念是,建筑师或许可以运用一种根本性的媒介(radical agency)作为对社会经济环境的演绎;由此,建筑师自身可以成为对材料、空间、形式联合编排的作者。因此,这种研究方法被设计出来是为了去探索一种有效的解读方式,解读与家的观念和家的物理空间相联系的背景中的趋势、社会经济结构和(居住者的)身份认知。

1 Los Yoses街区,经历了过去搬到新开发区的居民的回归

2 在El Carpio棚户区的拍摄

现在有一种认知是,家的叙事(narratives of home)在逐步变成一种全球化的共享体验。由于我们对家的过度熟悉与想当然的接受,这一趋势通常被忽视或者是免于被质疑。但事实上,家的叙事是每个独立个体的非常不同的体验。正是为了暴露和描绘与此相关的动态因素,我们需要去建构一种局外人的视角,一种具有批判性的有利地位,来提升我们对变化中的家的意义、功能以及物化表现的敏感性,从而有效地建立对无形而复杂的对象的准确认知。我们希望,观察、访谈、制作图解、影像记录、论题设定及讨论这一过程,不仅可以磨练我们解析城市构成中宏观问题的能力,而且可以同时寻找到应对这些问题的方式。



3 客厅与餐厅,布置着代代相传的家具

C&G:关于家和住宅,在这样一个上一辈与下一辈之间(所组成的家的)意义与结构都在逐渐消解的时代,Tropicality工作坊设想的这个方式是一次关于家的物理性和情感性的调研。我们受到刑侦学和人类学相关研究的启发,如弗朗西斯·格莱斯纳·李(Francis Glesner Lee)和克洛德·列维·斯特劳斯(Claude Lévi-Strauss)的一些方法论,使家的物质性(materiality of home)从它的物体情境(ob j e c t-h o o d)中独立出来,但同时被解读成一种与日常叙事相关的结构和空间媒介。我们研究了身份认知与场所、家与主观性的形成、家庭内部的劳动以及劳动关系和热带建筑相关的文章、摄影和影像作品,从肯尼思·弗兰普顿(Kenneth Frampton)臭名昭著的批判地域性主义(Critical Regionalism)到近期关于住宅与家的出版物,比如希尔德·海嫩(Hilde Heynen)和古尔桑·巴伊达尔(Gül süm Baydar)的Negotiating Domesticity ④[2,3]。对于这些视角的选择很大程度上是因为它们为我们提供了一系列观察事物、认知潜在问题以及形成解决策略的方式。

二  具有性别色彩的空间



4 一个社会学家,为即将诞生的婴儿重整家的格局

5 一位当地大学教授的书房



C&G:我们记录了一些这种女族长情境下有趣的“插曲”。在Cartago的案例中,四兄妹共同住在一栋住宅里。为我们讲述故事的姐姐描述了他们如何(民主地)分配家庭内部劳动和制定决策。然而,我们其实可以很明显地看出,她对于家里的共享空间行使着真正的控制权,同时主持日常家务。在Curidabat的故事中,三代人共同住在一个由建筑师特别为他们设计的住宅里,直到最年轻那一代最近结婚搬了出去。在这个案例中,他们的母亲是一个工作时间长并经常出差的事业型女性。他们的祖母过去曾是一个家庭妇女, 习惯了三代或四代人同在一个屋檐下的生活,对于自己搬出去住感到不适。然而他们的祖母现在通过积极参与社会团体、公共课程等方式追求并固化一种独立的身份认知,她的女儿也希望母亲能够独立,所以委托建筑师设计了一栋独立但又相互连接的住宅。这个住宅有两个厨房、两个客厅及两个书房。从本质上来讲,祖母的住宅变成了在她女儿的女族长范围(matriarchal domain)中的一个自主的领域(图6—8)。

6 一位年长女性的居住空间,嵌在她女儿的家里又相对分离

7 这位年长女性的居住空间中对家里其他空间的复制:书房与家庭祭台

8 这位年长女性的居住空间中对家里其他空间的复制:厨房与家族瓷器盘陈列

从这两个案例中看来,年长的女族长似乎依然保有对家庭住宅从精神上到空间上的控制,尽管主流的(家庭)叙事模糊了这个事实。这种主流的家庭叙事或许是为了调解年轻一代对于独立自主感的诉求。很多1970年及以后出生的女性都非常注重自己的事业追求。然而,她们的家依然是一个带有高度性别色彩的空间(a highly gendered space)——一个女性的领域,一份女性的责任。男性只对住宅中的一间房拥有主权,通常情况下是书房或是书斋。在很多案例中,这个房间和主体住宅是半脱离的关系,或者是有自己独立的入口。

C:女性似乎总是对家的领域有一种默认的“亲密关系”,这个现象在许多不同国家和文化的社会精神(social mentality)中都被广泛接受⑤[4]。这种“亲密关系”事实上是家庭劳动及其劳动关系对家中女性角色的依赖。这样的依赖关系在变成了一种社会常态之后也就慢慢地被看成了理所当然的事情,从而被无形地利用了。你认为,对于建筑师来说,是否可以利用空间设计作为一种媒介与手段来揭示家庭内部存在的劳动,创造一个不带有性别色彩的家庭空间(图9)?

9 Los Yoses 项目概念图解(工作坊第一年学生Lucila Ortiz, Sergio Nicolaas)


本文通讯作者为 Brendon Carlin , Maria Paez Gonzalez,联系方式为 tropicality@aaschool.ac.uk。

图片来源:文中图片来源于Tropicality工作坊第一年研究成果,由Brendon Carlin提供。

① 本文话题来源于由建筑东西(ACROSS Architecture)与伦敦大学亚非学院孔子学院(London Confucius Institute, SOAS, University of London)联合举办的交流会——家 (Home)。“建筑东西”是由英国建筑联盟(Architectural Association School of Architecture)的中国在读学生和已投身于建筑实践的毕业校友共同组建的独立学术联盟。“建筑东西”致力于开展广泛且深入的学术讨论活动,从学术到实践,从建筑到城市;在东西方文化的碰撞中,建立一个分享与交流建筑和城市思想的平台。
② 关于Tropicality工作坊的详细信息,以及第一年的短片作品在线观看,请访问https://tropicality.aaschool.ac.uk。
③ 参见:参考文献[1]中Louise Pelletier "The Space of Fiction: On the Cultural Relevance of Architecture."一章。
④ 参见:参考文献[2]中Kenneth Frampton "Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance." 一章,pp.16-30。
⑤ 参见:参考文献[4]中Iris Marion Young "House and Home: Feminist Variations on a Theme." 一章。

[1] Emmons P, Hendrix J, Lomholt J. The Cultural Role of Architecture: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives[M]. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2012.
[2] Foster H . The Anti- aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture[M]. Port Townsend, WA: Bay, 1983.
[3] Heynen H, Baydar G. Negotiating Domesticity: Spatial Productions of Gender in Modern Architecture[M]. London: Routledge, 2005.
[4] Mezei K, Chiara B. The Domestic Space Reader[M]. Toronto: U of Toronto, 2012.
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