Symposium 4 | Home
In collaboration with the London Confucius Institute, SOAS, UCL
27th February 2016, 2-5pm
DLT (Djam Lecture Theatre), SOAS, UCL, London; WC1H 0XG

The Disassembling of Home

In Christian Norberg-Schulz’s view, dwelling is the bonding point of architectural appearance and its actual role. It is to find a place between space and time. However, dwelling requires complex functions. It means not only a shelter for privacy, but also meaningful relationship between human being and surrounding environment. Only when a person settles down, he can discover himself and make his way of existence in the world. When he chooses ‘his’ place, he also chooses the relationship with others.
--- Wang Shu

1. Space
Domestic typology is the synthetic violence of politics, economy and culture. It is the spatial model that organises everyday life. It takes its form from human history and is imposed through generations. While it restricts a place for certain activities, it also obliterates many other possible events. The fundamental reason of such violence is the inherent relationship between space and its restricted functions. Developers and architects often collaborate in producing a ‘sophisticated’ product (housing as commodity) conforming to both government and users’ satisfactions and get profit out of it. However, domestic typology made in such way is often oppressive. Based on these understandings, one can question whether or not‘home’ should be defined by restricted spaces? Are there any spatial codes that frame family activities and events? And if such codes exist today, does it tend to be crystallised or ambiguous?

2. Relationship
Society and Home are two different systems where human being inhabits. When a person enters domestic space, a great deal of social rules will no longer apply, and he is transformed from a member of the society to a member of the family. Home is a place to extricate oneself from dominant social mentalities to regain self-consciousness. Such power system is highly inward-based and related to self-awareness. In commercial development where function and profit come first, hardly any critical thinking in relation to such power system has been done yet. Perhaps in the increasingly sensitive urban culture, this new angle can make a ground-breaking change for the current development model. The emergences of Airbnb and Wework have already started to shake the conventional understating of domestic stability and to rethink definitions of ‘us’ and ‘others’. Here lies the possibility of forming a new social strategy as well as a new spatial strategy.

3. Scene
The scene visualises the concept of home through shared vision of family life. As architectural metaphor, dining table, fireplace and pictures on the wall are typical symbols to recall the warm memory of family events. Besides these symbols, some casual actions themselves also suggest the idea of family and mark the differences between home and non-home, such as mother cooking, children seating around and watching TV, parents arguing and couples making love. The uses of arousal scenarios are common methods in interior design, which can effectively project the users’ memory of the past and expectation for the ideal future life.

建築東西联合伦敦大学 亚非学院 孔子学院
Home 家
2016年2月27日 下午2-5点
DLT (Djam Lecture Theatre), SOAS, UCL, London; WC1H 0XG



1. 空间
“户型”是一种集政治、经济和文化的共同影响所形成的暴力产物。“户型”作为组织日常生活的模式由历史得来又被强加给下一代人,它使得某些事件必须在某些空间中发生,而同时抹杀了许多本可以发生的事件。其暴力的根本在于户型空间里难以剥离符号和所指之间的固有关系。开发商与建筑师巧妙地在政府与用户之间寻找到一个精致的产品,在两者都满意的同时从其中获利。但“户型”却是压抑的,是需要被释放的。“家”是否需要一个被限定的空间?是否需要一个合适的尺度和规则以“框构”家庭中发生的事件? 如果这种尺度和规则存在,那它在今天的住宅设计中正在趋向具体化还是松散化?

2. 关系
“家”是一个人找寻并完善其身份的地方,它可以被理解为从常规社会关系中分割出去的部分。人们通常身处社会和家这两个规则与权利体系当中, 因此家的关系也可以用‘非家’的概念来界定。当人进入家的空间后,许多社会规则不再作用于 Ta,Ta 也由一个社会成员转为了家庭成员;事件和权力等级被重新组织,规则可以与社会常理相左。这个权力关系具有强烈的内向性和自我意识。 在趋敏感的城市文化中,也许规则与权利的关系会是一个突破,带来颠覆性的开发模式。比如 Airbnb 和 Wework 的出现已经开始打破家的固有平衡稳定,使得我们需要重新思考 us 与 others 定义。而我们应该如何通过调配空间来缓解不平衡中的紧张感,并达成新的默契和共识?这或许是一种社会策略,或许是一种空间策略。

3. 画面

Text by Yuwei WANG, M.Phil in Architecture, AA School of Architecture
Translated by Chen ZHAN, AA Diploma

Chen Zhan, Wall - Social Housing for Networked Families in Shanghai, AA Diploma Unit 14, 2013-2014
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