August 18, 2015

House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate

The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture

House Housing exhibition materials, 2015. Video stills. Photo and exhibition design: MTWTF. Courtesy of MTWTF and the Buell Center.

…in Twenty-three Episodes
October 1–November 15, 2015
National Public Housing Museum, Chicago
Presented in partnership with the NPHM and the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial

…in Twenty-nine Episodes
October 22–December 14, 2015
Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
Presented in collaboration with the curators of the exhibition Wohnungsfrage at the HKW

…in Thirty-one Episodes
April 6–May 8, 2016
MAK Center for Art and Architecture at the Schindler House, West Hollywood, CA
Presented in collaboration with MAK Center curators and affiliates


House Housing: An Untimely History of Architecture and Real Estate is an ongoing, multi-year research project conducted by the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University. The initiative seeks to encourage a public, historically informed conversation about the intersection of architecture and real estate development. The untimeliness of this history, as indicated by the project’s title, is twofold. First, it returns us to financial matters widely discussed in the immediate aftermath of the 2008 foreclosure crisis but now largely abandoned by mainstream American discourse. Second, it discloses surprising repetitions of themes, tendencies, and actions—reminding us that the economic infrastructures on which architecture rests are the outcome of such repetitions, rather than an a priori, natural ground. These infrastructures locate housing at the center of the current economic regime, with the United States as an influential node in a transnational network.

House Housing consists of a growing body of research that draws on multimedia sources. The results have appeared in numerous locations as exhibitions, panel discussions, and publications, and relate to different institutional frames. We are pleased to announce three exhibitions for the fall of 2015 and the spring of 2016, presented with the National Public Housing Museum in Chicago, IL, in partnership with the Chicago Architecture Biennial; as a part of the Wohnungsfrage (“The Housing Question”) exhibition at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin; and at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture’s Schindler House location in West Hollywood, CA. All three exhibitions’ objects of inquiry range from architect-designed houses to prefabricated apartment blocks to suburban gated communities. All of these architectures are analyzed in light of their position at the intersection of design, policy, and finance. New narratives emerge out of surprising juxtapositions.


Reinhold Martin, Director
Jacob Moore, Curator
Susanne Schindler, Curator
Research Team, Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation
Design Team, MTWTF

For further information, please contact us via email at [email protected], visit and, or follow us on Twitter (#househousing).

Copyright © 2015 by The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York


The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University was founded in 1982. Its mission is to advance the study of American architecture, urbanism, and landscape. Located within the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University, it sponsors programs and research projects focusing on issues of both scholarly and general interest.

Director: Reinhold Martin
Program Coordinator: Jacob Moore
Adjunct Associate Research Scholar: Susanne Schindler

Board of Advisors: Dianne Harris, Chair / Amale Andraos / Teddy Cruz / Jeanne Gang / Nikolaus Hirsch / Mark Jarzombek / Phyllis Lambert / Brian Larkin / Timothy Mitchell / Kate Orff / Felicity Scott



Exhibition series presented by The Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture at Columbia University

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