Building on the experience of international conference organisation of AMPS, this project involves a series of conferences centered on the theme of Housing – Critical Futures. Each conference will be hosted at a different university. They will be timed to run throughout 2015-19 and will lead to associated publications.
The preliminary list includes:
Housing-Critical Futures 1. Housing – A Critical Perspective.
April 2015. Liverpool, UK
Housing-Critical Futures 2. Obsolescence and Renovation – 20th Century Housing in the New Millennium.
December 2015. Seville, Spain
Housing-Critical Futures 3. Housed by Choice, Housed by Force – Homes, Conflicts and Conflicting Interests.
January 2016. Nicosia, Cyprus
Housing-Critical Futures 4. Future Housing – Global Cities and Regional Problems.
June 2016. Melbourne, Australia
Housing-Critical Futures 5. Policy, Planning, Design: Local Government Housing Initiatives in a Time of Crisis.
September 2016. Liverpool, UK
Housing-Critical Futures 6. Living and Sustainability: An Environmental Critique of Design and Building Practices, Locally and Globally.
February 2017. London, UK
Housing-Critical Futures 7. Cities, Communities and Homes: is the Urban Future livable?
June 2017. Derby, UK
Housing-Critical Futures 8. The Health of Housing: The Design, Planning and Politics of How and Where We Live.
January 2018. Bristol, UK
Housing-Critical Futures 9. Housing in Expanding Cities.
Date: (TBC). Mexico
Housing-Critical Futures 10. Visioning the Future of Living.
Date: (TBC). United States of America
Nb. More international conferences will be announced in the coming months as the details of organisation are confirmed.
Each conference will have a combined global and local-national perspective. Using the Housing – Critical Futures theme, each conference sets an agenda that responds to the particular needs, interests and concerns of the host city, country and region while inviting external perspectives that explore alternative scenarios.
For example, the Liverpool Conference in April 2015, drew specific attention to multiple issues relevant to the UK and the north of England more specifically. As an important centre in a formerly industrial region the Liverpool case is has its uniqueness but, importantly, it also reflects the situation in other cities across the UK, Europe and elsewhere. Perspectives from these cities were part and parcel of the event.
The Liverpool event looked at local communities in the context of national and regional shifts in housing policy, architectural models, and financial and economic templates. It examined their demands for autonomy and ask how they have survived, developed and emerged in these varying scenarios. It considered the provision of council housing, the role of Housing Associations, and the role of national and local governments in maintaining the UK’s legal obligation to ‘house all residents’ (Housing Act, 1977), and more.
The conference also examined the effects on housing of city ‘shrinkage’ and contrast these local concerns with the ‘overpopulation’ of other cities such as London and New York. Perspectives on the industrialisation of cities in China were also examined in conjunction with the declining industrial base of UK cities like Liverpool; and the aspiration of home ownership underpinning the housing provision of the US was considered next to the tradition of state funded provision in the UK and Europe.
In exploring solutions to the housing issues of the host city alongside those of other cities, all these events discuss: design solutions to increase housing density will be examined; alternative forms of financing the supply of temporary homes will be analysed; the need to renovate existing but declining housing stock will be addressed from multiple standpoints; and a whole set of related social, professional and design issues.
All the events of this programme are practice and theory orientated in perspective; and open and collaborative in approach. They are local, regional and global in outlook.