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giovedì 15 novembre 2012

Young & Old. Dilemmas around the issue of private dwellings

Houses or homes. Architects and urbanists are constantly thrived by the issue of living spaces, in terms of dwellings - at building level - and public, open spaces – at city level.
Obviously, my professional category (urbanists, especially, and especially over the past decades) have been more or less intensively debating  about the RIGHT for living. For living decently, living for all, with a clear reference to what has been the early discussion about the “Existenz Minimum”. Indeed, a large part of administrators and theorists tend to stigmatize or – at least- be critical about “gentrification”. The sociologist Ruth Glass first used the word to define a peculiar kind of reuse of the inner city: "One by one, many of the working class quarters of London have been invaded by the middle-classes—upper and lower. Shabby, modest mews and cottages—two rooms up and two down—have been taken over, when their leases have expired, and have become elegant, expensive residences [...] Once this process of 'gentrification' starts in a district it goes on rapidly until all or most of the original working-class occupiers are displaced and the whole social character of the district is changed." (Glass, 1964).

From that moment on, all the metropolitan areas worldwide, but also medium sized contexts have been place for this particular evolution of  the urban fabric, often leading to economic growth of the city and an improvement of its image and attractiveness at global level, yet provoking at the same time social problems generally defined as “social exclusion”: bohemians and creatives coming in coupled to residential, poorer, working class population moving out.
However, the fascination induced by old factories transformed into private castles, cafes and atelier blossoming at floor levels of multi-storey blocks, deprived buildings turned into classy and clean romantic apartments is never-ending and attracts people of all ages.

Today, I have tried to focus on this aspect: on the polyvalence of refurbished homes, for young hipsters or elderly dreamers who pretend to be ever-lasting human beings. Living in mysterious interiors, updated with few, minimalist touches or in light-spread white open-spaces attracts people of all age and capture the attention of those envious voyeurs who –unfortunately – have little wages and reduced geographical opportunities to buy large, stimulating homes in the cores of the modern times (Paris, New York, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, ...).
Is it for a common cultural background, similar social rank, or for the buildings themselves offering inspiration to their dwellers, it is possible to notice many resemblances between apartments set in totally separated places and owned by two women who probably won’t ever the occasion – or the time – to meet. Any time soon but on the internet.


> Daphne Javitch /
> Designer of "TEN Undies"
> New York City / 


> Gisèle d’Ailly van Waterschoot van der Gracht /
> Publisher and Artist /
> Amsterdam /
> by Freunde von Freunden



#1 / paper cuts

#2 / painting

#1 / filer

#2 / filers

#1 / relax

#2 / relax

#1 / close up

#2 / close up

 # 1 / simplicity and cleaniness

 # 2 / practical minimalism

#1 / no bed head

#1 / bed head as everyday miracle

#1 / girls file clothes

#2 / wise women file books

#1 / kitchen

#2 / kitchen

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