In the era of transition Homes for Climate Activists is the spatial attempt to extract form from the colliding of two inseparably linked conditions: The urge to fundamentally rethink architecture based on the full knowledge about a rather bleak global climatic outlook and the desires of its inhabitant, still shaped by a consumerist, growth-oriented way of living; a lifestyle that has formed during the past century, now come to its climax and that is with no prospects for the future.
The climate crisis has shifted the focus of architectural discourse towards parameters such as ecology, material culture, building technology and has led towards an overall tightening of regula-tions. But for architecture as much as for any other sphere of action, our understanding of a reforming sustainability has proved insucient to stop the shift towards the worst consequences of global warming. What we need are radical new ways of thinking, concepts of resilience and strate-gies for adaptation to predicted living conditions. While the discussion about corrective measures has had no true impact on form and space, the understanding of the climate crisis as a condition requests a profound re-evaluation of the architectonic space.
In this context, housing represents one of the most urgent challenges of our time. As a basic need, housing is and will always be fundamentally human. It is within our homes, where our moral concepts, our understanding of gender roles and our desires, earthly, spiritual and intellectual, materialise into a physical object. Simultaneously, as a hyperobject, the home is a cultural construct and focal point of a complex set of relationships within the environment in its broadest sense. We will be using this duality as a design source. We will develop homes that go beyond the concept of sustainability, calling in strategies for a deep adaptation of our spaces to an extreme present. All strategies will collide with the complex and contradictory lifestyles of its contemporary clientele: Our clients are climate activists, those standing in the limelight. As celebrities they are exceptions, embodying our desires and dreams, consolidating our moral belief in good and bad - the true carriers of the Zeitgeist. In reverse, like magnifying glasses, one can look through them to understand the everyday within todays culture. As part of a global society striving for individuality and self-fullment they are a living link between the individual and the common, the exception and the average, the global and the local, reality and delusion, status quo and also a possible future. As a distinct sample of our society the climate activist celebrity serves as a tool rather than a specic subject to come up with new strategies that twist and channel our desires in order to produce spatial solutions. These strategies can be applied beyond the realm of the rich and beautiful and challenge our current way of living.
During the Summer School we will design homes for the climate activists Vivienne Westwood, Brad Pitt, Jane Fonda, George Clooney, Emma Watson, Will Pharell, Cate Blanchett, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Leonardo Di Caprio, Giselle Bündchen and others. The cultural encoding of these personalities epitomises the deeply contradictive nature of our time and builds, as contemporary context, the starting point of our designs: For the 10% of civilization that are responsible for 50% percent of global emissions Maslow’s hierarchy of needs seems reversed. Self-actualization on top of the pyramid has shifted and became its fragile base. Now dramatically shaking and without nostalgia, we are urgently reminded of the time of the wolf, the time of bare survival: air, water, food, shelter and community.
How do we adapt?
What will be the impact on the domestic space?
In which way do we channel our desires and how do we materialize them?
What does it mean for the rooms of a house if they are no longer container of material goods and display of our possessions but stage for a life which aims at sharing experiences and engaging in relationships?
Does a house need to be individual to be called home?
Can the qualities of an exclusive villa be transferred into an inclusive housing unit that is part of a bigger entity?
Would it even be possible to reduce a variety of distinct room types to a single space without losing quality?
What do we really need to build and what can be left to our imagination?
10-16 August 2020
Youth Hostel, Landhausquai 23, 4500 Solothurn
The hostel is located in the middle of the old baroque town, alined with small cafés, bars and restaurants on the bank of the river Aare, perfect for a swim.
Delphi x Architekturforum Solothurn
Since 2017 Delphi publishes independent magazines with alternating authors discussing contemporary topics that concern us as architects. With a main interest in the dynamic public discourse, Delphi has also produced a lm on the content of the work of young architects and has contributed to several discussions and exhibitions.
This summer school is organised in collaboration with Architekturforum Solothurn.
Input Lectures by guests
Project and topic related discussions
diverse evening program
Visit of several houses built by the protagonists of the Solothurner Schule, one of the most radical architecture movements in Switzerland
Movie screening in the gardens of the Delphi head quarter, bonfire + drinks
including workshop, lectures, movie screening, excursion, accomodation, breakfast, final dinner
We cultivate open inclusive discussions, non-hierarchical collaboration as well as a non-dogmatic design approach.