Integrative Design Studio

Community and Cooperation: HACK

Def: Hack /hak/ (noun) -

A clever, unintended exploitation of a system which: a) subverts the rules or norms of that system, b) at the expense of some other part of that system.

The ongoing state of emergency resulting from pandemic, climate adaptation, distributional injustice, ongoing conflicts and resulting migration flows is becoming the "new normal". This stress test unleashes political and activist energies in society that challenge capitalist and hegemonic mechanisms and re-pose fundamental social questions. It is important to use this moment of collective awakening and the debate for new future perspectives.

In order to connect to the discourse that the journal ARCH+ opens up with its new issue "Vienna - the end of housing (as typology)", we will examine how the monofunctionality of housing can be overcome and how alternative communal forms of living together can generate impulses for the existing city. In doing so, the political dimension and operational power of communal living will be explored and used as a tool to address social deficiencies and to create new spaces of freedom and play in the existing city. It is therefore about hacking existing systems of housing provision, pushing back capitalist commodification dynamics and enriching the city with multi-layered habitats of arrival, transit and stay.

In an intensive initial research phase, we will approach the topic and examine very different references from the standpoint of the "hack". Informal structures like Wagenburgen, occupied houses, off-spaces and squats, but also initiatives like the Haus der Statistik and the Mietshäuser-Syndikat have found different triggers to create their own realities of communal living in existing systems.

Besides collecting information, it will also be necessary to develop design tools and we will experiment with subversive strategies such as queering, Trojaning, copying/pasting and hacking.

The resulting knowledge will be used in individual projects to "hack" existing urban situations, primarily in Vienna, but alternatively also in Paris, Berlin, ... through a structural and programmatic intervention. The aim is to establish alternative forms of communal living locally, which in turn will develop a sustainable impact on the surrounding neighbourhood, city and social structure.

Part of the design studio will be hold in english (Mid-term/final presentation, input lectures).

Guest critics:

Max Turnheim (UHO, Paris / Architectural Association, London), 

Felipe de Ferrari (Plan Común, Paris / OnArchitecture)


Nathalie Harb (Beirut, Paris)

Kristine Hymøller (Kopenhagen)

Grayson Earle (New York)

12h, 15 ECTS
Project room 15 / Zoom
Kick-Off 13.10.21 10.00 - 14.00 Project room 15 / Zoom

Meetings Wednesday 9.00 - 15.00 Project Room 15 / Zoom

Intensive phase 16.11. - 18.11.21
via TISS with portfolio
Examination modalities
Proof of achievement is provided through active participation in the research phase, contributions in the collective design discussions and the interim and final presentation with (multimedia) project documentation and model.