17 January 2019


The New Architecture of the Collective


Grassi Museum for Applied Arts, Leipzig

– 17 March 2019




The problem of affordable and liveable housing is becoming increasingly acute, especially in cities, where rents are rising. Previous housing construction projects have only partially addressed the situation. The exhibition “Together! The New Architecture of the Collective” presents solutions against a background of historical and contemporary projects on collective living.


The housing issue is not new, houses have been occupied or squatted for decades in order to draw attention to the problem. Even 19th century Vienna, for example, which is still considered a model for residential construction and distribution today, had projects that did not correspond to the current two-room-kitchen-bathroom model. In the 1950s, Le Corbusier tried to keep up with the demands of the growing population with his Unité d’Habitation. These and other historical initiatives trying to reform housing are considered in some detail through text and film right at the beginning of the exhibition.

A second room presents, in model form, contemporary ideas for communal living from all over the world. It showcases ideas about what residential districts with co-working and communal spaces could look like.


This is followed in a third area by ideas about innovative living situations based on the so-called cluster floor plan in a 1:1 scale. The idea is to build apartments consisting of private rooms with a small bathroom and kitchenette around communal areas with a large kitchen and living room.

Visitors then have the opportunity to sit down at tables and experience through materials, films and interviews, the presentation of a housing project from building group to collective.


With an approach akin to research, the exhibition reflects the human need for community, while acknowledging the importance of privacy.

“Together! The New Architecture of the Collective” was first shown in 2017  in the Vitra Design Museum, curated by Ilka und Andreas Ruby and EM2N.

An extensive accompanying programme consisting of workshops, lectures, tours, district tours and film evenings complements the exhibition.


Nº 283
The Power of Design

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