We have been working with designer maker Tim Denton to develop a new temporary research space structure for our exhibition at the People’s History Museum. The new research structure will accomodate materials from our extensive documentation of the changes occuring to the Pendleton housing estate where we have worked on since 2004.
The structure will home a small library relating to council housing and a photographic archive detailing the physical changes to the housing and the local residential environment. Relevant donations of books and research materials to the space are welcomed.
Former Director of the People’s History Museum Dr Nick Mansfield will be talking about the history of such worker’s educational spaces at the People’s History Museum at our late event Radicals Assemble! Demand Utopia! on January 12th 2017.
From October 29th to January 13th The People’s History Museum, Manchester will host an IUD ‘temporary research space’ in its Community Gallery. The research space will make available a range of photographs and materials we’ve produced while documenting the changing state of council housing in Pendleton, Salford.
Based in a tower block in Pendleton, we have been recording and researching the estate since 2004. The Community Gallery exhibit will highlight a wide range of images and research materials from this extended period of research that critically examines the estates recent transformation.
This collaborative project published by Polity Press attempts to challenge classic notions of gentrification. Using a transurban comparative analysis it asks us not to over generalise this process of urban transformation all too often linked to the ‘Global North’. It asks how can we make sense of the many specific cases of gentrification happening across the world within a context of on-going planetary urbanisation.
“ A whole history remains to be written of space – which would at the same time be the history of powers – from the great strategies of geo-politics to the tactics of the habitat… Anchorage in a space is an economico-political form that needs to be studied in detail.”
Michel Foucault The Eye of Power (1977)
As part of our long term project exploring the surviving remains of ‘socialist sites’ IUD have been documenting the residential areas of the Chinese danwei in Guangzhou’s Haizhu district.
IUD recently visited the Treptow-Koepenick borough of Berlin to walk around the Falkenberg Gartenstadt (Falkenberg Garden City) with new friend and historian of the everyday, Andreas. Falkenberg is comprised of three streets, Akazienhof, Am Falkenberg, and Gartenstadtweg, with 128 homes developed by the modernist architect Bruno Taut between 1913 and 1915.
Currently IUD is exhibiting in The Fire and the Rose curated by Tongyu Zhou as part of the Asia Triennial 14. The work is located in the Vertical Gallery, 3rd Floor, Benzie Building , Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University. We have created a Temporary Research Space, an invitation to spend time exploring selected materials from our archive, derived from fieldwork and other research in Salford, UK and Guangzhou, China. Also included are a small sample of related critical and fieldwork texts. The show is on until November 28th.
Young mothers who were evicted from a hostel called Focus E15 in September 2013 are occupying vacant council houses in East London. The mothers, who were told to look for accomodation on the private rental market in Manchester, Birmingham and Hastings, joined together to resist displacement and fight for “social housing not social cleansing”. The group will be holding an open meeting about the conditions of the estate (recently their water has been turned off) this Sunday 28th September.
We have been thinking a lot about unbuilding as we observe the creative destruction of tower blocks in Salford (see the above photo by IUD on the ground). These demolitions are part of the first phase of a PFI driven gentrification project. In this process many social housing tenants are evicted and their homes replaced with houses and flats for sale on the open market. The demolition industry along with property developers, builders, finance companies and so on benefit from regeneration, which is not really about the provision of better homes but the redistibution of assets, from the poor to the rich. Demolition also functions at a symbolic level, as it rids us of unwanted architectural forms, in this case high rise social housing. The significance of this is not in some failure of the modernist architectural project but the destruction of viable homes and the displacement of the poor. Regeneration in this instance calls for the replacement of unwanted bodies with the healthy bodies of the rich who have money to spend and don’t rely so heavily on council services. In her book Where the Other Half Lives, Sarah Glynn says ” ‘regeneration’ sounds as though it could be a good thing, but it is being used as a Trojan horse for state-sponsored ‘accumulation by dispossession’ on a massive scale”(page 72).
This is an ongoing selection of resources on unbuilding, rubble, demolition etc.
Julian Rosefeldt and Piero Steinle made a video installation from archival sequences of demolitions called Detonation Deutschland. See the diptych above and more on Piero’s Steinle’s website.
Photographs made by Charles Marville of the demolition of large sections of Paris by Baron Haussmann. Marville’s work is digitized in the collection of the Musee Carnavalet (search in French only).
Artist Hilary Powell’s work is an exploration of and collaboration with demolition sites, materials and stories http://demolitionsite.net
Rubble: unearthing the history of demolition, by Jeff Byles and published by Three Rivers Press is a well researched popular history of demolition.
This is an academic paper, which explores the performative properties of asbestos in the demolition process: Inextinguishable fibres: demolition and the vital materialisms of asbestos by Nicky Gregson, Helen Watkins & Melania Calestani, published in Environment & Planning Journal 2010, volume 42.
therubbleclub.com: a club for architects whose creations have been intentionally destroyed during their life time.
10 minute promotional video of back to back demolitions by Controlled Demolition Inc
more to follow….