easa | #makeyourselfa(t)home

tutoring, concept development & implementation of
#makeyourselfa(t)home

a workshop held at EASA Fredericia 2017
under the topic
Hospitality – finding the framework
in cooperation with Lisa Marie Hafner

A   S P E C I A L   T H A N K S   T O 

Marius Maldaianu
Thomas Musil
Elena Paleckyte
Beatriz Porto
→ our amazing participants

D E S C R I P T I O N

What happens when one merges the potential of 500 different Easian minds with Fredericia and its residents? What makes you a guest, and what makes you at home? Where is the difference between these stages? How do we influence these stages as architects — or better: Is there any chance to influence this social issues in a spatial form?

This posed questions were the backdrop of our THEORETIC explorative as well as a PERFORMATIVE workshop. A journey to find out how hospitality — home and anything in between relates.
Re-think,
Re-flect, Re-build.

K E Y W O R D S

#explorative—performative #home #theoretical #practical #refugee #spaceproduction #futurearchitecture

„Living together is only possible if there is always the possibility to be alone.“

– DOGMA Studio

As architects, we shape the built environment; we have a formative influence on social issues. It is our duty to provide a livable environment and equally qualitative space for everyone – no matter what one‘s social background might be. As architects, we also work at the interface of diverse professional fields and conflicting interests. Thus, architecture as a discipline is highly political. It is about navigation, about compromises, about communication and interrelation. 

With #makeyourselfa(t)home we want to emphasize the given circumstances of EASA Fredericia 2017 running an interrogative workshop, where we, together with our participants, actively encounter and redefine Hospitality. We want to sensibly experience and visualize the process of making oneself at home and evaluate the influencing factors – spatial, as well as socio-cultural – on whether one feels welcome or even at home, or not. The workshop is based on the theory that, once we have understood and illustrated what being at home essentially is about, we get a basis for future considerations on hospitable architecture.

structure & methodology

Our workshop was split into two parts: We started with theoretic inputs to introduce basic knowledge from different perspectives on the topic. The personal inputs from the participants and the insights into their different cultural background, then, formed the conceptional basis. The performative laboratory conducted in the second week was an implementation of the diverse approaches to „home“. It was a mix of experiencing, learning and exchanging with others while producing space. 

In summary, the basic steps were as follows: Create understanding / self-reflect to consciously perceive / connect and implement the new findings into a spatial form.

Documenting the process of “Making Heimat” as a personal experience was one of the core elements of the workshop. Selected theoretic background is provided in the form of VOLUME I — a documentary booklet containing a selection of our theoretic research on texts and contemporary positions of and around the field of architecture towards hospitality and home. VOL II documents the workshop experience during EASA Fredericia 2017, showing the practical implementation, interpretation and outcome of VOL I.

[exploring space]    
— J.B. Jackson: The Stranger‘s Path
[politics + space]     
— Jane Jacobs: The Uses of Sidewalks: Contact
— Hannah Arendt: The Public and the Private Realm
— Pierre Bourdieu: The Social and the Symbolic Space
[private space]     
— Dogma: A Room of One‘s Own
[informal space]    
— Mike Davis: Planet of Slums

To record our impressions and thoughts, we used photography as well as drawings and sketches, which are collected within VOLUME II. As a collection both book(let)s can serve as a tool for the participants, the tutors and the public to strengthen and understand hospitality, its meaning and its potentials today embedded in the architectural context. Furthermore, the documentary outcome of our workshop may, as well, serve as a basis for further considerations on hospitable architecture.

easa context

The best way to gain profound knowledge is, on the one hand through practical trial and error, and on the other hand through the exchange of theoretical knowledge with others. 

EASA enables students and young professionals to broaden their cultural as well as architectonical knowledge. We have the chance to rethink our position as architects within an open liberal community. We as tutors see it as a great chance to inspire people to reflect on the socioeconomic framework we live and work in, to strengthen them in questioning the system and thereby, to help them find their very own way to navigate through today‘s complex intertwinings.

Our main objective was creating an awareness of the topic and its wide net of influencing factors – not just for the team that worked with us but for the whole EASA community.

VOLUME II — final booklet documenting the performative part of #makeyourselfa(t)home


this article was published in umbrellas 3rd edition. 
It questions the current development of easa and its structures.

stop working | start thinking easa

Another year of EASA has almost come to an end. Last Monday we saw amazing presentations showing what EASA is going to be about in the circle of the next year – inspiring pictures, ambitious topics, a lot of things to look forward to. As we are just as excited as all of you to see the upcoming editions and the future development of EASA and its community we decided to reflect on this years’ edition as well as on the development of the EASA idea: 

What are our responsibilities? 
What do we want EASA to be in the future? 


EASA is supposed to be a platform to share thoughts, ideas and methods across borders and cultures. Yearly, much effort is spent on the conception and bidding of a decidedly well-reflected theme — or, in fact, various ideas, if you take the entire bidding process into account. In the end, however, not much of the initial glow of the theme is left. It seems to be almost irrelevant, as focus shifts to mere construction and the publication of glossy photos of the final projects. Why do we pick a topic, when, in the end, it’s all about random construction? Why is it more important to get your personal project published as a tutor than to push the overall effort of the community?

The Croatian proposal for next year’s EASA is aiming high. Starting with Slavoj Zizek in their video it looks as if theoretical discourse is coming back to EASA on a broader level – RE:Think they state. But why don’t they want to change anything about the basic structure of theoretic workshops? If you want to RE:Think [sic!] the building process in a more sustainable way, don’t we need to have as well theoretical discourse integrated into the construction process? Why do we even separate the [theoretical] thinking part from the practical design and building part? Especially in a time of a highly complex global world, it needs more than a little effort to understand things in full circle. In times of global instabilities on a social, economic as well as political level it is just not enough to build something without reflecting on how, why, where and what – or better: whether there should be anything built at all. 

Posing all these questions – some might see them as an affront – we’d like to end with a quote from WAI’s lecture: “If you don’t question things, if you don’t understand the concept of things, you can’t change them.” 

/ Disclaimer: This is a personal opinion, sharply formulated & exaggerated at some points to initiate and push the discourse [not] taking place in the EASA community – feel free to contact us in person to have an ardent fight on the topic with us. We’d be more than happy.

closing words

With our open workshop concept, we had an amazing freedom — as well as the risk — of not knowing where we‘d end up after two weeks of EASA. We are more than happy that we had four amazing participants who were willing and motivated to go this uncertain path together with us. Thanks.  

The quality and range of the final outcome are beyond our expectations. It was a great pleasure as well as enrichment for us — as we hope it was for our participants.

We also would like to thank the organizers for having and supporting us. It would not have been possible without your constant help. Thanks to the EASA community for their inspiration and appreciation.

Keep on questioning, stay curious, don‘t be afraid to push your own, as well as architectural boundaries.