The House: A Machine, Queer and Simple

What is a house? Who lives in one? And how? These are queer things to ask, insofar as the naivete of the questions implies an open field of possibility without a corresponding answer that emanates from the norms of propriety, sexuality, and form that shaped the development of American single-family home in the 20th century. This studio will return to the scene of a debate at the beginning of that century between two canonical modern figures. Le Corbusier, on one side of this debate, proposed the idea of house as a machine, while Eileen Grey, dissenting, argued that no such distinction could be drawn between the domain of the body and its extension via architecture – ergo, the house is not a machine, but the body may very well be architecture. Rather than taking sides in this too-convenient dialectic, we will use the analogy between architecture and machines to think afresh about the body and its relation to the thing we call a house and the set of practices we call dwelling. Associate Professor Andrew Holder will co-teach the studio with queer dance duo Gerard and Kelly. The semester will be organized around three movement workshops that use the body (your body) as a way to think through proposals for a building mass, a room, and a construction detail. Each student will design a single work of architecture on the site of Rudolph Schindler’s Kings Road house in West Hollywood. Like Rudolph and Pauline Schindler’s queer living arrangement in that house with Clyde and Marian Chace (and a rotating cast of luminaries like Merce Cunningham), student projects will be cooperative live / work buildings for an audience bigger than a family but smaller – and more personally entangled — than an apartment complex.