The Canada Council for the Arts has chosen the curatorial collective Architects Against Housing Alienation (AAHA) to represent Canada at the 18th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia 2023, with the Not for Sale! exhibition. The pavilion, open from May 20th until November 26th, 2023, aims to draw attention and encourage dialogue on potential solutions to the challenges generated by the housing crisis in the country.
Housing Crisis: The Latest Architecture and News
“Not For Sale!”: The Canadian Pavilion Investigates Housing Alienation at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennale
Is Airbnb Contributing to the Housing Crisis?
When Airbnb began nearly 15 years ago, it offered a new and innovative solution to book short-term stays without any hassle. By renting out a spare room or an entire apartment, it provided an alternative to traditional hotel models which were often overpriced and overbooked. Airbnb now faces many critics as the company quickly grew, offering hundreds of thousands of stays around the globe, but not without a handful of negative experiences. Now, planners and policymakers are beginning to see the effects of the abundance of Airbnb listings and how it impacts a growing housing crisis.
Regulations on Airbnbs Could Be Coming to A City Near You
Airbnb has long been a reliable way to find a homestay. Since its inception in 2008, the site has hosted more than 7 million homes around the world where travelers can stay in a room, or rent an entire house out for themselves. Recently, many cities have been cracking down on short-term stays, citing safety issues, false listings, and rising property prices which push people out of their homes when housing becomes used just for Airbnb rentals. What are cities doing about these issues? What is Airbnb doing to help remediate them? And will Airbnb be viable for much longer?
Merger Between Two of the Largest Co-Living Operators Habyt and Common: The Co-Living Sector is Rebounding
The interest in co-living is on the rise, a direction emphasized by the merger between the largest co-living operator in the US, Common, and their European equivalent, Habyt. The two companies manage more than 4,000 apartments in the US and 7,000 apartments in Europe and Asia, as reported by The Wall Street Journal. The term co-living refers to a modern form of group housing where residents share communal spaces for socializing, cooking, and gathering, and have access to shared amenities such as cleaning services or dog walking.
Norman Foster Foundation and Arup Deliver Kharkiv Reconstruction Masterplan
Norman Foster Foundation and Arup office in Berlin schemed a master plan for Kharkiv, Ukraine, to guide future urban regulations and prepare professionals for the city's reconstruction. In collaboration with a local advisory board, the outline is defined by a series of pilot projects to develop aspects such as heritage, infrastructure, and rivers. The initiative follows a request from the Kharkiv Mayor to the Foster Foundation through the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, weeks after the Ukraine War started in February 2022.
PAU’s Vishaan Chakrabarti on How Progressives Ruin Cities in Uncertain Things Podcast
Adaam James Levin-Areddy and Vanessa M. Quirk, the hosts and producers of the Uncertain Things podcast, interview people from diverse backgrounds and a wide range of expertise to ask the question: “now what? What is happening and how did we get here?”. In this episode, they talk with urbanist, architect, and professor Vishaan Chakrabarti, founder of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism, to seek to understand how the cities got so expensive. Together they delve into the affordability crisis, the detrimental effect of progress, and what we need to do to have better cities.
BIG, ICON, and Lennar Announce Community of 3D-printed Homes in Texas, USA
Pioneer in large-scale 3D printing, ICON announced the construction of a 3D-printed 100-Home Community co-designed by BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group and developed by Lennar. Located north of Austin, in the city of Georgetown, "The Genesis Collection at Wolf Ranch" will become the first and largest house estate in the world built by a fleet of robots integrating additive construction techniques.
Combining the digital possibilities of 3d printing with sustainable features at an affordable price, the project aims to support the housing crisis in Austin, one of the U.S.A's most dynamic and growing cities, home to the new Tesla Gigafactory and other giants such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Oracle.
How to Create Real Housing Affordability, With Dignity
This article was originally published on Common Edge.
The U.S. housing shortage is most severe on the more affordable side of the market. At a time when costs are escalating broadly and homes that were recently attainable by many have moved out of reach of most, this is no surprise. The problem is most acute in the heated markets, of course, where affordability mandates and rent controls seek to retain rental affordability for some, as owning a home in such markets is a dream accessible only to the wealthiest. (No measures in this post have any impact on these markets.)
SCI-Arc’s New Robot Annex: Exploring the Use of AI for Affordable Housing Solutions
Access to adequate housing is a human right. But with prices rising dramatically, incomes not growing proportionally and ineffective public policies, the lack of secure, affordable homes is fueling an ongoing global housing crisis. In fact, 90% of 200 polled cities were found to be unaffordable to live in, with the impact of COVID-19 only worsening the situation and forcing much of the world’s population to settle for precarious living conditions. This is only expected to aggravate in the not-too-distant future; by 2025, the World Bank estimates that 1.6 billion people will be affected by the housing shortage.
What Role Do Materials and Construction Systems Play in Democratizing Architecture?
“Architecture does not change anything. It’s always on the side of the wealthy.” With these words, Oscar Niemeyer referred to architecture as being a privilege mostly destined to the upper class – a statement that has historically proven to be true, even as some would like to deny it. Today, only 2% of all houses around the world are designed by architects. This is largely due to the fact that, to the average consumer, architect-designed homes continue to be perceived as expensive and esoteric products available only to this select few; a luxury that many cannot fathom to afford, especially as housing prices rise. Ultimately, this makes good design inaccessible for certain segments, forcing them to settle for precarious living conditions in standardized spaces that fail to take their needs into account (that is, if they even have access to housing).
Towards Sustainable and Affordable Housing: Is 3D Printing the Future or the Present?
In recent years, the construction industry has faced unprecedented challenges. A lack of skilled workers is driving up costs of labor, there is a global housing shortage, and the effects of climate change around the world are clearer than ever. Therefore, questioning traditional construction methods and pushing the limits of innovation has become a top priority, forcing the industry to implement new technologies as they get on board the digital transformation era. There is one innovation, however, that looks particularly promising: 3D construction printing. Although relatively recent, the technology has already been successfully tested in numerous structures, houses and apartment buildings, reshaping residential construction as we know it. Hence, 3D printing could very well be a viable alternative for more efficient, sustainable and cost-effective mass housing solutions in the near future, positively impacting people’s lives and contributing to greener, healthier cities.
The Commons: Dissecting Open-Source Design
In New Mexico, irrigation channels that have been in continuous operation for three centuries replenish and nourish the wetlands of the American Southwest. These channels are known as Acequias – communally managed water systems built on democratic tradition. Members of the community own water rights, who then elect a three-person team to oversee the channels. In Cairo and Barcelona, Tahrir Square and Plaza de Catalunya have acted as important sites for voicing political dissatisfaction. The Tahrir Square protests of 2011, for instance, resulted in the eventual toppling of an almost 30-year-old government.
Do Trailer Parks and Mobile Homes Have a Future As Affordable Housing?
The future of manufactured homes may reinvent the form of something that already widely exists- trailer parks. All across the United States, these small homes are being reimagined by architects by utilizing more sustainable materials, inventive construction techniques, and value engineering to create affordable homes and reinvent the once negative connotation that surrounded this housing typology.
"The Same Technology that Will Allow Us to Address Housing Challenges on Earth, Will Allow Us to Venture Off to Space": Interview with Jason Ballard of ICON
Founded in late 2017, named one of the "Most Innovative Companies in the World" in 2020, and selected as ArchDaily's Best New Practices of 2021, ICON is a construction company that pushed the boundaries of technology, developing tools to advance humanity including robotics, software, and building materials. Relatively young, the Texas-based start-up has been delivering 3D-printed homes across the US and Mexico, trying to address global housing challenges while also developing construction systems to support future exploration of the Moon, with partners BIG and NASA.
Featured on Times’ Next 100, as one of the 100 emerging leaders who are shaping the future, Jason Ballard, CEO and Co-Founder of ICON spoke to ArchDaily about the inception of the company, worldwide housing challenges, his ever-evolving 3D printing technology, and process, his partnership with BIG, and the future of the construction field on earth and in space.
Urban Expansions and Master Plans Tackle the Housing and Climate Crises in New York
New York City is under the threat of several geographical and social crises, most notably the rising sea levels, floods, storm surges, as well as the need for affordable housing. While previous and current New York mayors have announced several action plans to tackle the housing and climate crisis of the city, none of them were able to tackle these issues on a big scale, particularly after the pandemic worsened the situation as many citizens found themselves without a job and unable to pay rent. As a response, world-renowned architects and academics have proposed new urban developments and master plans that provide long term solutions to these crises.
New Construction Is Not Always the Answer
This article was originally published on Common Edge.
California, as with most American states, has a housing crisis. Unlike the rest of the country, it is actually working to ameliorate the situation, with private and public initiatives that critics can’t help but label inadequate. The Bay Area made accessory dwelling units legal by changing zoning laws, but that has hardly made a dent. Some cities are now pushing for additional upzoning to give developers more room to bring new buildings to market at lower rents. There are all sorts of studies, university sponsored or underwritten by the industry, that recommend more-or-less radical fixes for a seemingly unfixable problem. Environmentalists are naturally cast as villains because they don’t condone greenfield developments. And Californians are tough on their elected officials, as the current governor learned last year.
ADUs Are Not Enough for California
This article was originally published on Common Edge.
ADUs or accessory dwelling unit, a word mostly used by architects, is "a smaller, independent residential unit located on the same lot as a stand-alone single-family home" according to the American Planning Association. They can be converted spaces of existing houses, additions, or new stand-alone structures. In this piece, author Walter explores the recent policies in California that seek to reduce the shortage of housing.