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Housing and the City AHRA 2020 conference logo

Housing and the City

17th Annual International Conference of the Architectural Humanities Research Association
© Atelier Z+& Ye Xu

In the early twentieth century, a desire to master the workings of the city linked it explicitly to the provision of housing. The processes of ‘the urban’ became an ‘ism’, the multiplication of houses became housing. In the twenty-first century, we are witnessing new ways of working, changing social demographics, increased geographical mobility and mass migrations, as well as the pervasive threat of climate change, all of them leading to new modes of urban domesticity - of ‘co-living’ for young urban professionals, of ‘co-housing’ of various kinds, of ‘live-work’ units and of other versions of domesticated working. Sometimes, these trends are born of economic necessity; sometimes, they are driven by aspirations of inclusion, solidarity and sharing. In either case, they are often promoted as desirable styles of life, experiments in housing and working that are linked to the promise of a new kind of collectivity, a new kind of city. The concern of this conference is to interrogate the link between housing and urbanism, not necessarily to disentangle it, but in order to ask what these new forms of living and working might mean for the city and its future.

The primary question asked by the conference is this: what does it mean to be at home in the city in the twenty-first century? 

We invite contributions from a variety of disciplines such as architecture, urbanism, sociology, philosophy, geography, anthropology, as well as written and visual contributions from the arts, such as photography or film to explore this question.

Conference date

19, 20, 21 November 2020        





Registration page available soon

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Keynote speakers include

Anna Minton

Anna Minton is a writer, journalist and Reader in Architecture at UEL. She has written two books, 'Ground Control in 2009' and 'Big Capital' in 2017

Professor Peg Rawes  

Peg Rawes is a Professor of Architecture and Philosophy at UCL and her research since 2010 has focused on social, architectural and material ecologies, or 'architectures of care' Her 3-year AHRC collaboration with Dr Beth Lord (Philosophy, Aberdeen) on wellbeing, equality and the UK housing crisis published the film, Equal by Design (2016).

Tim Heide

Tim Heide is a co-founder of the architecture firm Heide & von Beckerath, a practice at the forefront of Berlin’s innovative housing experimentation

Katharina Bayer 

Katharina Bayer is the co-founder of einszueins architektur in Vienna, an award-winning practice focussing on new forms of urban housing.   

Chris Matthews

Chris Matthews is a graphic designer and historian. His most recent books include ‘Homes & Places: A History of Nottingham’s Council Housing’ and ‘Cities of the North’, both published in 2016. 



AHRA International Conference 2020

Faculty of Engineering
Department of Architecture & Built Environment
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2TU