photo @ Maarten van Houten

As inspiration for the discussion about self-build housing coming ten years

The story goes that one day, somewhere around the year 1430, the Italian craftsman Leon Alberti did something that nobody had ever seen before: he put on a pair of white gloves in the middle of the construction site. There and then, the profession of architect was born. From that moment onwards, it’s no longer the person with the most experience, but the person who excels at thinking about what works well, who gets to make the decisions. In the centuries that followed, our cities were mostly thought up and determined by people with a diploma. Now, self-build is one again creating a space for the individual craftsman: both the professional and the amateur. We call him Albert.

The project Albert & Alberti relates the dream of self-building (Albert) to the contribution this dream makes to the meaningful design of our city (Alberti). Is what is good for me (ego) also good for the city (collective)? Does the sum of all the individual dreams together equal paradise, or will it turn into a nightmare? But also: do we want to shape our cities with Swiss precision, or with a touch of Belgian anarchism?

With the installation Albert & Alberti, we invite you to perform your own research related to the recipe for the ideal city: the perfect mixture of individual expression for a city we inhabit together.

Albert & Alberti can be seen until December 8, 2019 at the exhibition The Right to Build in the ARCAM, Amsterdam

facts & figures

design: bureau SLA, Peter van Assche & Ninja Zurheide
supported by Blok by Carina