At the Architectural League this Tuesday, Liz Gálvez of Office e.g. and Germane Barnes of Studio Barnes each presented on distinct notions of “Housekeeping”, as two of six winners of the 2021 League Prize. Gálvez focused on the act of “Making House”, both the gendered labors implied by the term, but also the technical systems that enable inhabitation. Her presentation video showed “recipes of air and water,” plumbing fixtures, mechanical penetrations, and ventilations systems, backed by the ASMR ambiance of a low fan hum. Though mechanical, all these systems are environmentally entangled, or to Gálvez, “immaterial matters”, which question the typical notion of buildings as autonomous, tightly sealed containers.

Barnes also thinks of architecture as more than a container. He used the figure of the griot—someone who conveys traditions of their community through song and storytelling—to look at housekeeping as a kind of ritual, rather than a chore. Reflecting on spaces of Black domesticity, like porches and stoops, Barnes sees these as narrative spaces, in the sense tha…

Read three free articles and receive our newsletter by creating an account.

Or login if you are already a user.

from $5/month