A Concrete for the “Other Half”?
Bauhaus Taschenbuch 25
Text by Mya Berger, Leticia M. Brown, David Davalos, Ines Glowania, Denisa Kollarová, Maryia Rusak, Martha Schwindling, Léonie Thiroux.
The invention, uses and afterlife of an innovation designed to sidestep the Western construction industry
The invention of the sulphur concrete block was the result of experiments performed by the Minimum Cost Housing Group at McGill University in Montreal in the 1970s. The international research group explored self-building using materials that would present an alternative to the functionalistic logic of development aid programs tied to the Western construction industry. The “Other Half”—a term that was coined to describe decolonized countries and urban populations living in informal housing at the time—was the focus of their experiments with alternative building solutions.
Beginning with an overview of how and why the block was made, its usage and its afterlife, and going on to examine its status within architectural historiography, this book shows how the block became both a vessel and vector for the projections and questions explored by the transdisciplinary group of the Bauhaus Lab 2020.
Featured image is "Working on the roof of Maison Lessard", Quebec, Canada, 1975
Credit: Minimum Cost Housing Group fonds, Canadian Centre for Architecture, Gift of Vikram Bhatt, ARCH284354
UPS GROUND IN THE CONTINENTAL U.S.
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