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At Home with the Collective: A Summit on Communal Housing


This 2-day summit will gather speakers from around the world, local stakeholders and activists, as well as city officials who have radically rethought established norms of living, models of homeownership, and the formal, programmatic, material, and legal parameters of housing. Our ambition is to generate new knowledge that can confront the current crisis and speak to the potential of collective housing as a productive challenge for architecture.

While housing could be described as one of the primary forms of architecture and one of today’s most crucial tasks, spatial practices have been slow in rethinking established forms of living and the politics and economies surrounding it. Indeed, escaping the pervasive models of profit-based homeownership seems increasingly difficult when dominated by neoliberal market values. This summit, therefore, posits a radical shift from house to housing and from the individual to the collective as a mechanism to refocus housing as a community-building, solidarity-building, and city-building project.

Organized and chaired by Associate Professor Alexander Eisenschmidt.

Conference schedule

Thursday, October 19

10:00 am Introduction

10:15 am Panel 1: Form & Organization

1:30 pm Panel 2: Home & Refuge

3:45 pm Panel 3: Value & Property

Friday, October 20

10:00 am Panel 4: Exchange & Community

1:15 pm Panel 5: City & Urbanism

3:30 pm Roundtable with Chicago Interlocutors

5:00 pm Celebration

Registration for the summit is free and open to the public, but space is limited.

At Home with the Collective is supported by the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Research; the Institute for the Humanities; the Great Cities Institute; the Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement; the Social Justice Initiative; the College of Architecture, Design, and the Arts; and the School of Architecture at UIC; as well as external funding through grants by the Driehaus Foundation and the Chicago Community Loan Fund.

AIA Chicago is a promotional partner and sponsor of this 2-day summit. 


Thursday | 10.19.2023


10:00 am - 6:00 pm


UIC School of Architecture: Architecture + Design Studios Chicago
845 W Harrison St #1100, Chicago, IL, USA

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