chapter  15
16 Pages

Throwaway houses

Garbage housing and the politics of ownership
WithCurt Gambetta

During an interview for the TV station of the Architectural Association (TVAA) in 1975, architect and critic Martin Pawley explained the origins of his decade-long project, Garbage Housing. Though the undertaking had matured into a fully-fledged antidote to the housing crisis, Pawley conceded that it started as an exploration of the ambiguity of meaning produced by ‘combining a pejorative term “garbage” with a valued term “house”’ (TVAA 1975). In saying this did Pawley mean that housing was akin to garbage, just a disposable object like any other consumer product? Or did he mean to imply that a house should be constructed out of throwaway materials? Or did Pawley mean to say that public housing was in a state of decline, like other sociologists and housing workers of the time (Cupers 2016)?