This book addresses the complex relationship between architecture and public life. It’s a study of architecture and urbanism as cultural activity that both reflects and gives shape to our social relations, public institutions and political processes.

Written by an international range of contributors, the chapters address the intersection of public life and the built environment around the themes of authority and planning, the welfare state, place and identity and autonomy. The book covers a diverse range of material from Foucault’s evolving thoughts on space to land-scraping leisure centres in inter-war Belgium. It unpacks concepts such as ‘community’ and ‘collectivity’ alongside themes of self-organisation and authorship.

Architecture and Collective Life reflects on urban and architectural practice and historical, political and social change. As such this book will be of great interest to students and academics in architecture and urbanism as well as practicing architects.

part I|67 pages

Contradictions in a common world

chapter Chapter 1|10 pages


chapter Chapter 2|18 pages

A tale of two villages

Jane Jacobs, Marshall McLuhan and their visions of collective life

chapter Chapter 4|13 pages


The end of capitalism?

chapter Chapter 5|13 pages

Alternative models of tenure

Recovering the radical proposal of collective housing

part II|43 pages

New geography and the planners

chapter Chapter 6|11 pages

A proprietary polis

Silicon Valley architecture and collective life

chapter Chapter 8|12 pages

The dubious high street

Distinctiveness, gentrification and social value

chapter Chapter 9|10 pages

Zero-institution culture

part III|44 pages


chapter Chapter 11|22 pages

The heterotopias of Tafuri and Teyssot

Between language and discipline

chapter Chapter 12|12 pages


A form of questionable fidelity

part IV|48 pages

The welfare state

chapter Chapter 13|11 pages

Constructed landscapes for collective recreation

Victor Bourgeois's open-air projects in Belgium

chapter Chapter 14|12 pages

Vienna's Höfe

How housing builds the collective

chapter Chapter 15|13 pages

Learning from Loutraki

Thermalism, hydrochemistry and the architectures of collective wellness

part V|43 pages

Autonomy and organisation

chapter Chapter 17|11 pages

Design precepts for autonomy

A case study of Kelvin Hall, Glasgow

chapter Chapter 18|10 pages

Calcutta, India

Dover Lane – a cosmo-ecological collective life of Indian modernity

chapter Chapter 19|10 pages

The city of ragpickers

Shaping a faithful collective life during les trente glorieuses

chapter Chapter 20|10 pages

Visions of Ecotopia

part VI|56 pages

Practice and life

chapter Chapter 21|9 pages

Intraventions in flux

Towards a modal spatial practice that moves and cares

chapter Chapter 22|14 pages

Ethics of open types

chapter Chapter 23|10 pages

The Age of Ecology in the UK

chapter Chapter 25|12 pages

Epilogue 1