College of Environmental Design alumna, urbanist, and architectural educator Karen Kubey (B.A. Arch ‘02) is the guest editor of Architectural Design’s (AD) current volume, titled Housing as Intervention: Architecture Towards Social Equity. The globally-recognized, UK-based journal covers the latest theoretical, cultural and technological advances in the architecture and design field. Through 17 essays, the book examines how international housing projects, and the design processes behind them, might be interventions towards greater social equity.
“Thanks to my Berkeley CED education, starting with Randy Hester’s ‘Justice Walk’ assignment in Environmental Design 1, I’ve always looked for opportunities to contribute to social justice through architecture and urban design,” says Kubey, who now works as an architectural and housing consultant and visiting associate professor at Pratt Institute. “This publication allows me to share concrete ideas for how architects can make meaningful contributions in the face of complex housing challenges—not only through beautiful designs, but also through new typologies and financing models, building regulation reforms, and techniques for collaboration with residents and community members.”
In response to growing housing insecurity and economic inequality worldwide, the issue highlights forward-thinking architects who are taking the lead with sustainable, collaborative approaches, including a number of CED alumni and visiting faculty members. “Communes, Co-living and Cooperatives: Spatial Models for the Domestic Commons,” is co-authored by Fall 2018 Joseph Esherick Visiting Professor of Practice Neeraj Bhatia and CED alumna and California College of the Arts (CCA) architecture chair Antje Steinmuller (M.Arch ‘02), both of Urban Works Agency; and “The Architect's Lot: Backyard Homes Policy and Design” is written by alumna and UCLA architecture professor Dana Cuff (Ph.D. Architecture ‘82).
“Editing this volume of Architectural Design gave me the chance to ask: What are the most urgent social, economic, and health equity issues that intersect with housing, and what can architects do to address them?” Kubey explains. “Housing’s primary position in our lives, economies, and the built environment makes it a natural site of intervention in the complex fight against systemic injustices. That is the reason I chose to focus this AD volume on housing and—more broadly—why I’ve concentrated on housing in my career.”
The issue also includes an in-depth conversation between Kubey and Carol Galante, the I. Donald Terner Distinguished Professor of Affordable Housing and Urban Policy at CED and Faculty Director of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation, along with Michael Pyatok (PYATOK architecture + urban design) and Joshua Simon (East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation). Titled “Allies in Equity,” the article looks specifically at affordable housing in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Kubey initially proposed Housing as Intervention in December 2015 through an invited review process. After receiving feedback from AD’s editorial board and outside experts, she began work selecting contributors and developing the final issue—something she says was a long but well-organized process, with the help of AD Commissioning Editor Helen Castle and Managing Editor Caroline Ellerby.
“The shorthand for my volume is ‘88:4,’ as in the 88th year of publication for AD, fourth issue of the year. It is an honor to be part of a journal with such an influential history, including the period when my mentor Kenneth Frampton was technical editor (1962-65) and AD published seminal volumes like John Turner’s Dwelling Resources in South America (August 1963) that are still relevant today,” Kubey explains. “I hope that architects and architecture students around the world take the stories of Housing as Intervention back to their own work and use the ideas to contribute that much more to greater social equity through design.”
A symposium and book launch is taking place on Monday, September 24 at 6 p.m. at the California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco and will feature a discussion between Kubey, Antje Steinmuller (CCA), Fatou Dieye (Skat Consulting—Kigali, Rwanda), and Michael Pyatok (PYATOK architecture + urban design), with a response from Charise Fong (East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation).
More information about the event can be found here.