The familiar understanding of the domestic increasingly fails to fit contemporary ecological and cultural realities. Housing bubbles and new technologies of labor are upending the macro- and microeconomics of the home. New possibilities of interaction among generations and genders are being negotiated in spaces designed for the tidy norms of the nuclear family. Persistent urban homelessness, systematic racial segregation, and periodic refugee crises are reminders that not all homes are safe and stable.
Ecopolitical disturbances inscribe themselves on domestic space. Upheavals in the domestic realm, in turn, reverberate through the economy and the environment. Friction at the boundary between the domestic and the foreign (between inside and outside, private and public, local and global) creates a complex and contested threshold. This year, Lunch explores the ways that we make ourselves at home.
Lunch 11 calls for critical essays and design propositions that test the limits of the domestic through four lines of inquiry:
Practices of domestication are practices of control: they redraw the boundaries of the domestic realm by imposing order on people, animals, and territories. But hybrid species and spaces inhabit the threshold of domesticity, complicating the neat distinction between tame and wild. Can alternative models of domestication subvert the illusion of complete control? Can domestication lead to cohabitation instead of domination?
The household is increasingly situated in economic and ecological networks whose operations extend far beyond the traditional domain of the home. Can our understanding of the domestic sphere expand to include the infrastructures on which the contemporary home relies? Do emerging systems of home-based economic production demand new forms of domestic architecture? Can the productive home serve as urban infrastructure in the post-industrial city?
The American home is expected to be a spatial representation of the nuclear family, an extra-governmental realm of complete safety and privacy, a barometer of personal economic achievement, and a site of patriotic participation in national agendas. Who is excluded from these domestic myths? Who is entrapped by them? How are they enforced through the design of domestic space, and how can design help imagine new norms of domesticity?
Homes are fixed. Homes are stable. Unless of course they aren’t. The nomadic and the migratory represent alternative paradigms in which the home is distributed and the domestic is dispersed. Can these critical frameworks address contemporary economic and ecological predicaments? Can we learn to see transient inhabitation as something other than the breakdown of a domestic ideal?
Lunch 11 will consider two categories of submission: scholarship of design (essays of no more than 2500 words, supported by relevant visual and textual sources) and design as scholarship (image-based, with a narrative statement and captions totaling no more than 1000 words).
Abstracts due November 30, 2015; full submissions due January 31, 2016.