Frédéric Schnee

Frédéric Schnee

Mutualism in construction processes –a social reintegration of the modern construction industry as a result of loss of solidarity and community

The PhD project will not focus on building in the community and the question of its conceptual foundations, but will reflect on the mutualistic conditionalities of the configurations of communal building.

How can a mutualistic solidarity community come together to create housing where norms within the group are defined through negotiation processes, agreements and expectations? How can co-determination take individual preferences into account and even create generalisability from a mutualist model?

Case studies of the Cottage Social and the Castors, self-help building movements in France that emerged in the aftermath of conflicts marked by scarcity, show through their short-lived nature that such models could only be sustained for a limited time. How can the state guide and promote generalisability and continuity of the model? The question arises as to the scale on which mutualist models should or can function. Is total generalisability with state legal norms covering the whole of society even desirable, or should we resort to small networks with memberships? How can architects in their social role condition and accompany negotiation processes and react through architecture and its technical feasibility to ensure that mutualistic solidarity communities are successful in the realisation of building projects?

Does mutualism have a future in housing provision and is the preservation or generation of such structures compatible with an increasingly generalised and comprehensive application with a state-sponsored social protection mechanism, or is the singularity of the individual user bypassed by a normative setting of bureaucratic structures?