The individual and the collective

The House of Meanings | 1970-1972

“Like the city, the home is one of culture’s most powerful symbolic forms. It embodies specific, usually dominant, ideologies about how people should live, what kinds of values and hierarchies should be fostered within the family, and how its occupants should relate to the public world. (…) We can thus understand why, just as at the turn of the century, feminists today are attempting to create their own home images to promote the idea of a non-sexist egalitarian society.”

The House of Meanings was not meant as a specific house, but as a matrix combining “the formal integrity and completeness of an architectural object with the changing and temporary patterns that arise in the process of dwelling.” Based on an open-ended matrix of parallel walls, the two un-built projects for Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo were assumed to exist “in a ‘present’ state of completion, capable of being altered” by the formal logic of vernacular building.

(The paragraphs in quotation marks are from my 1981 essay “Space as Matrix”.)