“And Why Should We Stop at the Building? The Relationship of the Viennese Housing System to its Residents”, in: Generalist 4. Magazin für Architektur, Use and Habit, Darmstadt, July 2010, pp. 44–49 (with Andrea Schaffar/reviewed)
Excerpt (in German) p. 45:
“There’s someone who has very high design aspirations, and who also naturally deals with the spatial effect, who, in other words, naturally also views things with the user’s eye. But with our more ordinary, everay perspective, maybe we are closer to the viewpoint of the user.” This description by a real estate developer describes his claim to being more down-to-earth than the architects, to contributing a view to everyday life to the planning process. This everyday view represents the residents’ perspetive.
“That is simply a big void in housing construction; since it is the user who should actually specify what he wants, but he is represented by the cooperative. And the cooperatives act as if they know everything and they’re aware of it; however, what they know comes from the apartments they themselves sell.” With these words, an architect contradicts the allegedly practical point of view that developers often take in their argumentation. The developer’s assertion that he represents the users is based on experience in sales and management – the everyday life that developers claim to represent is thus revealed to be a construct. In fact, both architects and developers consider themselves to be legitimate representatives of the future users, with their needs and priorities.
(Translation: David Koralek, ArchiTrans)