Bloc Party

research paper and series of four drawings \ published in Bracket Journal no.4 [On Sharing] (forthcoming) \ collaborators: Roy Cloutier, Nicole Sylvia

As the homeownership models that sustained previous generations slip further out of reach, more and more people are left in a precarious relationship with domestic space—locked out by the shifting tides of the housing market. Conceived in the context of Vancouver’s ongoing housing affordability crisis, Home In Common explores networked models of domesticity in which home’s constituent components are unbundled within the city, allowing them to be held collectively.

Amidst Metro Vancouver‘s stifling monoculture of condominiums and single-family homes, a diverse ecology of living sprouts forth from the interstices of the formal city. Its laneways, overlooked zones of infrastructure, transform into a shared network of domestic activities. The latent tendencies of this model are explored through a series of anecdotes: ‘I Take a Bath, You Take a Bath, We Take a Bath’ (convivial domesticities); ‘Cross-Dressing on the Block’ (mutualistic exchange); ‘Brains and Gains’ (fortuitous recombinations); and ‘Bloc/Party’ (emergent forms of collectivity). Taken together, these concepts point toward a future in which fluidity and impermanence foster not precarity but rather new forms of sociality — lubricating a process of collective becoming. Urban space is claimed as an act of mutualism, sharing, and exchange: the city becomes a platform for a convivial, collective individuation.