We’re a group of five people working in the fields of architecture, urbanism, art and design. We aim to experiment alternative ways of producing space for people working in the fields of social and climate change. Actions and constructions, with both roles of designers and builders, put the art of making at the heart of our practice. Our projects are grounded and directed toward communities, and on everyone you would see us on the field with tools in hand. Changing things is more and more urgent, especially in the field of architecture where too many resources are being consumed and too many unrenewable waste produced, where too many real estate companies are ripping people off and too much land is seizing from agriculture to poor quality suburbs. Yet ten years of various experiences around France and Eruope leave us with no answers but still many questions.
We are almost not experts. We try, learn – and fail – all the time. We have various roles : one day we’re welding a structure at our workshop in Marseille, the other we are editing a fanzine, screen-printing a poster in northern France, cutting wood in Italy, having a shared meal with volunteers in a rural area. We go from setting up projects with partners to deal with really basic needs in workshops, like preparing meals and waste management. We have really long but thrilling drives across France and sometimes Europe : we’re exchanging in our truck loaded of tools what worked and what didn’t on the projects and dream of possible futures we hope for ourselves and for the society in general.
We try to have a frugal way of producing spaces, meaning working with local materials, sometimes even trunks found on site, with biosourced materials and sometimes reusing waste materials, mostly by finding new uses to them. But mainly we think of architecture in terms of time more than space : meaning that our construction workshops are moments of sharing and learning. They are long lasting memories for the people, they are proud of what they accomplished with our help, how they improve by themselves the spaces they are using and managing. Processes are more important than results.
In the last decade, we thought that public authorities would care more about democratic and ecological issues in city planning, especially by building strong barriers to private profit and thus opening ethical fields for architects. But it turned out that interesting architectural initiatives and projects are more led by civic society than our corrupted and cowardly politicians. We wish for the times to come to meet these motivated citizens that both want to fight against contemporary abuses and build convincing answers on democratic and ecological architectural issues. We have to invent new places and territorial synergies for the people to gather, organize themselves, support sustainable ways of life and one day take revenge on capitalism.
Here are a few texts we’ve wrote and a choice of projects’ english summaries.
– A point of view on the « future of architecture »
– A point of view on the « Availability »
– The PhD of Florent Chiappero, one of us
– An english version of the book we’ve wrote on a trip around France we’ve made in 2012 that aimed to meet different cities’ civic initiatives.