The Becoming of Residential Identities I. A Singular Situation of Symbolic Transgression: Bois-le-Prêtre Alteration Project, Paris, 2011. The Interpretations.

Sten Gromark and Katrin Paadam

Project Period: 2012-2013
Type: Research Project
Program Area(s): Critical Projections


This project, starting from the notion of architectural and social change, puts special attention to the implementation of these aspects within the field of extreme residential situations characterised by either radical spatial transgression or resident’s processes of identification. Focus is set on the analysis of conditions of transformative societal change and the interactions of concepts, convictions and constructions with a special ambition to unveil and to re-evaluate, to re-situate the potentially critical role of urban architectural interventions in situations of profound cultural and social alterations.

A particular methodological endeavour to enhance interdisciplinary cooperation is to integrate architectural symbolic interpretations of extreme residential projects with a thorough qualitative sociological approach applying qualitative interpretative methods on the study of actual perceptions of real social life worlds hidden behind the often deceiving surface of architectural iconic imagery.

Research is dedicated to the architectural sociological analysis on ‘The Becoming of Residential Identities’ as empirical and conceptual explorations on contemporary residential situations focused on the reciprocal dynamic between social reality and architectural projections departing primarily from a Bourdieu elaborated perspective on cultural change related to symbolic capital; on visual and symbolic quality consumption.

The objective is to accomplish a qualitative analysis of the recent 2011 finalised project Bois-le-Prêtre in Paris in collaboration with Professor of Sociology, Residential Studies, Katrin Paadam formulated in a paper for publishing. This includes a series of interviews with inhabitants on site and with project authors. Another objective in this project is to contribute to final editing of a book on Ashgate for the envisaged text collection ‘Visions of Residential Futures’. These two actions would constitute the basic starting material for a long term coauthored book project dedicated to a conceptual and project assessment approach to the forming of residential identities in projective practice based realisations.

Gromark, S., Ilmonen, M., Paadam, K. and Støa, E. (eds.) (2015 forthc.), Ways of Residing in Transformation. Interdisciplinary perspectives. London: Ashgate.

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