The Social Condenser: From the Social to the Commercial / Martin Danler & Tim Kerschbaumer

01 31st, 2018

A breeding ground for a modern and refined inhabitant.
That is the quintessential definition of a social condenser. Of course it is not the only one. There is a multitude of different definitions that all incorporate different facets of the social condenser and what its target was. The trouble with a comprehensive definition of the social condenser is that it was intended to be omnifarious, to incorporate every possible facet of daily life of the person which it targeted. To quote Michal Murawski and Jane Rendell from Volume 22 of the Journal of Architecture might prove to be the most expedient method of explaining the core of the social condenser: „The idea of the social condenser proposed deploying architecture as a way to forge radical new kinds of human collectivities: Collectivities of co-habitation, of co-production, of intellectual work; as well as collectivities of affect, beauty, empathy and passion. Suffused with vivid connotations pertaining to electricity, radiation and magnetism, the social condenser is a concept with an extraordinary, totalizing reach. In its very formulation, it encompasses society’s economic and material infrastructure, the humdrum minutiae of everyday life as well as the unruly domains of the transcendental and fantastical. Crucially it also encompasses the entire domain of architectural endeavor: From dwelling and work to public space and everything in between.“

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