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Abstract

Throughout Europe, the dominant housing production practices of the last century seem to be running out of steam. Housing is looking for a future. The weakening of the power of the state, the instability of the markets and the ecological emergency have led to the emergence of another way of thinking based on the "common". Still in the process of being defined at the interdisciplinary level, this dynamic could distinguish two directions on the architectural level. The first is quantitatively the most marginal, and yet the most mediatized. It concerns the fascination exerted by the recent achievements of housing cooperatives on European architects. In the lead, Zurich's experiences represent a horizon of action on its own for the rest of Europe. At their peak, housing in clusters embodies the highest level of innovation in the sharing of living space, as a socially, economically and environmentally virtuous solution. The experiences of sharing by small communities, in a positive assimilation of the theory of commons, represents a first axis of innovation. Taking an opposite direction to the local affirmation of sharing, the second axis is that of non-differentiation; in support of a much broader tradition of what “common” means: that of the city, of public space, of globalization, in a greater integration of difference and diversity. It involves the development of the services economy, the uprooting of professional activity, the increase in life mobilities, in other words the saving through large-scale sharing. It approaches the question of the third way in a more liberal but also indisputably more widespread form, in a fragmentation of public and private registers, which cooperative housing continues to preserve. Distinguishing these two trajectories, on the theoretical and spatial levels, seems useful to glimpse the spatial stakes, but also the cross-potentialities, of major deformations of the domestic sphere.

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