A Section of Now

We are thrilled that the CCA chose the Grange Triple Double multi-generation house for inclusion in their current exhibition A Section of Now .

Conceived as part of the one-year investigation Catching Up with LifeA Section of Now looks at today, at the society in which we currently live, with a focus upon expanding notions of family, property ownership, activism, work, technology, and life expectations. How can architecture and urbanism better understand our contemporary conditions, and how might they adapt to better address the challenges these conditions present?

While contemporary values are rapidly reshaping the built environment, architecture is not only responsive but can also, at its best, anticipate and even influence the direction of society through spatial endeavours. Adaptations of existing typologies and also new typologies are required for our current society where the nuclear family isn’t a societal bedrock; where robots become a mainstay of domestic life and caretaking; where friendship takes on new meanings; where birth and death can be planned and designed; where the youth is extremely committed to environmental and spatial justice; where we work more than ever, regardless of the increased automation of labour; where addictions are many and simultaneous; where it is possible to retire at thirty years old or to be already in substantial debt at the age of twenty, and where there is an obsession with sharing and yet more and more people choose to live alone.

Together these multivalent conditions have gradually displaced societal norms, leaving many interconnected questions – and design opportunities – in their wake. How might we create housing that better reflects the broad scope of contemporary living arrangements, from those living alone to those living with multiple generations under one roof? How might we implement alternative frameworks to mediate how property is owned and shared given rising rents and debt? How might our personal choices and collective actions create long-term social, political, and environmental change? How might we create equitable working conditions amidst demands for personal and technological optimization? How might we better manage the symptoms of technological addiction and withdrawal? How might we rethink our plans given ever-increasing life expectancy?

Through TV series, contemporary photography, architectural research, and designed objects, A Section of Now critically depicts where we are now and points to the urgent need for a new spatiality and the formation of new societal relationships.