Turn the House Inside Out

August 29, 2023

What is a house?

A house is the basic cellular unit of human habitation. It is both a building and an idea, a diagram that shows how we live and move about our day. A house can take many forms, such as an apartment, a duplex, or a standalone home. It is a shorthand for any singular unit of human dwelling.

What is a city?

A city is a mass of single and multi-cellular units that directly represent our social relations, hierarchies, and attitudes towards the non-human.

What does the house do?

The house provides a habitat for the family, shelter from nature, space for cooking and for friends to gather, and privacy for people to wash and empty their bowels. Additionally, it serves as storage for a range of globally produced products.

What does the house fail to do?

The house fails to provide a suitable habitat for chosen families, queer families, multi-generational families, and broken or blended families. It does not encourage communication or cooperation with nature, nor does it provide space for happenstance, community meals, or mutual aid. The house also prevents transients and the homeless from the daily rituals of personal care and discourages neighbours from sharing their goods.

‘Turn the house inside out’ has become my shorthand, a spatial metaphor for upending or dissolving the binaries that the house stands for. The dwelling unit a medium for creative research.