Building a Key Analytical Framework for MCMH
Els De Vos
Although Middle-Class Mass Housing MCMH is one of the main aspects of the urban fabric in Europe, it has been generally underestimated in urban and architectural studies. Current research on middle-class housing within MCMH aspires an interdisciplinary approach from several disciplines such as architectural history, urban planning, economics, politics, sociology, anthropology and demography. In this session we want to build up a key analytical architectural framework for MCMH. We aim to investigate MCMH through a range of architectural means. Possible foci could be:
- Shared facilities in (semi)public space (playgrounds, park environments, urban interior, parking areas, etc.)
- Ground floor program / amenities in plinth (laundry, nursery, shops, banks, meeting centers, storage, concierge, etc.)
- Transition spaces / intermediating spaces between public and (semi)private (entries, passages, balconies, staircases, ‘streets in the air’, etc.)
- Mobility infrastructure (streets, bike lanes, walkways etc.)
This session is interested in papers that investigate cases through (a selection of) these architectural means, combined with a sociological approach, namely how users/inhabitants use/appropriate or interact with these means. The aim of this session is to investigate if these architectural means can act as lenses which allow us to look systematically and more closely to basic components of MCMH projects – and which can indicate how to deal with them in the future. Research can make use of historical evidence as well as oral sources. On the one hand, documentation such as architectural production materials (plans, sections, façades), photographs, drawings and sketches of the project, as well as commercial leaflets, pamphlets and other commercial promotion material may be used in order to specify original starting points and intentions; on the other hand, the empirical part can be based on site visits, observations and interviews with users/inhabitants in order to reveal users experiences and register current conditions and problems. As such, this session aims to contribute to mapping methodologies of MCMH.
Els De Vos
Associate professor at the Faculty of Design Sciences at the University of Antwerp. She coordinates the program of interior architecture. Her Ph.D. dissertation on the architectural, social and gender-differentiated mediation of dwelling in 1960s–1970s Flanders has been published with the University Press Leuven in 2012. She has co-edited several volumes, including Theory by Design (2013). She participated in the Erasmus+ project Re-Use of Modernist Buildings and is a member of the editorial board of Inner Magazine. She is a workgroup leader of the COST-action European Middle-Class Mass Housing ( In December 2019 she co-curated the exhibition Living in Colour which examined post-war interdisciplinary exchanges between domestic interior architecture and art.
Studied architecture at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, Denmark. She is teaching in the master program of interior architecture at the Faculty of Design Sciences, University of Antwerp and wrote a dissertation entitled The Architecture of Danish Modern. Empiricism. Craft. Organicism. (2019). Storgaard is the co-author of Pieter De Bruyne 1931-1987. Pionier van het postmoderne (2012) and Morphology of Interiors. Fragments of Space Examined (2019). Additionally, she is member of the Erasmus+ project Re-Use of Modernist Buildings (RMB). As secretary of DOCOMOMO International Specialist Committee of Interior (ISC/I) she has a special interest in modernist interiors.