Commodified Intimacy in the Living Room: Domesticity in a Time of Productive Leisure

A photoshoped image of a living room space which is occupied by various pieces of furniture, a cat, and two individuals standing side by side.

The Living Room is a student organization whose goal is to create a forum for critical discussion and debate about architecture today. Please join Giacomo Ardesio and Claudia Mainardi of Fosbury Architecture and visiting professor Rubén Alcolea for this semester's third installment of the Living Room to consider the commodification of intimacy and domesticity in an age of 24/7 productivity.

For Fosbury, in the current condition of "commodification of everything," the border between public and private dissolves until it disintegrates. While the home is becoming more and more a place for work and an instrument of subsistence, domesticity invades every field of human activity, with banks that are camouflaged as lounges, offices as game rooms, and restaurants as kitchens. The work/consume/die human agenda is shifting towards an endless and sneaky productive leisure. Social media has put otium cum dignitate to work 24/7 and the sharing economy if, on the one hand, has completely distorted the housing market, on the other has converted intimacy into an economic asset.

Fosbury Architecture (FA) is a collective of architectural design and research, based in Milan and Rotterdam. FA engages in a wide range of projects, from urban strategies to domestic environments, from independent fanzines to labyrinths. FA's work has received awards in several international contests including Europan13 (Leeuwarden), the Museum of Natural Sciences (Turin), YAC (Bologna) and Recycling Socialism (Tallinn Architecture Biennale). FA took part in the Chicago Architecture Biennale (2017) as the youngest Italian group, in the Biennale d’Architecture et de Paysage Versailles (2019), in the 2016 Venice Biennale of Architecture, and has been invited to show its work as part of various collective exhibitions such as: Re-Constructivist Architecture, Ierimonti Gallery (New York City), RIBA (London), Adhocracy (Athens), Re-Drawing the Theory Re-Drawing the House (Milan), and Capitalism is Over, (Milan Design Week 2017). FA recently published the book Incompiuto: The Birth of a Style (Humboldt, 2018) and is currently curator of the Urban Center pavilion at the Triennale di Milano.

For more information, email The Living Room.

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