Martino Tattara & Pier Vittorio Aureli

Loveless: The Minimum Dwelling and its Discontents

Series: Book Launch
Date: Thursday 23 May 2019
Time: 19:00
Venue: Front Members' Room
Running time: 0 mins

‘Minimum dwelling’ commonly refers to an extremely reduced space for living, and as such, it is associated with typologies such as the micro-flat, the micro-home, the studio apartment or even a miniature version of the typical family house. This typology was strongly criticised in 1932 by the Czechoslovakian critic and poet Karel Teige in his book Nejmenší byt (The Minimum Dwelling). In opposition to the minimum dwelling as a reduced version of the traditional flat, Teige proposed an alternative: a collective dwelling in which every adult would be provided with a ‘minimal but adequate, independent, habitable room’, while all domestic services such as housekeeping, cooking and childcare would be collectivised. For Teige, the minimum dwelling is not an apartment but a room which is fully supported by shared domestic facilities. Teige was highly influenced by the widespread proliferation of hotel living and workers’ lodgings in major European and American cities between the 19th and 20th century. While Teige acknowledged that these types of living were often determined by the increasing pauperisation and precarity of the working class under capital, he also saw the potential for a new form of life in which domestic labour would be socialised and would thus no longer be the ‘private’ work of the family. His idea of collective dwelling was thus a radical version of these precedents, which he saw as instrumental in changing the habits of dwelling towards an egalitarian society freed from the burdens of family living, domestic labour and private property.

In Loveless, Brussels-based studio Dogma expand on Teige’s dialectical understanding of this type of housing by tracing a history of the minimum dwelling, from monasteries to residential hotels, from kitchenless apartments to contemporary lodgings. Through 50 studies, Dogma’s goal is to provide a genealogy of a contradictory typology which has represented both luxury and poverty, freedom and oppression, solidarity and solitude, emancipation and exploitation. The development of the minimum dwelling runs parallel to the rise of capital and the consequent mobility and precarity of work and life.

All lectures are open to members of the public, staff and students unless otherwise stated.

Related Events

Wednesday 13 November 2019
AA Bookshop
Lea-Catherine Szacka
Biennials/Triennials: Conversations on the Geography of Itinerant Display
Book Launch
Wednesday 20 November 2019
AA Bookshop
Clara Oloriz
Landscape as Territory
Book Launch

November 2019
Su M Tu W Th F Sa


AA Photo Library has DVD copies of Public Programme lectures dating back to 1974


Online Lectures
Lecture Archive



For any issues with video playback please contact
AA Digital Platforms

The Architectural Association, Inc. is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (No.171402) and registered as a charity (No. 311083). Registered office: 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES, 020 7887 4000

Click here to read the AA’s latest review report.

Click here to read the AA’s latest action plan.



The Architectural Association receives Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Architectural Association (AA), the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce that it has been granted the power to award its own degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards and is working to create some of the world’s most pioneering courses in architecture to shape and build the future.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prospective students worldwide can apply to the AA Foundation Course (Foundation Certificate), Experimental Programme BA(Hons), Diploma Programme (MArch), and nine taught postgraduate programmes encompassing History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA), Projective Cities (Taught MPhil) and Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch), amongst others.

AA Director, Eva Franch said, ‘since our founding in 1847 we have never ceased to create new horizons, institutionally and academically. This is a significant milestone for the AA and demonstrates how we have grown and progressed as an institution that has always valued independence. Receiving TDAP marks a new era for our institution; these are exciting times for the AA. The process has required considerable work from all members of staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement’.

President of the AA Council, Victoria Thornton added, ‘the TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught higher education programmes’.

The School’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers was supported by the Architects Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Open University.