Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Architecture and University Honors
Squatters -- United States, Squatter settlements, Abandoned buildings -- Repair and reconstruction, Zines
As housing stocks across the country becomes increasingly unstable in the face of imminent ecological collapse, economic austerity measures, and speculative investment, squatting becomes an increasingly appropriate response to the precarity of life in Contemporary America. In contrast to the present neoliberal solutions to the housing crisis, squatting is able to operate outside the logic of the market and effect change on it’s own terms, by it’s own will. The excessive demands of the parasitic land owning class cannot be compared to the needs for basic survival and humanity of the rest. Many are tired of the Sisyphean task of negotiating with ineffectual bureaucrats and systems that default to oppression, all while homes and buildings lie empty all over the city. An answer, for some, lies directly in the streets; where direct action gets the goods.
Squatting isn’t for everyone, and does come with it’s own array of challenges: difficult living conditions, instability, reliance on communal relations, and the ever present threat of violence and repression from public and private security forces always looming overhead. This architectural thesis responds to those challenges in the form of an instructional zine detailing the design and construction of six objects to aid in the rapid renovation and defense of a squatted building. Addressing common issues of privacy, security, public engagement, and sanitation, the zine uses step-by-step instructions to communicate the construction of six helpful objects, designed to maximize materials that can be affordably purchased, easily salvaged, simply stolen, or otherwise obtained.
Galen, Dominic, "Squat-able Objects: An Instructional Zine with New Tools for Squatting" (2018). University Honors Theses. Paper 606.