Dezeen Magazine

Watch our talk with MAD Architects about social housing around the world

Dezeen teamed up with MAD Architects on a live talk exploring social housing in different regions around the world.

Moderated by Dezeen's editor Tom Ravenscroft, the talk heard from three architecture studios that have designed social housing schemes – MAD, Peter Barber Architects and Body-Lawson Associates.

The panel comprised principal partner at MAD Yosuke Hayano, director at Peter Barber Architects Alice Brownfield and principal of Body-Lawson Associates Victor Body-Lawson, who have designed social housing projects in China, the UK and US respectively.

Yosuke Hayano. Photo: Greg Mei
Principal partner at MAD Architects Yosuke Hayano joined the panel. Portrait by Greg Mei

The talk explored housing projects designed by each studio and discussed the cultural and social contexts around social housing in the regions that the architects work in.

The panel also discussed how building regulations differ region to region, the needs of residents, what they believe is necessary for a successful low-cost housing scheme and what the architects' role is in the creation of low-cost housing.

Brownfield is a director at Peter Barber Architects and a chair of Part W, an architecture collective campaigning for gender equity in the built environment and a trustee for Action on Empty Homes.

Victor Body-Lawson
Principal architect of Body-Lawson Associates Victor Body-Lawson also joined the panel

Peter Barber Architects is renowned for a number of its social housing projects including the McGrath Road housing project, which won RIBA's Neave Brown Award for Housing in 2021.

Through her work Brownfield advocates for high density, low to medium rise housing and believes that architecture can create social action. She was awarded the MJ Long Prize for Excellence in Practice in 2021 for her work and advocacy in the built environment.

Alice Brownfield, photo by Morley von Sternberg
Director at Peter Barber Architects Alice Brownfield was on the panel. Portrait by Morley von Sternberg

Body-Lawson is an architect, educator and artist based in New York. He founded his studio in 1993 and has designed several housing projects for low-income areas in the boroughs of New York.

Projects include the Erbograph Apartments, a senior housing project that was the first LEED Silver building in Harlem, as well as Home Street Residences, an affordable housing complex in the Bronx.

In 2021, Body-Lawson received a Leadership in Housing Award from the American Institute of Architects.

Hayano is a principal partner at MAD Architects overseeing the design of its projects, including its first social housing project in China the Baiziwan development.

Located in Beijing, the Baiziwan development is located near the Central Business District in east Beijing and is divided by roads into six areas that contain multiple apartment blocks.

The development consists of 12 residential blocks containing 4,000 apartments, built around green spaces and connected by a raised walkway. Designed as a floating park, the walkway connects all the residential areas by bridging over roads.

Tom Ravenscroft
The talk was moderated by Dezeen's editor Tom Ravenscroft

Ma Yansong founded MAD Architects in 2004. Over 20 of the studio's key projects were highlighted in MAD Rhapsody, a book covering 17 years of its work.

Recent projects by the studio includes a housing block in Paris designed to Passivhaus standards and a cloud-like white museum on the coast of Haikou.

The talk was the second in a series of talks about social housing hosted together with MAD Architects. The first talk in the series was a live conversation between Yansong and Dezeen's late founder and editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs about the studio's first social housing project in China.

Partnership content

This talk was produced by Dezeen for MAD Architects as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

Dezeen is on WeChat!

Click here to read the Chinese version of this article on Dezeen's official WeChat account, where we publish daily architecture and design news and projects in Simplified Chinese.