The many housing exhibitions of the past 100 years attest to the ongoing search for the ideal home. Housing exhibitions are an excellent example of research by design. They are manifestos that try to give answers to current social issues and introduce new ideals, but at the same time they also present concrete housing designs. The temporary or permanent presence of the object itself – the dwelling or the residential building – makes the housing exhibition an exceptional instrument. Actually building these experimental designs at full size not only makes them visible, but also enables them to be visited, by both peers and laymen. And finally, they are subjected to the ultimate test: actual habitation.
This issue of DASH provides an overview of housing exhibitions from the past, present, and future. Their corresponding reflections and manifestos are also considered in further detail. Many themes still appear to be very current, and a number of ideals appear again and again in different forms.
The Internationale Bauausstellung (IBA) in Hamburg, which is still open, is organized around a number of themes. Some of these themes are familiar from previous exhibitions, such as the adaptable home, affordable housing and the urban-planning anchoring of housing and residential buildings. But there are also themes that have emerged in recent years, such as the sustainable home (minimal use of energy and materials) and homes on the water (climate change). IBA Hamburg is the final part of the project documentation in this issue of DASH, which shows a wide panorama of approaches in ten different projects. Of these ten projects, nine can still be seen, and are still inhabited.