The single bed makes clear that the room is meant to be inhabited by one person, while the two chairs imply that the single inhabitant my sometimes host a guest. Since the title of the proposal is the co-op room, we know that the single dweller lives in a communal house where only the indispensable minimum is for personal use and the rest is chaired with the other single dwellers. With this interior Meyer shows that only by having the possibility of being alone can we live together. — Pier Vittorio Aureli
Hannes Meyer’s Co-op Interieur is an installation later used as an illustration for is article called Die Neue Welt in 1926. This interior shows the radically of Meyer’s hypothesis for the future of domesticity, embracing the alienation of the metropole. This room can be seen as life rejecting all the excessive consumption, the externalization of the body from the mass of the city, a free space for the mind like in a monk’s cell. In A Room Without Ownership, Pier Vittorio aureli looks at this installation as the dissolution of the capitalist rule of private property.
Meyer’s room is reduced to non-descriptive objects whose radial anonymity seems to convey their meaning as objects of use. […] Meyer’s challenges the most enduring condition in which human dwelling has taken place: that is, the condition of private property in the form of the estate, the transformation of things into quantifiable value, and thus into commercial value. In order to understand what is really at stakes in the seemingly simple image of a room we need to turn the very premises of private property as the transformation of things into something that matters only in terms of (commercial) value and see how Meyer’s co-op room shows us an alternative way of dwelling beyond ownership. — P. A. Aureli
This alternative way of living might join our contemporary nomadic lifestyle. Capitalism is pushing us towards a more profitable way of consumption, where the act of renting is more productive — a leasing for the car, a mortgage for the house, etc.. — renting is our way of consuming without ever having the luxury of owning it. The rooms we inhabit are now only temporary, before a new tenants replaces us. In the Co-op interieur, one has to notice the curtain walls enclosing the room, or as Aureli would describe it:
A remarquable detail of the room is its wall made of fabric — a solution that in s est obviously relate to the idea of exhibition installation. However it is striking that in the photograph the materiality of fabric is made evident and it does not attempt to fake a solid masonry wall. It is precisely this detail that gives the room an atmosphere of utter fragility, this is what has made Meyer’s interior one of the most radical images of the in-rootedness and ephemerality of modern living. — P. A. Aureli
This fragility of the privacy and property is also found in the work of Do Ho Suh. He describes these structures as an investigation on the idea of home, both as a physical reality and as a container of experience, memory and personal identity.
We can also speculate how these walls made of fabric renforce the dissolution of the private property by reducing the limite of privacy to the bare minium. This wall also create an image of a floor free of walls, where curtains are the only separation elements augmenting the flexibility and the frugality of the dwellings. This is where Meyer’s room becomes interesting for our Superstudio, imagining a plan libre where privacy is resumes to a piece of fabric. Easily built, one can imagine these fabric walls installed in situ by its inhabitant. With this conception we might connect to Anne Holtrop’s Felt Pavillon of to the radically of Archizoom’s nomadic life in the No-Stop City. One can also link this to their figurative architecture of the Gazebo.
In this way, domestic space for the dweller becomes the illusion of personality against the anonymity of the city […] Meyer’s accelerations approach to dwelling attacks precisely this ideological image of the “home”. Indeed, for Meyer, to co-op room is not at home, but the single generic cell that belongs to the integrity of the metropolis. — P. A. Aureli
Franklin, Raquel, Pier Vittorio Aureli, Aristeidēs Antonas, et Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin. 2015. Hannes Meyer – Co-op Interieur. First edition. Wohnungsfrage. Leipzig: Spector Books.