Friction, by every conceivable definition of the word, was framed as one of modernity’s chief stumbling blocks; crossing paths were minimized and the household was managed with the efficiency of a machine, under the premise of convenience. In urban housing, the imposition of a central corridor catalyzed the fragmentation and erasure of shared spaces, operating on occupants as a physical space of control. Therefore, encounters in the street, the elevator, the lobby, and the mail room take on the same socially and politically neutral character that the corridor imposes on the freestanding house. In these architectural conditions, privacy is traditionally thought to be activated at the moment the apartment door closes, where the household was thought to be defined by a solid line. This logic of organizing people as families or units, stripped living environments of a long-held potential for chance encounter.  In the end, designing housing as rooms for individuals or groups of people would mean rejecting the view of the city as a series of nuclear families.
What is the social and political meaning of housing in an age of instant information? Wireless devices are also unaware of the contrast between private and public. The pervasiveness of virtual connectivity has made the apartment porous, transforming it into a multiplex with a dotted line boundary. Continuous discourse and upward mobility are essential ingredients to a productive society; and are less supported in the physical and more fulfilled by the virtual. With continuous virtual porosity in the private family apartment, is the binary, family or nonfamily, too socially and culturally restrictive? How can the architecture of housing serve the physical and virtual spaces of interaction?
Is real estate speculation the only way to bring about the production of housing? Variations of occupation emerge from simple sets of relationships. The proposal to catalog this architecture will collect spaces where seriality is intentionally rejected in favor of resiliency, whether social or ecological, sustaining a potential for complexity. The catalog will focus on forms of housing that challenge social, economic, and environmental pressure; where the architectural ethnography of places becomes a dense convergence of markets, demand, and social vitality. Urban housing is a system, not an object. Maintenance, price, and perception have immense effects on energy consumption, security, and sustainability, but also on citizenship.
In 2015, the United Nations released their first 360 panoramic film, Clouds Over Sidra, showing the everyday life of a twelve-year-old Syrian refugee. To better understand the larger pressures on occupation, architecture will be cataloged and disseminated as an empathetic experience. To create a publication that can be viewed by all, the mechanical infrastructure, natural systems, individuals, cultural habits, and space will be captured and formatted using spherical panoramic photography and mapping. As a personal experience, immersive representation has the potential to communicate the greater web of events behind urban housing forms; architecture that has generated productive public space at many scales; spaces that remain less surveilled and provide anonymity, where desire is disconnected from imperatives of consumption, where architecture reintroduces agency, friction, and choice, and steps away from a standardization of experience.