Cohabitation: Low Income Housing for Dubai
Think-Tank Leader: Wes Jones; Concept & Design: Robert Cha, Amir Lotfi, Caroline Dahl; Figures: Mark Simmons
Dubai projects itself as a city of prosperity and exclusiveness, a place of an ultimate luxurious lifestyle. Currently, large numbers of luxury projects are being built, attracting a seemingly never-ending flow of global investors. Newly arrived end users of those projects expect the promise of luxury to be fulfilled.
But who will service and maintain that luxury? And furthermore, where will these people live?
Today, thousands of workers are concentrated in large camps hidden outside the city. Notwithstanding the squalid conditions of these camps, such solutions will be hard to sustain in light of Dubai’s continuing outward growth. Once surrounded by the expanding urban fabric, the visibility of the camps is now unavoidable. And with a presumably distinct contrast between the existing workers' camps and the expected luxury of the growing city the camps risk demolition or exclusion as slum areas.
As a solution, Bentham's Panopticon and Godin's Familistere Social Housing served as an inspiration for 1000 inverse panopticon towers each with 1000 units that provide intimate social gathering spaces to humanize the workers' daily lives under the constraints of a vicious market-driven economy.