Dr Yael Allweil

Technion Faculty of Architecture, Hafia Israel

Yael Allweil PhD is an architect and Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion, Israel, where she heads the Housing Architecture, History and Theory research group. She completed her PhD in architecture history at UC Berkeley exploring the history of Israel-Palestine as a history of the gain and loss of citizen housing. Her research was published in the monograph Homeland: Zionism as Housing Regime 1860-2011 (Routledge, 2017) and several journal articles in Urban Studies, Footprint, Architecture Beyond Europe, City, TDSR and IJIA. During 2019-2020 Yael will be on leave at the Institute for Advanced Studies (IIAS) in Jerusalem as chair the research group ‘Re-Theorizing Housing as Architecture’ (with Gaia Caramellino and Susanne Schindler). Yael’s work involves academic research and activism in the context of the Israeli housing social movement.


Impact! Mass Housing as the Cornerstone of Bauhaus Contribution to Future Design Methods.


This paper discusses Bauhaus’ impact on the future of design by examining its key role in the formation of four design strategies developed to meet the problem of mass housing. Mass housing was first regarded as a problem for professional designers in the modern context of the industrial city. Yet it was in interwar Bauhaus where housing was first articulated as the centre of all design problems—from the city to the building, to the chair. Bauhaus teachers and students saw housing as an extreme design problem, through which architects and designers developed new design methods for meeting the demands of affordability, functionality, varied needs, and mass production. In this paper , we identify four key design methods articulated for mass housing in the interwar period, and their changes and re-articulation over time: (a) Design rigour; (b) Disassembly and reassembly; (c) Seriality vs. replication; and (d) Democratic design. Our paper opens with a theoretical and technological mapping of the four design methods as articulated in design manuals, syllabi, and designed objects. Afterwards, we trace the evolution of the four methods over time by examining their design articulations in four key periods of modern housing: interwar modernism, post-WW2 mass housing, experimental Avant- garde futurism (1960s–1970s), and contemporary design explorations. The four design methods exemplify Bauhaus’ impact as a modern design laboratory. Likewise, they limn more modern approaches to similar problems, like the move to kit furniture and kit housing.