Architect as Host

Friday 22/9, 10:15 – 11:00


Towards a self governed multicultural neighbourhood

This talk explores the role of an architect or city maker as host, and how that lead to methods, for a self governed neighbourhood, using a case study ‘Roman Road public living room”. It takes on Derrida’s theories of conditional and absolute hospitality to describe settings in the city where guest – host relations play out.

The practice of hospitality in creating a self governed neighbourhoods has 2 major phases:

Phase 1. A moment where two strangers meet, one being the architect/city maker. This encounter is informal, casual and non committal. This phase needs hospitality to become transformative.

Phase 2. is post transformation and becomes a way to maintain and consolidate relationships and gain trust, it is here that common goals and interests are explored. Hospitality articulates a network of social familiarity who one hopes lead to common goal towards self governance. Within this commonality there would be many disagreements and hostilities. The practice of hospitality as Selwyn says “reveals a continuity, for hospitality and hostility have in common the fact that both are expressions of the existence, rather than the negation, of a relationship.” As Selwyn concludes there is a danger in the possibility that the promises of relationships will simply not be taken up and strangers remain strangers and their transformative nature will not take root.

“Hospitality is the means of forming or consolidating relationships with strangers. In this light it appears as one of the means by which societies change,grow,renew and reproduce themselves”   Tom Selwyn


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Lugosi, P. (2014), ‘Hospitality and organizations: Enchantment, entrenchment and reconfiguration’, Hospitality & Society, 4:

1, pp 75–92, doi: 10.1386/hosp.4.1.75_7

Chávez, F. van den B. and Rest, J.-P. van der (2014), ‘The hospitalities of cities: Between the agora and the fortress’, Hospitality & Society, 4: 1, pp. 31–53, doi: 10.1386/hosp.4.1.31_1

Lashley Conrad (2014). “Insights into morality of hospitality”, Hospitality and society, 4:  pp3-6

Elizabeth Tellfer. (2011) “The philosophy of hispitableness”, In search of hospitality. pp.39-55 ISBN: 978-0-7506-5431-9

Derrida. J (2000). Of Hospitality. Paper ISBN: 9780804734066