Candide No. 9 — 6/2015 — Project
Domestic Italy After World War II: Collecting Stories from Middle-Class Houses
The article discusses a research project on 23 residential buildings developed for the middle classes in the postwar period in Milan, Rome, and Turin, a project which has opened a new perspective in the history of mass housing in Italy. Of critical importance are the methods employed by the more than 20 scholars who, based on an expansive corpus of oral and textual sources, developed the micro-histories of everyday architecture into an experimental comparative study. This “serial history” not only relates the house biographies from the perspective of various actors involved in these buildings over the course of several decades. It also reveals the multiple interdependencies of institutional networks and the buildings’ siting, resulting in a new understanding of the urban growth during the Italian economic boom. In the following essay, two of the lead researchers, Gaia Caramellino and Filippo de Pieri, explain their methods on the basis of selected case studies, and frame three questions for future research.
Candide No. 9, 6/2015