First Spitzer School exhibition since 2018, "Mass Support" and symposium makes U.S. debut

Making its U.S. debut, the exhibition “Mass Support: Flexibility and Resident Agency in Housing” opens at the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at The City College of New York, on Tuesday, March 21 with a reception at 6 p.m. in the Atrium Gallery. The exhibition which runs through Sunday, May 7, is a joint presentation by the Spitzer School, The Architectural League of New York, and the Curatorial Research Collective of the TU/e, with support from the Dutch Culture USA program of the Consulate-General of the Netherlands, New York, and is the first in-person show at Spitzer since 2018.

“Mass Support” explores the legacy and contemporary relevance of the Stichting Architecten Research (SAR), a Dutch architectural think tank active between 1964 and 1990 that proposed a radical way of thinking about mass housing, one that fused the efficiency of industrial construction with the flexibility of user customization. Initially led by Dutch architect N. John Habraken, the SAR suggested new functions for the construction industry, for households, and, crucially, for architects.

An online symposium, a companion to the exhibition, will be held Wednesday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The symposium focuses on flexibility, resident input, and modular building in contemporary architecture, exposing participants to the under-examined interface of robust community engagement and innovative construction technology. A Zoom link will be made available at

According to Cassim Shepard, distinguished lecturer at the Spitzer School of Architecture, and part of the curatorial team, “Given the urgency to increase the supply of housing across the country, we need to examine how to combine innovative construction technologies with a deep commitment to responding to the needs of distinct households and communities.”

This exhibition — a new iteration of a show that premiered in the Netherlands at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in summer 2022 — charts a path forward. It highlights 10 recent projects that resonate in different ways with the legacy of the SAR’s pathbreaking work—from new models of social housing in Berlin and Barcelona to new applications of prefab construction in Beijing and Brooklyn.

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Thea Klapwald