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The Art of Inequality: Architecture, Housing, and Real Estate

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The Art of Inequality belongs to a long-term research project on architecture, housing, and socioeconomic inequality begun in 2008 by the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture. This “provisional report” extends the project’s research into the real-world impact of cultural imaginaries, offering glimpses into the operating systems that run beneath housing discourse and shape its vocabulary by directing attention to the subtle ways in which architecture—through housing—lays the groundwork for present dilemmas involving inequality, not simply by casting them in concrete, but by concretely laying out their terms.

Considering economic inequality inseparable from social disparities of other kinds, particularly in the provision of housing, the book argues that housing is more than just a building type or a market sector, but a primary architectural act—where architecture is understood as that which makes real estate real. Further, the relation that results under the rule of real estate development is—by its very structure—unequal.

The book includes essays by Reinhold Martin, Jacob Moore, and Susanne Schindler, as well as written contributions by Manuel Shvartzberg Carrió, Erik Carver, Cezar Nicolescu, Pollyanna Rhee, and Sonya Ursell, and photographs by Ilaria Ortensi and Emily Kloppenburg.