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The Grand Domestic Revolution: A History of Feminist Designs for American Homes, Neighborhoods, and Cities
Stéphanie Dadour on Grand Domestic Revolution
25 March, 2021
This is a book that should be read by anyone working in the field of architecture, town planning, or housing. It operates on two levels.
The first is related to historiographical methods. Hayden mobilises and encounters archives that were unknown. She inscribes them in a socio-historical context that reflects feminist thought and its political practices. This research questions the writing of history: what stories are we writing? From where? Why? What archives do we mobilise?
The second concerns content. Those she calls material feminists are concerned with economic and spatial questions that lie at the foundation of material life. Hayden writes this book to make visible the contribution of these women: the strategies, plans and programs they plan for an egalitarian world. In so doing, she also demonstrates the political significance of the built environment. Hayden is particularly interested in women reformers of space – more rarely, the involvement of architects – in order to reveal the architectural practices that are not part of the canon. The interest of this book also lies in the consideration of the private sphere as a public affair, which deserves a social reading taking into account gender, class, and race.