Protik Choudhuri

Document Type

Thesis, Senior




Spring 5-2023


urban environment, migrants, domestic interventions, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, domestic prototype, housing typology, social housing, squatters




Architecture | Cultural Resource Management and Policy Analysis | Urban, Community and Regional Planning


Humanity will end the 21st century as an entirely urban species. But urban environments are factories- the site of perpetual reproduction of services, interactions, urban and domestic spaces for capital accumulation, rather than the outcome of social processes. As such, the conditions under which migrants have integrated into the urban environments globally are characterized by the extraordinary struggle for decent housing and work.

Globally, it is the squatting movement that responded by countering exclusionary forms of ownership and radically transforming urban and domestic conditions for migrants through two distinct operations: the illegal appropriation of vacant buildings and domestic interventions centered on the commons. Leveraging collective action, they produced extraordinary domestic and urban spaces for migrants and refugees, utilizing collective labor, spatial activism, and by imagining alternative models of family and ownership.

In the Netherlands, gentrification and decline of the social housing stock since the 2000s, drastically exacerbated the State’s strictly regulated, migrant integration protocol.

Amsterdam’s Squatter institutions that responded. Unique in this way, Amsterdam’s squatting movement can be distinguished by its quasi-institutional, urban-scale operations critiquing the city’s social hierarchies, housing speculation and political negligence. Thus, the integration of migrants and refugees into the urban environment was bottom-up and organic, turning squatting into a practice that enables anyone, even migrants and refugees, to intervene in the urban environment according to their needs and reconstruct the city according to their desires.

In 2010, Amsterdam outlawed squatting entirely, further escalating the city’s housing and refugee crises.

This thesis proposes a new domestic prototype/typology to counter Amsterdam’s speculative housing market through a reflection on the organic social and spatial commoning tactics of the Squatters. Dubbed the Sharehouse, this domestic typology for migrants and refugees capitalizes on discomfort and friction, promotes negotiation, and leverages collective action to enable domestic assemblage. Rather than merely housing, this thesis reconceptualizes domestic space as a process to co-produce and transform the city.

Additional Information

Thesis Group: Space and Domestication: Home Dynamics as Sites for Architectural Intervention



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.