This workshop covers the fundamental elements of our culturally and socially enforced understanding of property rights in America: property rights as ownership, the mortgage, and property taxation. These components of “the American Dream” have benefited many, but have also created great social costs in the form of sky-high rents, housing problems, and income inequality. But these systems are not a given! They are often seen as an unchangeable reality, but they are socially and culturally constructed, and can be re-imagined and recreated based on new needs and political will. What alternative systems are possible? Together, can we imagine new economic systems of property rights that we see as better, more just, and more humane? Presenter Jonathan Crisman provided a brief introduction to each system, and we imagined and discussed alternative possibilities together.
System Dominant Alternative
1. Property Rights: Exchange Value vs. Use Value
2. The Mortgage: Owning vs. Renting
3. Taxation: Land vs. Labor
About the Architect/Urbanist
Jonathan Crisman is a research affiliate at the UCLA Urban Humanities Initiative, a trained architectural designer and urban planner, and is currently doing his PhD in urban planning at USC. He is the director of No Style, a design and publishing practice, and with Jia Gu he forms LABOR, an interdisciplinary art and architecture studio.