Czech hedgehog (three blocks of social housing)


120 x 120 x 120 cm
Unique piece

The Czech hedgehog is an anti-tank defense obstacle consisting of angular metal bars joined together.

The hedgehog is very effective at preventing armored units, tanks, from crossing a defensive line. Originally, the hedgehogs were used by the Czechs on the border with Germany (hence their name) as part of a system of fortified defenses hastily built at the beginning of the Second World War. Czech hedgehogs were widely used during this conflict, they were made from any metal piece or even train rails. They also proved extremely effective in urban combat conditions, as a single piece could block an entire street.


At the beginning of the 21st century, the housing utopias of the Athens Charter are completely wrecked in the impoverished peripheries of global megalopolises. The egalitarian and just city imagined by collectivist utopias or the pacified city dreamed of by reformists, the one that would allow a “harmonious” flow of capital, work and domestic life, has mutated into a suburban dystopia on a global scale. Having definitively broken the fragile contract between capital and the social body, full of ghettos and walls, borders, enclaves and fortified areas for the privileged, that dream city is today a battlefield.

In the essay “Slouching towards dystopia: the new military futurism”, published in Race & Class, Matt Carr discusses the fact that in recent years, US and UK military think tanks have produced a series of reports that they try to imagine the future threats to the security of the West. This new military futurism sees threats to the Western way of life emanating from conflicts over resource scarcity, mass migrations and the growth of failed megacities where social disorder is a daily occurrence. The dark predictions of military futurologists posit an eminently urban scenario of war, of neighborhood-by-neighborhood, street-by-street, house-by-house fighting, and provide a justification for endless war against the dispossessed. As Mike Davis states: “For the Pentagon, the ‘failed cities’ of the countries of the Global South have been identified as ‘the key battleground of the future'”.

Czech hedgehog (three blocks of social housing) is a prototype for urban self-defense.

* Czech hedgehog (three blocks of social housing) belongs to BPS22 Musée d’Art collection, Charleroi, Belgium

A century of European architecture: La Cité de la Muette


Wooden shelves, prints on aluminium and bronze model.
162 x 65 x 58 cm
Edition of 3

Josep Lluís Sert in his well-known book Can our Cities Survive? An ABC of Urban Problems, their Analysis, their Solutions – which collects and theorises all the elements of the famous Athens Charter (1934) agreed at the IV CIAM (International Congress of Modern Architecture) led by Le Corbusier – presents the housing complex known as the Cité de la Muette as the desirable model for modern living, a “garden city” that combines affordable housing with communal living.

This complex of social housing for the working class, – designed by the architects Marcel Lods and Eugène Beaudouin, with the collaboration of Jean Prouvé and built between 1931 and 1934 in Drancy, in the northeast of Paris –, it is considered one of the first large housing projects designed according to CIAM principles.

In 1941 the Drancy concentration camp was created in a large U-shaped building that is part of the Cité de la Muette complex. From August 1941 to August 1944, the Drancy concentration camp was the lynchpin of the anti-Semitic expulsion policy in France. This camp was for three years the main internment center for Jews before they were deported to the Nazi extermination camps, most of them in Auschwitz.

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