Freedom of Use
the incidents series
Anne Lacaton, Jean-Philippe Vassal

Edited by Jennifer Sigler, Leah Whitman-Salkin
Introduction by Iñaki Ábalos


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Nothing in the architecture of Lacaton and Vassal is what it looks like at first glance.
—Iñaki Ábalos, introducing Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, March 24, 2015

Architecture, Theory / History / Criticism
Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal are known for an architecture that privileges inhabitants’ freedom and pleasure through generous, open designs. The Paris-based architects opened their 2015 lecture at Harvard University with a manifesto: study and create an inventory of the existing situation; densify without compressing individual space; promote user mobility, access, choice; and most importantly, never demolish. Freedom of Use reflects on these core values to present a fluid narrative of Lacaton and Vassal’s oeuvre, articulated through processes of accumulation, addition, and extension. The architects describe built and unbuilt work, from a house in Niger made of little more than branches; to the expansive Nantes School of Architecture; to a public square in Bordeaux where, after months of study, their design solution was: do nothing. Lacaton and Vassal’s principle of doubling space is echoed in the book’s treatment of photography.

Anne Lacaton is Principal of Lacaton & Vassal Architectes, based in Paris, France. She is also Associate Professor of Architecture & Design at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), based in Zurich, Switzerland.
Jean-Philippe Vassal is an architect and principal of the Paris-based Lacaton & Vassal Architectes, which he co-founded with Anne Lacaton in Bordeaux in 1987.


13 color, 15 b/w

96 pages, 28 illustrations
Paperback, 13.5x21 cm
Sternberg Press, 1st edition 2015
ISBN 9783956791734