common room: What's the Problem?

Talk, in English, Paul-Desmarais Theatre, 19 November 2015

In conjunction with the exhibition The Other Architect, Todd Rouhe and Rachel Himmelfarb of common room present the group’s collaborative working process:

“This question—what’s the problem?—is central to how common room works. The question defines a process of searching, experiencing, interacting, and communicating that not only informs how we understand architecture and approach projects but also how we work (together).

The problem is that most often, collaboration is used as a synonym for cooperation. Our collaboration is not very cooperative. common room’s process of collaboration is a complex reality, not a romantic notion of “common ground.” This is represented in our projects, and it is part of the process of how we produce. Because in the end the process defines the problem.”

common room is an architectural practice with a publishing imprint and an exhibition space. It is collaborative platform based in New York City, Brussels, and Zurich. common room is comprised of architects Lars Fischer, Maria Ibañez, and Todd Rouhe; Rachel Himmelfarb; architectural researcher Kim Förster; and graphic designer Geoff Han.


Sign up to get news from us

Email address
First name
Last name
By signing up you agree to receive our newsletter and communications about CCA activities. You can unsubscribe at any time. For more information, consult our privacy policy or contact us.

Thank you for signing up. You'll begin to receive emails from us shortly.

We’re not able to update your preferences at the moment. Please try again later.

You’ve already subscribed with this email address. If you’d like to subscribe with another, please try again.

Folder ()

Your folder is empty.

Please complete this form to make a request for consultation. A copy of this list will also be forwarded to you.

Your contact information
First name:
Last name:
Phone number:
Notes (optional):
We will contact you to set up an appointment. Please keep in mind that your consultation date will be based on the type of material you wish to study. To prepare your visit, we'll need:
  • — At least one week for primary sources (prints and drawings, photographs, archival documents, etc.)
  • — At least twenty-four hours for secondary sources (books, periodicals, vertical files, etc.)