OPEN HOUSE INTERNATION was started in 1976 by Nicholas Wilkinson
whilst working in the Netherlands at the Foundation of Architects
Research (Stichting Architecten Research). The SAR as it was called
put up the money to finance a very modest low cost A5 format photocopied
bulletin of SAR activities and research and especially projects
of its supporters.
The magazine came about in the 1970's as a lack of information
on projects in different countries on the practical application
of 'supports and detachable units', the idea of N.J Habraken (The
founder of the SAR in 1966). His thesis was spelt out in a small
but important book called 'SUPPORTS - an alternative to mass housing.'
(Has been reprinted in 1999 by The Urban International Press see
book forms under section 12)
Open House International grew significantly in its early years
to become a standard A4 journal on Open Building and Built Environment.
It has a small but solid group of subscribers of around 400 and
publishes quarterly in March, June, September and December.
OHI focuses on decision making processes which enable the various
disciplines dealing with built environment to understand the dynamics
of development and housing and so contribute more effectively
to it. Its general aim is to improve the quality of built environment
through encouraging greater sharing of decision making by ordinary
people. It also aims at developing the necessary institutional
frameworks which will support the local initiatives of parties
in the housing process. The subject matter is the Built Environment.
THE URBAN INTERNATIONAL PRESS
In 1989 Open House International sponsored a conference called
Quality in the Built Environment and produced proceedings of that
conference under the same title. This is when the URBAN INTERNATIONAL
PRESS was created. Since then three further books have been published
,. 33 Papers in Environment Behaviour Research - by Amos Rapoport
, Supports - An Alternative to Mass Housing by N.J Habraken and
SUSTAINING HUMAN SETTLEMENTS - Economy, Equity and Health edited
by Dr. Roderick J Lawrence.
Subjects in Open House International Include:
Action Planning, Affordable Homes, Building and Urban Design,
Building Design & Planning for Sustainable Development, Building
Technology, Built Environment, City & Neighbourhood Management,
Culture & Built Form, Environmental Issues, Gender Issues,
Habitat Agenda, Housing Policy, Finance & Management, Open
Building, Prefabrication & Industrialisation, Slum Improvement
& Redevelopment, User Participation, Vernacular & Self-Build
and Book Reviews.