Arte Útil archive nr:



Stephen Willats


The Netherlands


urban-development, social


Willats, project operators, tower’s inhabitants, citizens of Eindhoven.

Maintained by:

Van Abbemuseum





Stephen Willats
Over onze actual leefwijze / Concerning our Present way of living


In the 70´s, the proliferation of planned housing developments on the peripheries of cities generated living environments, purposely enclosed and separated by its surroundings. Concerning our Present way of living was a one of a number of works envisaged by Willats as a model or system based on interviews to define the parameters that governed interpersonal relations and social behaviour. He used interior and exterior environments in which people lead their lives as an illustration of prevailing social consciousness. Willats developed contextual interactive works related to specific locations (tower blocks, neighborhoods or work offices), asking its inhabitants about their relations, life and its difficulties.
In Eindhoven, the work Inside the space we have been given was about the office of the Central Housing Department with was concerned with allocating housing in the local housing stock. Contained reality and Hidden Pressure deals with the practical effect of the decisions that were taken and the personal experiences of the inhabitants in a large high-rise complex in Woensel.


The project aimed to show how the urban and physical environment in which people live and work influences how they see themselves, their relationships and to others.

Beneficial Outcomes:

These models offered a social function for art and transformed it in a tool of analysis.


Contained Reality and Hidden Pressure Stephen Willats
Inside The Space We Have Been Given Stephen Willats