Neufert ‘Normals’

An animated critique of the normative assumptions within the architectural reference book Neufert Architects’ Data. Through the animation of its diagrams, the project underscores the dubious inclusions, as well as exclusions, which subtly influence the production of architecture. 

Neufert Architects’ Data was first published by Ernst Neufert in 1936 in Nazi Germany. It emerged within a culture of intensified orderliness and efficiency and was produced as a design tool for architects and students. The reference book contained detailed and dimensioned illustrations of basic architectural typologies which were intended to enable the rapid and systematic production of buildings. Embedded in the pages were problematic prescriptions of appropriate behavior, gender roles and human bodies.

Nearly a century later, the reference book has gone through 39 German editions and 17 translations into other languages, yet very little has changed. The only notable modification is the introduction of five pages of accessible design considerations introduced in the Third International Edition in 2012, two decades after the establishment of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Similar reference books pervade architectural education and practice and necessitate critical examination of the spatial discriminations they perpetuate.

Access means more than being able to enter a building.

Take note Neufert, women do more than clean.

A woman's place is in the k̶i̶t̶c̶h̶e̶n̶...She can decide