• CERFI: Militant Analysis, Institutional Programming and Collective Equipment
    Susana Caló and Godofredo Pereira
    Het Nieuwe Instituut, 2022
    Susana Caló & Godofredo Pereira

Nicole Sonolet, “Project for an Urban Mental Health Centre,” “Recherches” 06, Architecture and Psychiatry, 1967. Courtesy Revue Recherches

From 1967–85, CERFI, a self-managed research collective, brought together students, militant groups, and professionals from the areas of psychiatry, architecture, and education. Emerging from the political struggles that led to May '68—and featuring prominent members such as Félix Guattari, Gilles Deleuze, and Michel Foucault—the group set out to explore alternatives to existing forms of urban governance via the institutional programming of “collective equipment” (social, cooperative, and local facilities). As the first comprehensive examination of CERFI, this publication recovers the group’s investigations on architecture, institutional practices, and urban governance, as well as its unique methods of research. The publication is based on a series of in-depth interviews with members of CERFI, which will be complemented by translations of original and unpublished texts, together with a broad range of visual and documental materials.

Susana Caló is a researcher in philosophy, post-war histories of psychiatry, semiotics, and social movements. She received a doctorate from the Centre for Research in Modern Contemporary Philosophy (CRMEP) with a reconstruction of the politics of language and semiotics drawing on the work of activist and psychoanalyst Félix Guattari. Prior to this, she has worked in the field of cognitive science and developmental psychology at research centers in Portugal and the United Kingdom. Her current research is dedicated to bringing about neglected post-war histories of psychiatry in their intersections with wider social-political and urban struggles, and the social and political life of concepts of post-war French thought. She is a visiting research fellow at the Centre for Humanities and Health, King’s College London, a member of the collective Other Ways to Care, and cofounder of Chaosmosemedia.

Godofredo Pereira is an architect and researcher. He is the head of graduate program for Environmental Architecture at the Royal College of Art (RCA), London. Prior to joining the RCA, he taught urban design at the Bartlett School of Architecture. He received a doctorate from the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths University London and was a member of Forensic Architecture where he led the Atacama Desert project. For the past decade, Pereira has been conducting research, publishing, and exhibiting on environmental architecture, territorial politics, and collective equipment. Recent exhibits include The Ends of the World, with the Lithium Triangle studio, at the Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam, and Last Evenings on Earth at Sharjah Architecture Triennial, United Arab Emirates. He is a coinvestigator on the project “Scales of Climate Justice” with funding from the British Academy and is working on the publication of Ex-Humus: Territorial Politics in the Underground Frontier.