Home: Tactics and strategies

de Certeau, Michel. “‘Making Do’: Users and Tactics”. In The Practice of Everyday Life. Translated by Steven Rendall. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988; 1984. (p29-42)

Following de Certeau’s important re-use of the terms ‘tactic’ and ‘strategy’, if strategy is related to the types of operations and the role of spaces, then the house can be understood as a strategical space, a space defined by its property, a triumph of place over time. The house is a space that can be controlled, a space in which uncertainties are transformed into readable spaces; where an own-place is determined.

There are at least two extra layers of complexity in this assertion. First, if the house is the result of a strategy, this strategy is generally previous to the intentions of the owners or habitants of the house. Therefore, they act strategically imposing roles and uses of the space, but tactically respecting this previous and external strategy. Secondly, inside the house different power relations create various uses of the space and time, and the same habitants can act tactically or strategically depending on the context. In addition, by incorporating time, we are talking about the home.

Probably in a premature way, we can say that if strategy is mainly related to the house, or the house is a product of a strategy, tactics is about the home, even if is possible to act strategically there.