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A home is not a house

23 October 18:30 - 20:00
Organized by: Royal Academy of Arts
Venue: , Geological Society
Burlington House
Piccadilly
London
W1J 0BD

Join us to discuss how the concept of home and domesticity is becoming disconnected from the traditional understanding of a house.

 

Webster’s Dictionary defines the home as a place in which one’s domestic affections are centred. This interpretation avoids any reference to the materiality of architecture or location. Thus, home is an ideological construct spurring from emotionally charged experiences. But what happens when the spaces where people live are temporary, ephemeral and disconnected from the traditional architectural understanding of a house?

 

At the end of 2015, there were 65.3 million displaced people in the world, rising to more than 100 million if those who are living in conditions allowing them to be categorised as homeless are included. For many a permanent home is a dream or a luxury, and this is changing the vision of what home is. For each individual, the home becomes constructed as a response to their personal political, environmental or social context.

 

In this debate, we will unravel the concept of home from the physical architecture represented by the house. How has the meaning of home changed in today’s mobile society? What constitutes home for those who have had to forcedly abandon or voluntarily leave their houses? Are temporary structures an appropriate architectural response? And how is domesticity determined by temporality, sensory experience, personal affection, collective memory, and social networks?

 

Speakers:

Robert Mull – Head of the School of Architecture and Design at the University of Brighton; curator of multiple shows on the Calais Jungle

Peter Somerville – Professor of Social Policy at University of Lincoln; author of Somewhere nowhere: lives without homes (with Lisa Scullion, Gareth Morris and Sam Dahl)

Helen Taylor – writer, researcher and lecturer on refugees and migration; author of Refugees and the Meaning of Home: Cypriot Narratives of Loss, Longing and Daily Life in London

Victor Buchli (chair) – Professor of Material Culture, UCL; author of An Archaeology of the Immaterial; editor of Home Cultures