Modernity, Tradition and the Design of the ‘Industrial Village’ of Dormanstown 1917–1923

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Abstract

This article examines the design of the working-class home in Britain between 1917 and 1923 by focusing on Dormanstown, a model ‘industrial village’ built in the north-east of England by the steel manufacturer, Dorman, Long and Co. Ltd. The article considers how, as the State's involvement in the provision of housing in Britain gathered pace, the working-class home was at the intersection of narratives of tradition and modernity that shaped not only the design of the home but also the lives of its inhabitants. The industrial village of Dormanstown was designed by the nationally renowned partnership of Stanley Adshead (1868–1946), Stanley Ramsey (1882–1968) and Patrick Abercrombie (1879–1957). Ostensibly using traditional design elements: Beaux Arts planning for the town's layout and neo-Georgian design for the housing, Dormanstown was also unusually modern owing to the open-plan forms and new technologies deployed in the materials and construction of the Dorlonco houses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-41
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Design History
Volume23
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2010

Keywords

  • 1920s
  • Great Britain
  • modernity
  • technology
  • tradition
  • workers’ housing

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