Prodding the Threshold Between Home & City: An inside-out look at co-housing through students projects from the Emerging Habitat design studio, Brighton University

Sophie Ungerer, Chloe Van Der Kindere

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

    Abstract

    Our proposal is based on the belief that Interior Architecture offers opportunities to explore the way we might inhabit cities in the future, by blurring the boundaries between urban and domestic spaces and designing from the inside out. We focus on examples of collective living creatively reflecting on current trends and polemics.

    Over two years, students of the Emerging Habitat undergraduate design studio at Brighton University have been investigating the ‘ways we live’ today. Students have identified pertinent socio-cultural, environmental and political issues, such as home ownership, population densities and shifting living habits, and formulated design responses. The studio encourages bold proposals, inventive and innovative solutions, ambitious utopias, and radical designs for a future. What kind of places and activities are central to our globalised urban lifestyle today and should be at the centre of a new type of urban habitat?

    This paper focuses on three student projects, all of which proposed variations of collective living. Each proposal centres on a particular group of inhabitants and inventively addresses a social aspect or shortcoming of our cities today. These range from a lack of flexible spaces for changing family and life structures to the shortage of accommodation for an aging LGBTQ+ community. The students’ proposals for new urban habitats were tested on existing sites, a Regency town house on the Brighton seafront and a Modernist icon in London, the Isokon.

    The three projects investigate the role of Interiors in reinventing our urban lives, as domestic and works space, public and private merge more and more in our transient lifestyles. How do we define the boundary between the urban exterior and the interior space? Should we adjust our conceptions of a fixed threshold between inside and outside? The student projects, all hypothetical and provocative, radiate an optimism that suggests design can indeed change the quality of our urban lives – by impacting on our culture and designing our habitats from the inside-out.

    Conference

    ConferenceAHRA 2020: Housing and the City
    Period19/11/2021/11/20
    Internet address

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