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A home is not a house

Home sweet home


● Fully booked

Monday 23 October 2017
6.30 — 8pm

This event has now ended

See upcoming talks

One of the latest houses built in the farm camps outside Izmir, Turkey with support from the Tribe Turkey

Photo by Robert Mull

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?

Robert Mull – Head of the School of Architecture and Design at the University of Brighton; curator of multiple shows on the Calais Jungle
Mike Seal – Reader in Critical Pedagogy, Newman University, Birmingham; editor of Understanding and Responding to Homeless Experiences, Identities and Cultures
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

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Monday 23 October 2017

6.30 — 8pm

Geological Society, Piccadilly, W1

£12, £6 concessions. Includes talk and drinks reception.