How very modern(istic)

Whilst some may criticise the ‘sameness’ of suburbia of the interwar period 1918-1939, looking more closely we can find numerous decent family homes set in landscaped places and some lovely examples of housing design history, especially those built during the 1930s. Development of suburbia was not of course an isolated event, but part of an [...]

The V&A, social housing and Robin Hood Gardens

One of the best things about living on the London underground is having such easy access to London's countless cultural venues and range of exhibitions. At first glance the V&A - a museum of art and design - may seem an unexpected place to host an exhibition about social housing. It's a small exhibition, but [...]

By | February 21st, 2019|Decline and Regeneration, Film, Housing and History, Modernism, Modernist Inspired, Photography, Tower Blocks and Flats, Unique and Usual Places|Comments Off on The V&A, social housing and Robin Hood Gardens

Living with Buildings: Health and Architecture

The Wellcome Collection deliver some really good exhibitions and I have been to many over the years. This one is one of their best and it's on until 3rd March 2019. Living with Buildings: Health and Architecture  is good because it combines buildings with literature and art, so is right up my street for sure. The [...]

By | November 28th, 2018|Decline and Regeneration, Film, Housing and History|Comments Off on Living with Buildings: Health and Architecture

Dr Christopher Addison revisited

We finished last month’s blog with a book review urging that more be said about some of our great public health pioneers like Dr Christopher Addison. For someone who achieved so much, there is surprisingly little written about him although the Bodleian Library has catalogued his papers and speeches are available via Hansard. I first came across [...]

By | October 25th, 2018|Decline and Regeneration, Garden City Inspired, Housing and Health Research, Housing and History|Comments Off on Dr Christopher Addison revisited

Documentary photography and housing

I recently attended a documentary photography workshop. One question I had was how could I be braver about asking and taking photographs of people in their houses and then being able to use them for positive purposes? The tutor gave me a lengthy answer and the gist was about building relationships, building trust. There was [...]

By | August 16th, 2018|Decline and Regeneration, Housing and History, Photography|Comments Off on Documentary photography and housing

Two estates, two novels

There are two novels written about the estates we are thinking about in this post, as different in many ways as the estates themselves. The estates are very interrelated and mutually used but they are completely divided by a railway line. Locals tend to refer to each of the estates respectively as ‘over the other side’ [...]

By | June 10th, 2018|Decline and Regeneration, Deco Inspired, Film, Garden City Inspired, Housing and History, Literature, Suburbia|Comments Off on Two estates, two novels

I love you will u marry me

Several years back I was listening to Radio 4 and by chance there was something on about Park Hill, an estate I had then recently visited because I was in Yorkshire. A man had called in to the radio show saying that is was he who had sprayed the “I love you will u marry me” [...]

By | April 12th, 2018|Decline and Regeneration, Housing and History, Modernist Inspired, Tower Blocks and Flats|Comments Off on I love you will u marry me

Hospital to Home

In last month’s blog we went to Margate and that’s where we start again this month. Margate’s seaside heritage is exemplified by the Royal Sea Bathing Hospital built practically on the seafront in the 1790s, back in the days when sea air and sea bathing were considered to cure all manner of diseases. This hospital [...]

You can keep the Costa Brava

Just about every time I’ve been to Margate there’s been a dazzling blue sky and I asked if the golden sand was artificial – it isn’t. However my interest in this place didn’t stem from childhood memories of day trips to the seaside (but I do recall English and Welsh seaside holidays sitting behind a [...]

By | February 20th, 2018|Decline and Regeneration, Housing and History, Living at the seaside|Comments Off on You can keep the Costa Brava

From Prefab to Container Living

Prefabs were supposed to be a short-term fix to the housing crisis after the second world war, a life of around 10 years until housing could be more permanently sorted. They needed to be constructed rapidly, and although hard to heat and cold in the winter, some with asbestos and other health and safety concerns, [...]

By | September 26th, 2017|Decline and Regeneration, Housing and History, Unique and Usual Places|Comments Off on From Prefab to Container Living