Selected Texts by AOC
Selected Texts about AOC
Tom Coward
Geoff Shearcroft
Thinking Beyond The Homely:
Countryside Properties & the Shape of Time
This paper investigates the nature of the ‘homely’ in England today. Focusing on the work of one developer – Countryside Properties – I ask what the popularity of the neo-vernacular ‘urban village’, and the tactics used to construct this genre, might tell us about homely ideals and demands.

First considering, then dismissing, postmodern claims of the nostalgia–driven consumption of simulacra, I go on to propose that people are not deceived into purchasing the ‘inauthentic’, but knowingly enter into ‘pacts’ with ‘instantly mature’ environments. What matters, I suggest, is not so much surface evocation of the Past, but the constructed ‘texture’ of Passed Time, and the sense of narrative evolution that this confers to both site and individual dwelling.

Building on theories of ‘authenticity’ as not inherent to things, but a quality that emerges in our environments through our relationships with them, I propose that the ‘homely’ too is not an identifiable essence or ‘sense of place’, but an interaction of body and mind with environment. That being the case,in order to be receptive to our homely needs and desires, might environments be designed to proactively offer spaces for these to take root?

Concluding, the paper takes theory back to practice by considering the relevance of such ideas to housing development, and to evolving practices of inhabitation.
Published by Daisy Froud
Home Cultures
Cover and pp211–233
Vol.1, Issue 3

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