CSM Spatial Practices- Housing (IEPP)

Through reading a lot of Oliver Wainwrights work already in the guardian, this talk was of great interest. The talk was made out of a debating panel of representatives from councils and designers all currently involved in contributing to the issues of housing in London. Each have their own view on the problems and solutions to housing, It was really interesting to see different perspectives. Things read in the media can be very mis-leading this talk allowed for information to be discussed first hand and a chance for each individual to show their personal opinions. Affordable housing is a very large question amongst the urban city livers, I agree with Oliver when he says that the housing crisis is mostly down to the affordability and access of properties. There are many empty new builds around the city that sit stagnant and empty due to the extremity of prices attached to them. This space can then be argued as a waste of space. Barbara who is part of the housing association of Westminster council discusses that lots of these developers who knock down social housing in order to start fresh and provide more facilities, actually end up providing a lower number of flats, which really isn’t providing an answer to our problems. She ended the presentation with “the real problem, is that we believe were entitled to a 3 bed house in the centre of this urban city”. This amusing comment really knocks the nail on the head with how expectations out way the reality. The talk then went on to discuss the RUSS community run project that focuses on involving the community, claiming some of the council’s public space and setting out a ‘Self Build’ Project that encourages new development of skills, a sense of empowering the local people. His concepts are very interesting, through building what the community needs ourselves we develop key skills and characteristics which also open up knew future aspirations but at the same time resolving the lack of housing. Now pocket living work on a very different strategic method to housing. They have realised intermediate housing for city makers, of which goes against the square meter planning and provides a much smaller space for individuals. Marc stated that generations have changed and no longer hold precious object belongings, books or CD’s we live in a technological age which requires minimal space. Pocket living and the collective both have very subjective designs that work for the percentage of single, young professionals but are un-adaptable for when their lives progress. This poses the question is this a solution; Aim specifics of a design at certain target groups and suit their needs, then when needs change they move on, at least housing is answered for a majority of the time I guess. Collective similarly designed a co-living space which supplied communal facilities. Living facilities were small as they supplied access to larger communal areas for ‘life to take place’. They worked upon the idea of meeting and socialising with others in your own apartment.

This lecture briefly covered many strategies to London’s housing, some of which you may agree with others you may not, but it was one that was very interesting and current to today’s issues which I think is important. It was also very helpful to get some facts about today’s issues from people themselves and not just the media.



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