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British housing: Timelines and types

Marco, Elena; Burgess, Sarah



British Housing: Timelines and typologies

New homes being built in the United Kingdom (UK) today have been criticised for not providing space for basic living functions1. We now have the smallest homes in Europe1&2, they tend to have very little storage space and rooms are intended to be multi-use (e.g., bedrooms as offices).

So what are the major changes in our housing stock over the last hundred years? And what social, economic, technological and political factors have influenced these changes?

This exhibition seeks to analyse the societal, environmental and technological influences on housing and behaviour against a historical context. Through this analysis we can discover patterns and make connections between how changes in standards, policy, technology and economics affect people’s behaviour.

At a time of aging population, an increase in single-person households and a growing move towards home-working3&4, understanding the influences that shape our built environment and behaviour is crucial. This exhibition reports the findings from a pilot research project, for which follow-on funding is being sought to better understand how people use the spaces in their homes, and how these spaces can be adapted to promote healthy and sustainable lifestyles.

Researchers: Elena Marco, Sarah Delisser, Rachel Mannings, Craig White, Paul Pilkington.
Research Assistants: Louise Thust, Aina Moriarty
Graphic Designer: Jamie Roxburgh

This research was funded by SPUR Early Career Research Grant from UWE and with start-up funding from the EPSRC-funded heat@uwe programme (Grant Reference: EP/H000380/1).

Williams, K., 2009, “Space per person in the UK: A review of densities, trends, experiences and optimum levels”, Land Use Policy, 26S, S83-S92, Elsevier.
2 Whitehead, C., 2004, “The Economic Framework for Housing”, Paper 4, Housing Futures 2024, London: CABE and RIBA.
3 Till, J. & Schneider, T., 2007, “Flexible Housing”, London: Architectural Press.
4 Mayor of London, 2010, “London Housing Design Guide”, London Development Agency.


Marco, E., & Burgess, S. (2012). British housing: Timelines and types. [Mix-mode]. 8 February 2019 - 1 April 2012. (Unpublished)

Exhibition Performance Type Exhibition
Conference Name British Housing: Timelines and Types
Start Date Feb 8, 2019
End Date Apr 1, 2012
Publication Date Feb 1, 2012
Keywords housing, Britain
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