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Title: Sharing Detached Dwellings: Design Mediating Between Inflexible Housing Types and Everyday Appropriation
Authors: VAN DE WEIJER, Marijn 
Issue Date: 2012
Source: Reinventing Architecture and Interiors: the past, the present and the future. Interior Educators International Conference 2012, London, United Kingdom, 29-30 March 2012
Abstract: The Belgian region of Flanders is characterised by a housing stock which is predominantly consisting of single family dwellings. These dwellings together form a dispersed, low density settlement pattern. As the average household size is shrinking, mainly because of ageing, these dwellings now increasingly are oversized for their inhabitants. Seen in this light, the housing stock faces demographical, socio-economical and ecological challenges. In Flanders, renovation recently is gaining more interest next to new construction, and there seems to be a window of opportunity to implement renovation projects proposing alternative inhabitation for detached dwellings, like sharing or cohousing. The paper inquires into this opportunity on the interface of interior architecture and architecture. It focuses on existing concepts of transformation of detached dwellings, aimed at adapting these to evolving housing needs. As such, the paper juxtaposes ‘hard’ dwelling transformations, implementing a permanent subdivision, and vernacular practices of sharing a dwelling, rooted in ‘everydayness’. This juxtaposition points out a vacuum for interior architecture. Interior design could take on a cross-disciplinary position, as it has the potential to make inhabitants aware of fitting transformations, and in addition to critically expose limitations of the built environment – the fact that dwellings seem to be designed spaciously but are factually limited in terms of flexibility and architectural reorganisation. The paper concludes by arguing that this role, to facilitate and communicate attainable measures in dealing with dwelling adaptation, can be closely connected to the nature of interior architecture. The discipline thus can contribute with its proper quality to develop manageable, interpretative and temporary design interventions.
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Category: C2
Type: Conference Material
Appears in Collections:Research publications

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