Good design lies in the fit between people and space.
For design to be relevant, to have impact and to be useful the issues and concerns that affect us in our every day life need to be explored beyond the elite confines of academia. At its very heart, design must be about people and what matters to them.
First of all it must be about listening to what people have to say: what they think – and why. Everyone’s experience is unique, and is of a place, and a time.
Domestic space may not have the glamour and caché of big budget commercial projects but it is a hugely significant focus of our lives. Issues that go beyond style and aesthetics – such as ageing, health, mobility issues, empty-nest syndrome and bereavement – have a massive impact on us. And, as our attitudes change through different lifestages what we value most in our homes and how they look and how they work, changes too.
These are the stories of everyday lives in everyday spaces: each one unique, each one a reflection of where we are, and who we are today. It is about lived experience set in the wider context of ‘home’ and it aims to expose wide experiences of a life that is lived and reflected in a space that is full of meaning and emotion.
This social design research project has been developed from my own sense of curiosity based on a desire to know more. It is not supported by an academic grant or institution.
Each story explores areas where design and the social sciences meet, overlap and merge. So, if you are an anthropologist a designer, a social worker, or just interested in people, there is a story here that may resonate with you – in your past, present or future.
Take a moment to think about how many homes you have lived in. Consider how stable your domestic life has been, or the upheavals that have led to you having to move, re-settle and start again. These stories should make you think about your own home and to consider how your attitude towards it has, and will continue to change through life.
Everyone featured here has made design decisions to suit their needs and improve their lives to make that space their home. For each of us it is an ongoing process that makes design essentially part of who we are.
Interior designers design from the inside out- rather than outside in. This website draws valuable insights from personal histories of occupancy to provide evidence and knowledge that cannot be found elsewhere.