Biographies, bricks and belonging: architectural imaginaries of home-making in later life

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, we explore the role of home-making within architectural imaginaries of care for the future. Specifically, we aim to understand better how existing models of care can be challenged by architectural designs that are culturally situated, and attuned to the spatial contexts of care. We review our findings from an archival analysis of 69 architectural plans submitted to an international design competition on housing for later life, and proceed to provide a focussed analysis of one proposal in particular, the ‘Growing Old in Bow’ design, by Harper Perry Architects whilst still students. This design draws on literary history as much as architectural theory to configure the care landscape as ‘refracted autobiography’. By doing so, the plan emphasizes the importance of materialities and familiar urban typologies in situating wider geographies of care. It suggests a determination to locate care homes within the same environments as people have lived their lives, until the point at which they need support. Through attending to the architects’ use of materialities and urban vernacular design in the plan, we argue for a greater attention to the ways in which everyday affects, material cultures and social practices are accommodated in architecture for later life.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWays of Home Making in Care for Later Life
EditorsBernike Pasveer, Oddgeir Synnes, Ingunn Moser
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jun 2019


  • Architecture
  • Care
  • Design
  • Materiality
  • Poetry

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