Diploma 6 Alan Parker and Gerald Scarfe, still frame from The Wall, 1982


Guillermo Lopez, Jack Self

The home is the atomic unit of society. Within it, power relations are formed and perpetuated: gender discrimination, institutional racism, class structure and wealth inequality all begin at home. Social conditioning is embedded in every facet, from how the home is financed to how it is furnished.

The boundaries of the domestic sphere have always been unstable. Today, a variety of factors from the political to the technological are transforming our domestic habits. In particular, privacy and publicness, leisure and labour have merged into a non-stop 24/7 reality that dissolves the home into its urban context.

By examining the home in great detail, we hope to develop less prescriptive and deterministic models of domestic life.

The home should be the exemplar of the civilisations we want to construct. We must therefore approach domestic space with scepticism and imagination, interrogating convention while proposing an everyday life derived from first principles.

To understand the invention of the home requires matching very basic material concerns against intellectual, historical, political and scientific frameworks. These complex interrelationships can sometimes be surprising. For example, the simplest household ritual, like running a bath, immediately implicates geography, climate, technology and infrastructure, macro-economics, land management, engineering of many kinds and labour theory.

Through individual and collective design, this unit will execute a built work. Hooke Park will become the site for a prototypical dwelling, exploring what it means to live today. Its ideal subjects will be not specific residents.

A home for nobody is a home for everybody.


Guillermo Lopez is an architect and theorist. He is a founding member of MAIO, whose focus is on both built works and research projects.

Jack Self is an architect and writer. He is director of the REAL foundation and Editor-in-Chief of Real Review.

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