Poster presentations

Poster presenter: Nick Hunter, M.Arch student, Sheffield School of Architecture
Title: Self-provided Housing: The Long-tailed Future of Housebuilding

Description of poster: The credit crunch exposed the UK’s over reliance on volume speculative housebuilding as the main way of delivering new housing. The UK’s ten largest housebuilders now produce more than 40% of our new housing, and the failure of any one of these ‘big-providers’ would be catastrophic for our new housing supply. As we try to salvage our housebuilding system, we should look to create a more distributed and resilient system for the production of our new housing. If we were to enable ‘self-providers’ – people who have always dreamed of building their own home, but never been able to – we can democratise our production of housing, and create a more sustainable, diverse and resilient supply of new housing. This will become the productive ‘long tail’: a new force in volume housebuilding. This study looks at how we can grow the ‘long tail’ of housebuilding by enabling these ‘self-providers’ to build their own homes. Through an examination of the availability of land, democratising the planning process, aggregating and enabling the self-provided industry and home ownership models, this thesis proposes three models for future self-provided housebuilding growth. The models are synthetic: they combine and visualise aspects of land acquisition and ownership, planning, group governance, and home ownership. The models work in a range of social, economic and geographic contexts, and will help establish the ‘long tail’ as a productive force in the growth of the housebuilding industry.

Poster presenter: Amy Harris
Co-authors: Kim Swallowe
Title: Build! Programme

Description of poster: During Diploma in Architecture at Oxford Brookes University we (Kim Swallowe and Amy Harris) joined forces to create Brookes Hub, the newest addition to the Student Hubs network ( which aimed to empower students to become active members of their community by promoting social action, social entrepreneurship and citizenship. The emergent potential opened up powerful possibilities, experiences and conversations which later helped to progress the development of a more socially aware curriculum on campus. We have continued this collaboration into our architectural endeavours, investigating new ways of practicing, spatial agency and place-making. Our initial investigation into affordable housing was sparked by an entry into the £20k housing competition that was run by Building Trust International and addressed the need for single occupancy affordable housing: when asked to identify the main causes of homelessness among unaccompanied individuals, the highest number of City officials cited the lack of affordable housing. We identified that it is possible to design affordable homes however we knew it was important to design homes and places that were not just affordable but responded to the social and environmental pressures. We proposed to implement the Build! Programme: a housing strategy in which we act as enablers by designing the processes, interactions and environments. Our ideas have been taken forward by Cherwell district council who have employed Kim Swallowe as the design lead for the Delivery team of the Build! Programme. Cherwell District Council’s innovative programme is a self-build project that aims to provide an alternative source of affordable housing. It is based on the principle of involving citizens with housing needs in building (to some degree or other) their own homes, as a community or independently. In return they would benefit from lower rents or purchase prices and a home more in line with their needs. The initial project aims to provide 250 homes in the Cherwell district through a combination of self-build, part self-build and final finish, through new-build and renovation of long-term empty homes, by the end of the 2014/15 financial year.

Poster presenter: Stephanie Gauthier, PhD student, UCL Energy Institute
Title: Indoor mapping – How to determine people’s use of space in their home

Description of poster: The proposed poster seeks to explore people’s use of space in their home by proposing a monitoring and analytical framework. One of the key issues is to gather accurate measurements while using ‘discreet’ observatory methods to have minimum impact on people’s behaviour. Drawn from physiological research, monitoring equipment using heart rate monitors, accelerometers, magnetometers, and automated visual diaries, are used in a field study, which monitors a small sample of UK households during the winters of 2012 and 2013. Concurrently, environmental variables are recorded and analysed together with physiological factors. This maps a rich picture over continuous timeframe of people’s variability in daily activity.

Poster presenter: Kasphia Nahrin, Assistant Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka, Bangladesh; and PhD Staff, Department of Planning and Architecture, University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol, UK.
Title: Social and Ecological Just City in Developing Country: A Perspective on Informal Housing in a Developing City

Description of poster: This poster reports on the negative environmental consequences of informal housing and the role of housing tenure security for reducing these consequences with a case study on Dhaka, Bangladesh. This poster presents the
potentials as well as weaknesses of selection of international as well as national and local housing related policies for socially and ecologically just city. Data have been collected from both the primary sources (i.e. site surveys in four selected case study areas and in-depth semi-structured interviews with the stakeholders of informal housing in Dhaka) and secondary sources, and qualitative content analysis has been done. This poster shows that lack of security tenure is a characteristic of housing that creates environmental consequences. For reducing environmental consequences of informal housing, it is required to reduce the informal characteristics of the housing through formalization and regularization that can provide social security. It is required strategic support for housing provision and appropriate housing policy to increase the housing affordability of the low income people. This paper showed that several internationally practiced as well as nationally practiced housing policies has both potentials and weaknesses. Some international policies are restrictive to implement in Dhaka for lack of financial and organizational capacity of the government. Moreover, some national and local level policies have potentials, even though some were failed in some cases and these can be successful through initiatives for removing the reasons for failure.

A full detailed programme can be found here.