Dead space: UWE Bristol researchers examine the accumulation of objects in the home

Issue date: 11 April 2014


Not-at-present-in-use-maybe-never-again objects: DEAD- STORAGE

Exhibition: on now until 20 April - The Architecture Centre, Bristol

Researchers from UWE Bristol's Department of Architecture and the Built Environment have been examining the changing nature of 'stuff' kept in the home, seeking to understand how these collections are impacting on the way we inhabit our living spaces.

Now UWE Bristol researchers Elena Marco and Sarah Burgess have built on their continuing interest in the accumulation of articles and need for storage space to produce a photographic exhibition, currently taking place at The Architecture Centre on Bristol's harbour side.

Elena explains, “This new exhibition shows some of the collections of artefacts within our homes and provides the opportunity to reflect on the use and value of these objects and the pressure they might be putting on the space in the home.

“The UK now has the smallest homes in Europe, often with small multi-purpose rooms and very little storage space, meaning we need to make the best use of what little storage space is available in our houses. The space provided in the home for everyday living and storage has an impact on how we behave. A sustainable lifestyle requires functional spaces and arrangements, and in a world which is becoming increasingly aware of its health, the environment and climate change, it is critical that the design of our homes support a range of healthy and sustainable behaviours.”

The exhibition situates the home in the role of the 'container' of our lives, as Sarah explains.

“As a 'container', the home must be able to meet the changing demands for storage space and functionality, but we must also reflect on the objects that we store and recognise the pressure this is putting on the limited space in the home. We hope that this exhibition will trigger conversations and debate about the items that we store in our homes and foster discussions about possible storage solutions and future alternative arrangements for the ownership of, or access to, different household items and articles.”

More information on the ongoing project can be found on the Housing Matters UK website.

You can also contribute to this research by completing an online survey.

Images of the exhibition are available to view on the UWE flickr pages.

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