Houses and Homes

house and home

Paul and Caroline Weiland’s crisp west London townhouse

As the video ‘Going house’ demonstrates, people with dementia want to go house or to be at house. For many sufferers in a psychogeriatric establishment “home” appears to be a key phrase (Meijer 1992, 1993).

Included are proposals for thatched cottages, suburban semi-Ds, one-off bungalows, blocks of flats, nation homes of various sizes, and even a maison de plaisance. Reflecting the chronological unfold of the Archive’s holdings, the works vary in date from the mid-eighteenth century to the late twentieth. Of people who had been constructed, some are extraordinarily modest, others extremely formidable, even adventurous. Of the unbuilt, some are generic archetypes, others unrealisable fantasy.

Even in studies targeted on physical homes and other structures, home usually involves life not as a symbolic or materials type, but as an experiential and relational class. If asked to imagine home, most of us will come to consider a particular house or building.

One of them has constructed the foundations of a home quite quickly as a result of it was essential to be surrounded by items that had meaning and brought comfort after a move to a brand new country. Commissioned maquettes of 14 iconic American houses, from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water to Jefferson’s Monticello, communicate to quintessential American architectural precepts of construction. Next to those—in a set-up just like Rem’s Elements—are full-scale, “please touch” mock-ups of materials and structural techniques used to construct houses, from glass curtain walls to balloon-frames. Just opposite the room, in a piece called “Living at Home,” the exhibit makes its most poignant statement.

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