Self-Build Homes

I’ve contributed a chapter to a new book about self-build homes. It’s called Self-Build Homes. Helpfully, publisher UCL Press has a policy of including a free download version, so no excuse.

Even more excitingly, there’s a launch event, Friday 11th May 2018 at 17.30, do come along if you’re in London. Free drinks and nibbles? Yes.


In fact, ‘self-build homes’ is a term that in this context encompasses a range of approaches and practices that are more than ‘just’ physically building your own home, or those annoying couples you see on Grand Designs*.

Rather, it examines – among other things – the creation of homes through various perspectives of co-production, community, neighbourhood, culture and politics, as well as case studies and commentaries on actual projects.

My chapter’s called Senior co-housing: restoring sociable community in later life, in which I followed two groups of older people (back in 2015) attempting to create new-build co-housing projects, one in north London, the other near Colchester in Essex.




*How about a series special called Grand Designs: Bank of Mum & Dad, where Kevin-bloody-McCloud talks to the people who actually pay for the inevitable but mysteriously-uninvestigated £600k cost overrun incurred by the pair of dumb graphic designers from Highbury who’ve decided to leave the rat race (i.e. North London) and convert an iron age hill fort near Swindon into a vast pseudo-modern-timber-and-recycled-rusty-cladding project that is, at the end of the day (cue panning shot with Kevin’s voiceover) “what good architecture is really all about…”


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