Self-Build Homes

Social Discourse, Experiences and Directions

Edited by Michaela Benson and Iqbal Hamiduddin

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ISBN: 9781911576884

Publication: November 27, 2017

Self-Build Homes connects the burgeoning interdisciplinary research on self-build with commentary from leading international figures in the self-build and wider housing sector. Through their focus on community, dwelling, home and identity, the chapters explore the various meanings of self-build housing, encouraging new directions for discussions about self-building and calling for the recognition of the social dimensions of this process, from consideration of the structures, policies and practices that shape it, through to the lived experience of individuals and households.

Divided into four parts – Discourse, Rationale, Meaning; Values, Lifestyles, Imaginaries; Community and Identity; and Perspectives from Practice – the volume comes at a time of renewed focus from policy managers and practitioners, as well as prospective builders themselves, on self-build as a means for producing homes that are more stylised, affordable and appropriate for the specific needs of households. It responds to recent advances in housing and planning policy, while also bringing this into conversation with interdisciplinary perspectives from across the social sciences on housing, home and homemaking. In this way, the book seeks to update understandings of self-build and to account for housing as a distinctly social process.

Praise for Self-Build Homes

'an excellent read on English self-build sector in a housing market dominated as it is by real estate speculators, building industry and fundamentally neo liberal state politics'
International Journal of Housing Policy

Michaela Benson is Reader in Sociology, Goldsmiths, University of London. She has a longstanding interest in the intersections of space, society and the individual, and is known for her contributions to understanding privileged migration, the micro-geographies of home, belonging and place-making practices.

Iqbal Hamiduddin is Lecturer in Transport Planning and Housing, Bartlett School of Planning, UCL. He is particularly interested in the production of new sustainable settlements and urban quarters, and collaborative models of self-build.

1 Self-build homes: social values and the lived experience of housing in practice
Michaela Benson and Iqbal Hamiduddin

Part 1: Discourse, rationale, meaning
2 Community building: self-build and the neighbourhood commons
Iqbal Hamiduddin
3 Models of self-build and collaborative housing in the United Kingdom
Martin Field
4 Eco-homes for all: why the socio-cultural matters in encouraging eco-building
Jenny Pickerill

Part 2: Values, lifestyles, imaginaries
5 From cultures of resistance to the new social movements: DIY self-build in West Wales
Elaine Forde
6 Protohome: rethinking home through co-production
Julia Heslop
7 Of flux or finality? On the process and dynamics of a co-housing group in formation
Melissa Fernández Arrigoitia and Kathleen Scanlon

Part 3: Community and identity
8 Self-building as a practice of homemaking: the affective spaces of unfinished homes
Michaela Benson
9 Senior co-housing: restoring sociable community in later life
Jim Hudson
10 Something wonderful in my back yard: the social impetus for group self-building
Emma Heffernan and Pieter de Wilde
11 Building a self: community self-build and the reconstruction of identity
Katherine Collins

Part 4: Perspectives from practice
12 Self-build neighbourhoods for living and working: a view from Tübingen, Germany
Andreas Feldtkeller
13 Turning the theory into reality
Ted Stevens
14 Taking self-build out of its ‘small and special box’: citizens as agents for the political and the social of self-build
Stephen Hill


New directions: self-build, social values and lived experience
Iqbal Hamiduddin and Michaela Benson

'an excellent read on English self-build sector in a housing market dominated as it is by real estate speculators, building industry and fundamentally neo liberal state politics'

  International Journal of Housing Policy

‘Essentially, it points to a better way to do housing, identifying practices that are invaluable for how we view housing in this period of time when so much needs to be built, so quickly.’

  National Custom & Self Build Association

Format: Paperback

Size: 234 × 156 mm

332 Pages

ISBN: 9781911576884

Publication: November 27, 2017

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