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Conventional Complacency in British Housing- Britain’s Community Self-Build Absence in Comparison to the Netherlands.

Emma Rose Davies



Can self-build projects truly become the new “common” within British housing? Self-build schemes can be vital in understanding issues within architecture. However, in 21st century Britain, housing has become an economic system rather than fulfilling dwellings for users, raising concerns about power distribution. Architecture shapes society’s culture and Britain has revealed architectural limits with conventional clichés, disregarding the political, social and environmental impacts. Conventional, identical building blocks can often create alienation within architecture between the building and the dweller. A reverse of the architect's role to a facilitator could create contextually relevant dwellings, as this would cater for individual sensitivity. This is active within self-build methods, which seems simple as a concept. However, self-build is not the standardised way of living compared to Britain’s neighbouring countries, such as the Netherlands. This paper aims to find out the reasons for the absence of self-build in Britain in comparison to the Netherlands, as this method holds an agency to solving political, social and environmental issues. This paper concludes this research question by interviewing British and Dutch experts within the field of self-build. This shone a light on the absence of self-build in Britain against the existing literature data, showing the benefits and drawbacks when implementing these schemes in Britain. It revealed the notion of value within British housing and whether this architectural “common” is responsible for inequalities.

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