Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Concrete visions : re-envisioning relationships between architecture and society in the design of the English home 1830-1990
Author: Boys, Jos
ISNI:       0000 0003 8425 8617
Awarding Body: The University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2001
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
The genesis on this research began a very long time ago - probably from the moment I became an architectural student in 1974 and was endlessly confused by the disjunctures between what my clever, passionate, thoughtful modernist tutors said and the bleak mechanical qualities of many of their design solutions; between the deliberately obscure languages proffered as `obvious' within the academy and the inability of my family and friends to talk about architecture in anything but the most banal way. Then, later in the late 1970s and into the 1980s, stumbling into Marxist and feminist politics looking for models which more effectively explained the relationship between the social and architecture; and finding similar gaps between what was being offered as `proper' political action and a strange difficulty with aesthetics and beauty; and between what was constituted as the feminist problem (the isolation of the white middle class housewife) and the much more complex experiences of my own suburban upbringing. Despite being a relatively conventional product of my generation - those post second war white middle-class women who went into higher education in Britain in such numbers in the 1960s and 70s - it continued to feel as if I was, as Sheila Rowbotham put it, " lumber(ing) around ungainly-like in borrowed concepts which did not fit the shape we feel ourselves to be". ' My continuing need to understand the means by which different people make sense of, and survive in, the world - and in particular to understand how we engage with its architectural landscapes - and a frustration with `conventional' or `radical' accounts has led to a search for ways of thinking about physical space that can simultaneously value its architectural qualities whilst integrating the complexities and inequalities of social, cultural and economic relationships. On the one hand, we seem endless bogged down in a cyclical argument which sets elitist designers against popular opinion as a way of framing debates about what constitutes good design and how the social qualities of architecture should be expressed. On the other, we seem to have contemporary theories caught in merely revealing society as relativity and difference. I want, instead, to open up architecture and all its complex problems and pleasures, to truly public debate - where the different concerns that matter to architects and to others can be negotiated within the same conceptual space (without issues of power and inequality disappearing either into simply defined oppressions or into an amorphous plurality of different identities).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available