Researching Domestic Space Use: Creating and Adapting Methods for Housing Studies

By Lindsay Asquith.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Research on domestic space use usually either concentrates on spatial type, the physical boundaries that frame the spaces we use, or on the cultural and behavioural codes that determine the way space is used and claimed within the home. Little research has been done which integrates approaches from architecture, anthropology, sociology and behavioural studies. These approaches and the methods that can be adapted or developed from them are integral to any understanding of domestic space use.The family as a unit, which embodies many relationships, not only between men and women, adults and children, but also between siblings, can best illustrate the complex nature of space itself and the meaning attached to it by individuals from within the family. The houses we live in are not simply physical structures containing our daily lives and routines. They are an integral part of our culture system and the study of families within the home is important not only in assessing or re-assessing the design process, but in relation to the wider cultural, anthropological and sociological aspects of life itself. This paper illustrates the validity of integrated approaches and methods to assessing space use contributing to knowledge and understanding to spatial and social practices within the home.

Keywords: Behavioural Data, Spatial Cognition, Domestic Space Use, Activity, Time, Gender, Age, Home, Space Syntax

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.11-18. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 973.645KB).

Dr. Lindsay Asquith

Honorary Associate, Faculty of Architecture, University Of Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia

I worked with Professor Paul Oliver on the compilation of the Encyclopedia of Vernacular Architecture of the World (Cambridge University Press, 1997)for ten years and subsequently as a Research Associate in the Department of Architecture, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, England. I completed my PhD in 2003 on domestic space use and claim. I worked as an Architectural Design Consultant in the UK housing sector before moving to Sydney In January 2006. Recently I co-edited with Marcel Vellinga Vernacular Architecture in the Twenty-First Century: Theory, Education and Practice.( London and New York: Taylor and Francis, 2006).At present I am researching gender and spatial preference in the modern workplace.


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