UBC Graduate Research

Appropriation of The Home Fernando, Nicholas


Appropriation is how residents of a home begin to incorporate their home into their own identity — and their identity into their home. This process is seen as essential for our ability to forge an emotional connection to our home and develop a sense of belonging and stability. This thesis explores how homes can be designed to foster appropriation. My research suggests that a strong sense of personality and character within the architecture of the home is essential for this process, as the home must be able to distinguish itself as a unique space within the world. The character of homes as been declining for the past century due to many factors, most importantly the commodification of the home and the resultant desire for each home to have as broad an appeal as possible. My project does not attempt to directly overturn these strongly embed forces of capital, but instead finds a way to work subversively within the existing system. Specifically, it sees residents ability to modify and physically appropriate the spaces of their home as a way to imbue them with character. My final design proposes a small apartment building that leaves room for both psychological interpretation and physical appropriation by residents. The building is designed to inspire and utilize residents own creative energy to produce architectural diversity and specificity, ultimately fostering their ability to appropriate their homes.

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