Lammas is a low impact, off grid eco-village in Pembrokeshire, South Wales, consisting of nine smallholdings on 76 acres of land, all self-built by individual families using a range of methods from cob, to standard timber frame homes, to roundhouses – many of which are still in the process of being built. Before visiting Lammas […]

In Brighton I met architect Robin Hillier from Architype, an architecture firm that has developed and updated the Segal method to exceed current construction standards. Hillier was the architect for the Hedgehog Co-op self-build for rent scheme in Brighton which was initiated in 1996 by four people in housing need, some of whom were travellers […]

I visited Walter’s Way in Lewisham and met Ian White, a resident there, who was able to give me some good insight into the self-build programme set up by Lewisham council in the 1970s. These projects were first initiated by Walter Segal, Colin Ward and Nicholas Taylor, who secured several council-owned sites for shared (council […]

In need of some ‘self-build inspiration’ I set off looking at various models in England and Wales. What I found was a huge variety of examples – from the individualistic to the communitarian, from shacks and sheds in Essex to roundhouses in Pembrokeshire. Throughout my trip I was always looking for connections to the informal […]

This is a short paper that was delivered at the symposium ‘Sustainability in the City of Flux’ at Newcastle University in November 2014. The focus for the workshop was how the city can be ever changing, impermanent and in constant flux, whilst also being sustainable. The day before yesterday I was at a book launch […]

  “What kind of house is this,” he said “Where I have come to roam?” “It’s not a house,” said Judas Priest “It’s not a house . . . it’s a home” The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest – Bob Dylan The research I am undertaking in Bathore, Albania is the first part […]

“The foundation of the city: a net which serves as passage and as support.”  Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities   An article on my research published in Saturday’s Mapo (an Albanian national newspaper) has been met with a few negative comments about my favourable insights into Bathore and its residents, as well as criticisms regarding my […]

I have spent the last month in Albania for my research, and I will be here for another two months. I am only just beginning to get to know Bathore, and it is a multi-faceted place, but my first impressions are of a working, living community that is sitting on the edge between the formal […]

Image: Habitat for Humanity   From tent cities and beds in sheds to overflowing hostels, shelters and B&Bs, inadequate housing and homelessness is growing. The austerity economy is putting undue pressure on housing and in the UK the bedroom tax and benefit cap are exacerbating a deepening housing crisis. The recession is quickly becoming an […]

Since arriving in Albania my research has centred on an informal settlement clinging onto the very outskirts of Tirana, the capital city. In actual fact the community is in the municipality of Kamza, a town that was founded upon the dairy industry during the communist period. The land where 2,000 cows once grazed has been […]