Nylda Hamchaoui is a third year architecture student at UEL and blogs about this subject for Your Universe. Her opinions are her own.
How can a house be a home?
The line between the definitions of a house and a home is far more complex than we can admit.
A house appears as a physical space, which hosts various daily activities and shelters us from the outside. A home can be seen as a psychological space that allows us the freedom to be comfortable in the tasks that we do, whether for work or leisure. So how does this have anything to do with architecture?
It is not what we design but how we design that determines whether this space is both a house and a home. Everyone experiences architecture in unique ways, a relative experience to be able to comfortably interact with the space for its functions. Sometimes, people feel more at home somewhere other than in a house.
We all have different abilities, needs and wants that should ideally be fulfilled by the space you spend most of your time in. For someone who is blind and deaf, spaces must be designed in a manner that emphasizes on a range of different senses to be effective for the user.
Do you find yourself struggling to do your work at home? This could be because the environment is chaotic, the room you use isn’t well lit and you have little room to sit, let alone draw or study. You would most definitely be less likely to feel and be productive in the important tasks that require long hours of your attention. You’d feel more at home, perhaps, in a park or a library that allows you to concentrate on what is important to you at a given time.
The spaces we design have an affect both physically and mentally. So to call a house a home, is to remove our idea that it is something we see but rather something we feel. With design that is effective, we can make a home (physical or otherwise) in whichever environment we are, as long as we are given the ability to move and utilise the comfort these spaces provide in our daily lives.