II International Conference: From House to Home

What makes the space we live in a home? This question is worth answering if, as we believe, the wellbeing of each person begins in the home. Study and research shows that a successful home influences the welfare of our society.

About the conference

As Winston Churchill once said, ‘We shape our buildings and afterwards our buildings shape us’. Where we live – our house – plays a significant role in the development of our lives. It is where our future is moulded, where we learn to live with others, where our values are defined, where we seek refuge, protection and security.

But the house, that particular space shaped by architecture, transcends that physical space that it occupies and the material of which it is built. It is our mission to explore the difference between the house and a home. By what extraordinary process does a lair become a home?

A home provides security, people who can be trusted and a set of values that remain constant whatever the turbulence and confusion of everyday life. The breakdown of the family, the effects of immigration, the loneliness of the elderly, the consequences of professional mobility, all threaten the very concept of home, especially for our younger generation.

The focus of architects and interior designers is mainly on the physical aspects of space and design. But the concept of home is so much wider. The ideal of Home Renaissance Foundation is to encompass anthropological aspects, the management of space and time, the home as a workplace, the home’s inhabitants and its evolution.

We intend to become the main source of interdisciplinary research on home related issues. It is our vision to return the home to that place in which each individual is respected and encouraged, thus enabling change in the direction of a more humane society.

November 20-21, 2008 | The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre

Conference Programme

Plenary Sessions

Prof. Lawrence Barth | AA Graduate School

Man, a being who needs a home: The house as architecture of the home

Our lives as creatures of nature and society require foundations being laid in particular places. The idea of home is derived from memories and cultural influences. The role of the home is crucial in the formation of our personality. Architecture has an impact on the home. To create a home requires a building, cultural traditions and the appropriate space. Home, house and place. A home is a place of refuge. The place where the natural world and man’s fundamental needs meet: the material construction in a natural environment. Man needs to live with others in a community. A house in a town therefore has a social dimension, both public and private.

Charles Handy | Writer, broadcaster and lecturer

The home of the future

The home of the future is starting to resemble the home of the past, as more people bring part of their work, their studies and their play into the home. Charles Handy will demonstrate how this is an opportunity as well as a challenge, because, well-managed, it makes the home the ideal school for life.

Sebastian Conran | Managing Director of Studio Conran

Interior design: domestic aesthetics – The kitchen as the hub of the home

Interior design as a discipline. Ergonomics of domestic work. User friendly installations which facilitate mobility. The home needs to move with the dynamics of change. The evolution of the home.

Lorenzo Apicella | Partner of Pentagram

The home as a holistic project

Good design influences and refines people’s behaviour. Harmonious design in a house leads to the creation of a home. Agreeable surroundings inspire an appreciation of beautiful things. People need comfort for their personal development. Balancing the physical and cultural context of the home.

Piers Gough | Architect, founding partner of CZWG Architects

Home in the city

Houses, apartment houses, residential complexes join to create that other home –the city– in which life takes place. However, high density, speculation or budget restraints have derived in an impersonal and purely mathematical definition of residential units. They are thought of as market products or social housing quotas for politicians, but not as tools to promote better quality of life. In this context, developers, public institutions and individuals fight to accomplish a model of living without the chance to choose a model of house or a concept of home… And diversity is so huge that customization is almost a dream. How can we combine mass necessities with unique needs? How can we provide enough living space when housing has become unaffordable? Is the idea of home a utopia in this situation? … or on the contrary, the way to overcome it?

Panel Discussions

Panel 1: Home Management

What definitively turns a house into home is the care of others within that vital space. Without that activity, even when a space encompasses all the physical and aesthetical elements proper to a home, something essential is lacking. The person can only find fulfillment within the home when the house is ‘made to work’ for them, i.e. when its resources and potentialities are successfully managed for the benefit and well being of those living there. The home is a space that once constructed needs to be managed.

Effective home management depends on the attitude of the manager, and secondarily on his or her technical and managerial abilities. That attitude is the understanding that in servicing the basic needs of the person through the work of the home, I create the conditions for well being, allowing them to fully become themselves. To this end, and amid the complexities and constraints of modern living, the home manager will hone and bring into play a host of creative and managerial talents to create excellence on a daily basis.

Chairman: Prof. Julia Prats  Panelists: Janine Nahapiet, Monica Lindstedt, Ignacio Aizpún Viñes

Panel 2: Humanity in city planning 

What is people/children/family-friendly urban planning? What type of household services should be within pedestrian access? Does pedestrian accessibility increase quality of life? Are all urban regeneration schemes family/people friendly? The public and/or private developers’ dilemma: does it make any difference from a friendly urban landscape perspective? Does culture have anything to say? These and other questions will be addressed.

Chairman: Beatriz Plaza  Panelists: Juan Ignacio Vidarte, Michael Hebbert, Paul Askew

Click here to find the Press Release and the Photo Gallery