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Towards a Deregulated Domesticity: The Making of 'Homes for Today and Tomorrow'



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Palate, Savia 


The current debate on space standards in Britain revolves around the name of Sir Parker Morris; the Chairman of a sub-committee that published, perhaps, the most influential and architecturally appraised, report on space standards: Homes for Today and Tomorrow (1961). The report was the first to consider recommendations for both public and private housing provision and it was the last one issued by the government as, the report specifically and space standards generally, were abolished by the Conservative government as an “obstacle to development” along with the privatisation of council housing in 1981. While the context of the aftermath of the Report is widely discussed, this thesis is a historical inquiry that focuses on the making of this report, of which a consistent and coherent history is still absent from current scholarship. Drawing from archival and other sources, this study aims to uncover the report’s entwinement with the state’s agendas by mapping the frictions between local political realities and market aspirations and to reflect on the unintended effects and ironies that surround the Parker Morris standards in shaping the production of domesticity in Britain. Tracing the complex interplay of state policy and market forces this thesis aims to contribute, on the one hand to an understanding of social histories of domesticity and housing in post-war Britain, and on the other hand to expand on critiques of the rise of free-market urbanism in urban studies and social theory.





Lathouri, Marina
Bullock, Nicholas
Campbell, James


Parker Morris Report, space standards, housing, postwar Britain, welfare state, flexibility, domesticity, housing policy, privatisation, council housing, embourgeoisement thesis, affluent society, Homes for Today and Tomorrow, home ownership


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Awarding Institution

University of Cambridge
This thesis has been fully funded by the Vice-Chancellor Award (Cambridge Trust) and received complementary funding from the A.G. Leventis Foundation.