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At the Workhome Project’s core is a unique body of twenty years’ research into the architecture of home-based work. Identifying the dual-use ‘workhome’ as a building type that has existed for hundreds, if not thousands, of years in every country and culture across the world, but that has been little researched or written about, this ongoing research has immense contemporary relevance. Especially in the context of the abrupt Covid-driven shift to home-based work as a dominant practice, and the climate emergency.

This research analyses the dual-use building that combines dwelling and workplace [‘workhome’] as a type. It traces its history, from medieval longhouse to contemporary ‘live/work’ unit, analyses its contemporary form (through a close scrutiny of the lives and premises of 76 contemporary home-based workers in urban, suburban and urban contexts in England, from across the social spectrum, working in a wide range of occupations from journalist to architect, motor-mechanic to vicar and childminder to curtain-maker), and assesses its social, architectural and urban potential. This research is essential reading for professionals, academics, or students with an interest in the future of working life, its buildings and urban forms, especially post-COVID. It is also aimed at a wider audience, including home-based workers themselves.

Carried out by architect and academic Frances Holliss, in collaboration with a team of others including Colin Davies and Angela Lee, this research has been funded by the ESRC, AHRC, Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation and the UK Research and Innovation Strategic Priorities Fund 2020-21. The research has a dedicated website and has been published widely.

Workhome Project

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