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The Art of Getting By: From Domestic Abuse to Social Housing

Part 2 Dissertation 2022
Thomas Faulkner
Architectural Association London | UK
It is architecture that provides the setting for domestic abuse; furthermore, it is architecture that provides the tools of violence for abuse. Therefore, it is imperative to recognise the role of social housing within domestic abuse and consequently, the role it must undertake, to become an architectural antonym, transitioning the house from a place of violence, into a home of refuge.

Having personally conducted interviews with survivors and experts of domestic abuse, I have become increasingly aware of the degree at which abuse takes place. In response, this thesis identifies the weaponisation of the home in abuse, the existing triggers of architectural fragments post-abuse, and the demand for a spatial criteria and retrofitting to social housing typologies positioned as an architectural response by the 2021 Domestic Abuse Act.

The thesis is used to explore new frameworks for practice, forming a cyclical engagement between legislation, survivors, experts and architectural design in order to establish the role of the architect as translator. Consequently, this collaboration informs an iterative architectural response to help establish a precondition for recovery. Through understanding the implicit link architecture has to domestic abuse, it is questioned therefore what involvement architecture has in the recovery of the abuse survivor.

Thomas Faulkner

Simon Withers
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