Small is not beautiful – when it comes to homes

In the latest blast in its campaign to see more spacious and lighter homes, the RIBA has issued the results of a poll by IPSOS Mori showing that natural light and space are the most important consideration in our homes. 80% of the public would be more likely to choose a home with minimum space standards and, damningly, wanting more space and light is the main reason why people in new homes would consider moving. This is part of the RIBA’s HomeWise campaign for better homes and coincides with its launch of a new and rather snazzy website.

The kneejerk response is of course that we can’t afford anything better than the minimum. But this is madness. Despite the very real financial crisis, by most measures this country is more affluent than at almost any time in history. Some of Victorians were horribly overcrowded in slum dwellings. We should not go back to that way of living. It is no coincidence that mean residences so quickly can become slums – it only takes a small change in the way we live to make such a dictatorial residence (only one way of using it) uninhabitable. 






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