Self Storage: A Contemporary Archaeology of Domestic Interiority

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Issue Vol. 2 No. 1 (2019)
Published Jan 30, 2019
Section Articles
Article downloads 801
Submitted : Nov 30, 2018 | Accepted : Jan 12, 2019

Emma Filippides


This architectural historical study aims to interrogate rituals of contemporary inhabitation in the United Kingdom by tracing the rise of the self storage facility. While the proliferation of domestic self storage in the UK is derived from a web of correlations, this research considers self storage as a lens through which the subjective experience of inhabiting the neoliberal city, may be understood. Drawing from archaeological methods to conduct a material study of the contents of abandoned storage units, this study engages specifically with self storage as a long-term solution to domestic storage inadequacies. The material and theoretical engagements of this research raise three interpretations of the architecture of self storage and the material contents kept within, as situated in relation to domestic interiority. Pertaining respectively to excessive accumulation, intergenerational transference and emotional deferral; this research seeks to understand the span of motivations behind the depositing of domestic contents to self storage, thus exploring the psychic relationships inhabitants construct in response to this extended spatiality of the home’s contents. Articulating a meeting point between the economic and the existential, this research presents modern forms of self storage as a deeply metaphorical spatial phenomenon which is able to produce a reading of contemporary patterns in an urban and suburban dwelling.

Keywords: self storage, domestic interior, economics, contemporary archaeology, eBay

Article Details

How to Cite
Filippides, E. (2019). Self Storage: A Contemporary Archaeology of Domestic Interiority. Interiority, 2(1), 5–23.
Author Biography

Emma Filippides, The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL

Emma Filippides is an architectural researcher and designer based in London. Her research specialises in an exploration of material ‘traces’ as an approach towards architectural history, theory and criticism. With her interest in architecture originating from the interior experience of dwelling, Emma’s research focuses on domestic space as a means to interrogate wider social, economic, political, and existential conditions. She holds a Bachelor’s in Design from Goldsmiths, University of London (2015) and a Master’s in Architectural History from The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL (2018).


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