Too Much ‘Stuff’ and the Wrong Space: A Conceptual Framework of Material Possessions

Main Article Content

Issue Vol. 3 No. 2 (2020)
Published Jul 30, 2020
Section Articles
Article downloads 765
Submitted : Feb 7, 2020 | Accepted : May 11, 2020

Elena Marco Katie Williams Sonja Oliveira


Space for living in new build houses in the UK is at premium and households have more stuff than ever before. The way this stuff is accommodated in dwellings can significantly affect residents’ quality of life and well-being. This paper presents a new conceptualisation of material possessions that could be of use to those involved in housing design. Three universal characteristics of material possessions; value, temporality and visibility are used to identify the space in the home that possessions might require. A conceptual framework that integrates these characteristics with spatial information about the interior of the home is developed. The paper argues that the conceptual framework could help designers, policymakers and house builders to better understand first the nature of material possessions, and second how those possessions could be accommodated in contemporary homes, ultimately supporting improved quality of life and wellbeing for households.

Keywords: architectural design, design practice, interior design, housing, storage

Article Details

How to Cite
Marco, E., Williams, K., & Oliveira, S. (2020). Too Much ‘Stuff’ and the Wrong Space: A Conceptual Framework of Material Possessions. Interiority, 3(2), 219–242.
Author Biographies

Elena Marco, University of the West of England

Elena studied architecture at the Universidad Politecnica de Catalunya and the University of Bath. She has worked as an architect in Spain and the UK for over 10 years, where she built a strong profile in sustainable design. Now in academia, she continues to develop her research interests, which focus on the crossover between health, sustainability and architecture.

Katie Williams, University of the West of England

Professor Williams is an urban theorist, planner and urban designer. She is Director of the Centre for Sustainable Planning and Environments. Professor Williams specialises in sustainable urban environments and is known for her work on sustainable neighbourhood design, urban form and land reuse. She has undertaken evidence-based critiques of many key urban policies such as sustainable communities and the urban renaissance.

Sonja Oliveira, University of the West of England

Sonja trained in architecture and has held numerous senior design posts in award winning firms globally. Her research expertise is built on developing new insights in energy simulation and design practice across scales of analysis from policy level, organizational dynamics in implementing new digital technologies in design to household heating practices in low carbon architecture.


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