Collective Custom Build

Not enough homes are being built in the UK to meet needs, while a small number of volume house-builders deliver quantities of generic housing in chunks - as long as the market is booming.

But what happens when people get together and think about what they need - rather than what the house-builders want to give them?

Can we re-prioritise liveability over short-term profit? In other countries, it is relatively common for people to build their own homes and for self-provision to represent a viable procurement route for new housing.

Carried out in collaboration with the School of Architecture at the University of Sheffield, our practice-based research project presented a model for how people in the UK might engage collectively in the production of housing. It demonstrated that the aspiration of building your own home is not just for the well-off.

The outcome was a report, Motivating Custom Build, and an animated website, which provides a rich and lively online resource for people who want to get together and build their own homes.

Henry, an Established Star in the area, is one of the oldest traders on the block, having worked at the market for 43 years. He's lived in the area all his life.

Inga and her husband Andrew, Rising Stars at Leather Lane, have been selling hats, gloves, sunglasses and other fashion accessories at the market for 5 years. She started at Roman Road after finishing school.

Richard "Ritchie Rich" has been working in Leather Lane Market for 27 years, a well Established Star at the markets. He notes that the market 20 years ago "used to be like Mecca." Perhaps now it is again?