Exploring the mutual adaptive process of home-making and incremental upgrades in the context of Chile’s Progressive Housing Programme (1994–2016)

Exploring the mutual adaptive process of home-making and incremental upgrades in the context of Chile’s Progressive Housing Programme (1994–2016)
AuthorRodrigo Mora, Margarita Greene, Rebeca Gaspar , Pablo Moran
Line(s)Built Environment
Year of Publication2019
Journal TitleJournal of Housing and the Built Environment
KeywordsIncremental housing schemes; Home-making; Sense of place; Programa de Vivienda Progresiva
AbstractHome-making is a complex manifold of social and environmental processes, where individuals and families cultivate, nurture and preserve inhabit their primary domestic space: their homes. Shedding light on home-making practices may help us understand how families and individuals prioritize needs and resources and negotiate aesthetic values and norms to transform a house into a meaningful physical and imaginary entity. To date, so far, most literature on home-making practices in self-build housing schemes has focused on the role of dwellers (mostly families) in shaping their built environment, with little attention to the internal dynamics of family cores in producing home-making practices, and how these dynamics are shaped by existing spatial constrains. We propose that home-making practices should be considered mutually adaptive processes, in the sense that house transformations are shaped by people’s own activities, capabilities, interests and skills, which are multiple and modify over time, and, in turn, these home-making practices are shaped by family dynamics and spatial constrains. The current study portrays home-making practices and house enlargements of fifteen Minimal Incremental Units built under Chile’s Programa de Vivienda Progresiva, a large state-funded incremental housing programme that operated from 1990 to 2002. A series of semi-structured interviews were carried out to residents to know their motivations for upgrading or transforming their houses, the use of indoor and outdoor spaces, among other aspects. People’s perceptions were analysed qualitatively, attending at four dimensions of interest: motivations behind incremental upgrades, socialisation practices within home space, habitability conditions of the houses and family composition and incremental needs over time. The main results show that home-making practices aim to accommodate social and intimate spheres, and that exterior spaces play a significant role in everyday life, regardless of harsh climatic conditions of certain zones of Chile. Further, domestic spaces were transformed to accommodate sewing workshops, auto-repairs premises or gardening shelters, thus customising the house by intricate and evolving dynamics. The resulting domestic environment, in turn, would shape new family dynamics, producing a holistic, synchronic whole called home.
Corresponding AuthorRodrigo Mora rodrigo.mora@udp.cl