Between Four Walls and City Streets: Urban Challenges and Domestic Adaptations


The practices of domesticity within the city have expanded the understanding of ‘home’ to encompass a broad range of spaces beyond the physical boundaries of the dwelling. The city itself, by means of its own inherent conditions, restructures the physical and psychological manifestations of domestic space. Among these factors, the issue of the home as a commodity has restricted the availability of space within an affordable margin. A series of layered thresholds between the public and the private have emerged across domestic and urban spaces. This porosity has developed uniquely within the context of the metropolis.

Through a series of interviews, this thesis investigates the dwelling habits of a unique group which have become prevalent across global cities; those who are fixed in migration. Individual narratives weave together common themes across two cities, London and New York, displaying how dwellings support daily practices and how city dwellers rely on the urban to supplement the facilitation of domestic activities. Between Four Walls and City Streets draws explicit connections between public and private life, highlighting how the commodification of domestic space creates a knock-on effect that ultimately forces domestic life to spill into the public sphere and the high turnover that results from the relentless compromise of city living.

The examining committee is as follows:

Supervisor: Marie-Paule MacDonald
Committee member: Tara Bisset
Internal-external reader: Rick Haldenby
External: Mark Sterling

The defence examination will take place:
Monday, January 8, 2024, 12:00 p.m.
In person, in the Library seminar space.
A copy of the thesis is available for perusal in ARC 2106A.