The embodiment of shell housing: collective creativity for customising dwellings

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Incremental housing signifies a solution for low-income households, one in which the government creates shell dwellings favourable to adjustments by the owners, defined as nuclear families receiving state support. The shell house represents an unfinished unit as the envelope of the building whose interior completion depends on the low-income families' investment. It constitutes the permanent structure with the service parts, particularly pipes, cable, and basic features of the kitchen and toilet, as a point of departure for the occupants' customisation. The author used descriptive observation, questionnaires, and semi-structured interviews to examine dwellings' infill and attachments in Villa Verde, Lo Espejo condominium, and Las Higueras. The hypothesis holds that low-income families' efforts to complete the unfinished house cultivate the sense of home embodiment spawned by their collective creativity. Interpreting collected data for the firework, the author used critical phenomenology to argue for households' embodiment within their shell houses. This embodiment designates social bonding between families during units' adjustment that fosters occupants' alliances. The article concludes with three terms—readymade, habits, and measurement—as attitude of families’ transformation of houses. It underlines how the building knowledge is acquired from familiarity with their neighbours, the importance of intimacy that progresses from frequent and repetitive interaction between residents, and the significance of cohabiting as a family's awareness of belonging to the house embedded through being stationary in a place.

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Journal of Housing and the Built Environment

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