Sunlight, Space and Surfaces - Tracing the Development of the Healthy Home

April 22, 2021
5:30 PM
Location: Virtual Lecture Series
Newport, RI 02840

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Thursday, April 22, 5:30 p.m. EDT
Julie Collins, B.Arch, PhD, Research Fellow and Curator at the Architecture Museum, University of South Australia, Adelaide

The domestic sanitation movement of the 19th century focussed much of its attention on houses, with scientific and hygienic living to be found on the agenda of both doctors and architects. Increasingly,  women as household managers were seen as key, and exhibitions, model houses, books, and pamphlets were used to communicate with them. During this period, topics of discussion included sanitation, dust, air quality, and healthy bodies and minds. Architecturally these health concerns were addressed through various means including the design of plumbing, hygienic surfaces, ventilation, open-air living, and the layout of rooms. Dr. Collins’ presentation will examine the health-related rationales behind home design during the 19th and early 20th centuries, exploring the architecture and functioning of these so-called healthy houses.

About Julie Collins
Julie Collins, B.Arch, PhD, is Research Fellow and Curator at the Architecture Museum, University of South Australia in Adelaide. As an architectural historian Dr Collins’ researches aspects of built history including therapeutic places, architectural drawings, and the emergence of modernism. Her recent book The Architecture and Landscape of Health: A Historical Perspective on Therapeutic Places 1790-1940 (Routledge, 2020) examines buildings designed to treat or prevent disease in a time before pharmaceuticals and biomedicine emerged as first line treatments. 

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Sunlight, Space and Surfaces - Tracing the Development of the Healthy Home