Walmer Yard, W11


Forum: The Grand Domestic Revolution

Thursday 23 May, 7pm – 9pm

Forum is Walmer Yard’s new reading group. Each month a figure from the world of art, architecture, or science will choose a text which participants are encouraged to read. We will then join together to discuss the ideas and issues raised in the text over a glass of wine in one of the living rooms at Walmer Yard.

The first event in this series will see architectural historian and broadcaster Tom Dyckhoff select a text based around our inaugural season’s theme of Domesticity.

He will then join Walmer Yard’s Keeper Laura Mark in conversation as we open up the discussion around this critical reader.

His chosen text, The Grand Domestic Revolution by Dolores Hayden, looks at the history of feminist designs for American homes, neighbourhoods and cities.

The eponymous 1982 publication, looks at the work of a group of American feminists including Melusina Fay Peirce, Mary Livermore, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who campaigned against women’s isolation in the home and confinement to domestic life as the basic cause of their unequal position in society.

In looking at this group’s plans to transform American neighbourhoods through communal kitchens, housewives’ co-operatives and new building types, Hayden brings to light the economic and spatial contradictions which outdated forms of housing and inadequate community services create for women and for their families.

‘This is a book that is full of things I have never seen before, and full of new things to say about things I thought I knew well. It is a book about houses and about culture and about how each affects the other, and it must stand as one of the major works on the history of modern housing.’
– Paul Goldberger, The New York Times Book Review