Much research into housing concentrates on the dwelling as a place of shelter for the household, as a unit to accommodate
basic domestic activities or as an asset to secure and facilitate social reproduction. However, the dwelling is
more than an enclosed private space; it involves a diversity of indoor and outdoor spaces that house a multitude of
activities to fulfil latent functions and meanings. The scarcer the resources of the residents, the more critical it is to maximize
the use-value of the home environment, and key ways to add value is for the dwelling to become a place to house
income generating activities, a place to produce one’s food or a place to accommodate changes in household structure
over time. In such cases, public and private space use within the home range is intensified through multiple usage,
often changing diurnally or seasonally to afford the occupants increased adaptability and maximum use value.
Drawing upon empirical data from Egypt, Colombia and Indonesia, this paper proposes a conceptual framework to
analyse the diverse manifestations of this phenomena and to identify lessons for designers and policy makers concerned
with making housing more appropriate and affordable.
Keywords:Affordable Housing, Activity Systems, Dwelling, Functional Opportunities, Lifestyle.
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