Designer Caves, Dolls Houses and Homelessness

If you ever wanted to see first hand the epitome of vulgar style and taste, Swiss architect Le Corbusier would have recommended simply going into “the homes of the rich”. Fearlessly absolute in his opinions about everything from furniture design to town planning, Le Corbusier’s divisive statements are often quoted. But it is less his controversial nature and more his empathy with poverty, and how that fed his work, that I find interesting, as the disparity between the luxury of interior design and the prevalence of homelessness has long been a source of conflict for me. Even as little girl playing at home making with a dolls house, I was aware of my good fortune. In the days before The Big Issue, homeless people had little option but to beg sitting down at child height, after all.

However, the need to nest in and create a home is a basic human desire that seems to be so hard wired into us that money doesn’t come into it. Even our cave dwelling ancestors were compelled to decorate their walls! Many regular rough sleepers will have a particular way of placing their few belongings to create a sense of order.

Upon visiting some of the poorest people in the world, seasoned travellers, such as Michael Palin for example, receive the warmest and proudest of welcomes into humble, small - perhaps even cramped - yet cultivated, cared-for and well-loved homes.

In recognition of this, at this year’s Women Outside The Box festival of female entrepreneurship, I will be selling £1 raffle tickets to win a home-baked Gingerbread House with all the proceeds going to homelessness charity Shelter. For a chance to win, support a fantastic cause and have a play with my refurbished vintage Dolls House, come and find me at my exhibition stand at Colston Hall, Monday 20th October!

Zoe HewettComment