Q&A: On the question of home

We asked, “Aside from the address, when do you know you’re home?”


question home

Jack Graham

I know I’m home when the warm familiarity of my surroundings reminds me that adventure is in the eye of the beholder.

I spent my early twenties abroad—teaching English in Spain and working for an HIV/AIDS charity in Zambia. After growing pretty disillusioned with the world of international development, I packed it in and came back wondering why I had been drawn so far from home. Had I really weighed up the world’s problems and headed towards the gravest one? No. The truth was that, in large part, I had gone in search of adventure.

Upon returning to Blighty, I began working with unemployed young people in East London. In that period I learnt more—about people, about society, about myself—than ever before. That sense of discovery that I had so craved when I had fled my home shores was alive and well—in my own backyard.

Jack is the founder of Year Herea social innovation course in London, offering graduates and young professionals a year to test and build solutions to tough social problems in their own backyard.

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Charlotte Cramer

Home certainly isn’t a place, it’s a feeling: the feeling of emotional weightlessness. 

When we feign a smile, it tricks our brain into believing we are happy; thereby making us happy. Perhaps the same is true for what ‘home’ is to me: physical buoyancy which is then echoed emotionally. 

It’s the physical weightlessness in water that gives me the warm, safe, anxiety-melting pleasure that some might find in the comfort of their lover’s arms or their favourite armchair.  

When I’m swimming or floating I feel absolutely, perfectly in the moment. A moment of serene solitude and ambience. A moment where I don’t think about anything outside of the present and its invigorating perfection. 

A moment of home.

Charlotte is the co-founder of Crack + Cider, the world’s first concept store where customers can buy useful items for London’s rough sleepers.

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Peter Morris

As an architect who builds homes for first-time buyers, I spend a great deal of time considering what makes a home a home. Within the answer there’s an element of ‘who came first, the chicken or the egg.’ Did we shape our homes, or do our homes shape us?

Even as a passionate design advocate, my first and foremost answer would be that my home is not a home without my two favourite girls—my wife and daughter.

As the French philosopher Gaston Bachelard said, “In a garden, we grow more attached to a tree inhabited by birds.” Life makes my designs a home—without it, my home is just a house. Once my loved ones are with me, “the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.” (Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space)

Peter Morris launched HomeWorkPlay, a social enterprise dedicated to providing designer sustainable homes at prices first-time buyers can afford.

Photo credit: Michael Coghlan (header)