April 26, 2021

Why Are Brutalist Buildings And Social Housing Looked Down Upon?

Lauren Gray

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Textile DesignCelebrating Brutalism, 202150cm x 100cm

Brutalism has been a fixture of British architecture since the 1950s after emerging shortly after WWII. These buildings were built with the purpose of solving a housing crisis caused by an ever-growing population, and became prominent for their intimidating appearance, use of heavy concrete and high rise towers. Unfortunately these buildings are often looked upon with contempt and disgust. Former Prime Minister David Cameron described them as “brutal high-rise towers and dark alleyways that are a gift to criminals and drug dealers.” This misleading reputation is detrimental to the people who live in these buildings and call them their homes. I have designed a range of interior textiles that have been inspired by Brutalist Architecture and the shapes, forms and textures found within these buildings. By capturing perspective through line and shape, I have created a range of products that are modern, contemporary and abstract. Current attitudes towards Brutalist buildings and social housing needs to be adjusted to reflect the importance of what both have achieved. Brutalism should be celebrated and not shunned. These designs will hopefully shine a light on the accomplishments of social housing and change opinions that have been bred through ignorance and social hierarchy.