Self Storage: An Archaeology of Contemporary Inhabitation in the United Kingdom (Master’s thesis, 2018)



‘ This architectural historical study aims to interrogate rituals of contemporary inhabitation in the United Kingdom by tracing the rise of the self storage facility. While the proliferation of domestic self storage in the UK is derived from a web of correlations, this research considers self storage as a lens through which the subjective experience of inhabiting the neoliberal city, may be understood.

Drawing from archaeological methods to conduct a material study of the contents of abandoned storage units, this study engages specifically with self storage as a long-term solution to domestic storage inadequacies. Pertaining respectively to four ‘modes of deferral’: scale, excess, emotional, and intergenerational; this research seeks to understand the span of motivations behind the depositing of domestic contents to self storage, thus exploring the psychic relationships inhabitants construct in response to this extended spatiality of the home’s contents.  

Articulating a meeting point between the economic and the existential, this research presents modern forms of self storage as a deeply metaphorical spatial phenomenon which is able to produce a reading of contemporary patterns in urban and suburban dwelling.’ 





Working Papers (2018)

Publication launched during the 2018 MA Architectural History symposium at The Bartlett, UCL. Co-edited and designed with Stephannie Fell and Max Wisotsky. The online version of the publication can be read here.


Reconstructions (2018)

Curation and graphic design for an exhibition of artists' books produced as part of a 'Site-Writing' practice. Readings of these projects were performed as part of the Urban Storytelling event at The Bartlett, UCL for the 2018 Bloomsbury Festival.

As a method, site-writing invites the writer to reflect upon their subjective position—both critically and emotionally—in relation to their research. This practice of writing aims to uncover and reconstruct varying interpretations of objects, subjects, spaces and histories.


Photo credits: (1-3) Rafael Guendelman Hales, (4) Ondre Roach.
The Windowless Hotel Room (2018)

A three-act play based upon the individual recollections of three subjects. Set within the six blank faces of a windowless hotel room.






Materialities of Certainty (2015)

At the bottom of a box of old family photographs I discovered a few loose strips of eroded and damaged film negatives which I scanned and restored to their best potential. The resulting images depict me as a child of six providing a snapshot tour of the sparsely furnished North Carolina home into which my family had recently settled from the UK. These images chart the birth of a suburban American existence. Though we inhabited the shell, we were yet to obtain the corresponding paraphernalia or to engage in the practices integral to this suburban life.

These photographs pinpoint the beginnings of further design-based investigations into the relationship between suburban architecture and the 'materialities of certainty' which uphold and reinforce these practices.