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Poem: phases of home life

Home futures brimming with desire and an aesthetics of domesticity

House of the future smithsons

House of the future smithsons

Main room of Alison and Peter Smithson’s Home of the Future at the Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition in London and Edinburgh, 1956. It is a scenographic mock-up at full scale of a living unit for a childless couple, set in 1980

Phases of home life
after Alison Smithson

What is desire if not municipal shame? Wipe
the formica daily down, be alert: recognise
your prime at no matter what aesthetic the time
occurs, for learning to love – when the clocks show –

For learning to love anyone is like receiving a death blow
in the Ideal Home Show. Lipstick ringing at
the edge of the wine glass like grandmotherly 
gold. Like dishwasher salt,

              hold your time-saving devices close, and your lovers
ever closer as technological advancement bears down
on the ominous horizon. For learning to love anyone is like
an increase in property, and what is your time if not your own?

Rigorously separate the children from the traffic jam
Rigorously separate the achievements from the man

Bend me over the kitchen table. Tell me I belong
in the marks made by your arm. For learning to love
anyone is like an increase in property: it increases care,
& brings many new fears lest precious things should come
to harm.

This piece is featured in the AR March 2019 issue on Sex + Women in Architecture awards – click here to purchase your copy today