Compressing urban living in the dwelling: pandemic living praxis

Özçelik S., Sevinç Kayihan K.

Open House International, vol.47, no.2, pp.296-315, 2022 (AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 47 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1108/ohi-06-2021-0115
  • Journal Name: Open House International
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Periodicals Index Online, ICONDA Bibliographic
  • Page Numbers: pp.296-315
  • Keywords: Dwelling, Domestic living praxis, The new normal, Pandemic, Covid-19, Post-pandemic architecture, WORK, HOME, PLACE, TELEWORK, SPACE
  • Kocaeli University Affiliated: No


© 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited.Purpose: This paper aims to understand how the residents have utilized domestic spaces and furniture during three months' lockdown time for the Covid-19 virus spread measures and to explore how domestic living practices were adjusted which had been the daily urban activities previously. Design/methodology/approach: The research method is a qualitative interpretivist philosophical approach with a quantitative data collection. Short questionnaires were conducted via e-mails with attached links via SurveyMonkey. The sample was the group of people who had been in active urban life before the pandemic and had been actively working at the office spaces. Findings: Separate learning/working spaces were urged at home, at least for the set intervals in the daytime. Production in the kitchen also acted as an interactive production and entertainment. Balconies and terraces were re-discovered and acted as “urban-substitute open spaces”. The living room became the new venue for domestic interaction especially during working-learning breaks, for watching movies, personal care or reading sessions. Computers, tablets and smartphones became the urban activity base due to online meeting applications for social reasons, online shopping, working and learning. The separation of domains at home became essential. Research limitations/implications: The study only focuses domestic uses of white-collar workers; during the lock-down period, Covid-19 pandemic. Sampling constraints are the employees who were active urban life before the pandemic and working at the office space. Sharing the house at least with one other roommate, sibling or spouse with or without children. Individuals who had not been working outside the home before the pandemic, people aged over 65, retired, permanent home workers, housewives, freelancers and other such demographic structures are excluded from the study. Social implications: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the first wave lockdown began between early March–June 2020, and millions of people were confined to the dwellings. “Staying home” stood for working-learning-shopping-interacting online, more production in the kitchen, using the living room as a domestic multi-functional venue, spending time on the terraces and balconies as domestic open spaces. The active living in the urban context dramatically shifted to “at-home living”. Originality/value: The study only focuses on the three months' interval in which strict rules for staying home were enforced in Istanbul, Turkey. Schemas, charts and tables are generated concerning the input. The study challenges the making meaning via praxis of “to dwell” and urban living. Nevertheless, the main questions of housing such as production, social aspects, shared spaces, interaction are re-configured and the substitute urban space is created at home.