UCL Urban Laboratory


Living Rooms & Strayed Homes: Sam Johnson-Schlee & Edwina Attlee in discussion

07 December 2022, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm

Living Rooms and Strayed Homes

This event brings together the authors of two books which explore the relationship between the domestic and the world at large.

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







Andrew Harris – Geography


Darryl Forde Room
UCL Department of Anthropology
14 Taviton Street

Sam Johnson-Schlee and Edwina Attlee both write poetically about the social and political significance of the home. Through theory and cultural history each writer destabilises the boundaries of public and private domestic space. In this event the authors will read from and discuss their books and explore how writerly and creative approaches to research can further our understanding of the domestic. 

Living Rooms by Sam Johnson-Schlee invites readers to consider the dreams and fantasies we have about our homes, and their underlying reality. Living Rooms blends history, theory, and memoir as it moves between the colonial trade in house plants, Proustian reminiscence, and razor-sharp critique of rentier capitalism. Johnson-Schlee suggests that, by looking closely at the places where we live, we can confront political realities that extend out into the world. 

‘It’s impossible to feel the same way about your home and how you furnish it after reading this joyful, revelatory, astounding book.’ Olivia Laing 


Living Rooms and Strayed Homes

Strayed Homes by Edwina Attlee explores the blurring of public and private space – exploring those overlooked, everyday places where private and intimate activities take place in public. The book is part architectural history, part cultural history. It follows a series of allusions and impressions, to explore how films, adverts, books and anecdotes shape experiences of everyday architecture. 

‘The boundaries between domestic and public are stretched and reimagined but they also tend to be socially policed, as Attlee shows through her explorations.’ Edit Collective 


Sam Johnson-Schlee is a writer and academic. He currently works at London South Bank University as a Senior Lecturer in Human Geography and Town Planning. Both his PhD (Geography and Anthropology 2017) and MA (Material and Visual Culture 2011) were completed at UCL.  

Edwina Attlee is a Senior Lecturer in History and Theory of Architecture. She is the author of Strayed Homes: Cultural Histories of the Domestic in Public (Bloomsbury, 2021) and the co-editor of Gross Ideas: Tales of Tomorrow’s Architecture (Architectural Foundation: 2019). Her research and teaching addresses ideas of spare and wasted time with an emphasis on the social and gendered hierarchies of these categories. This has led to work on housework and its histories, concepts and experiences of childhood, and cultural and architectural histories of unemployment. Edwina writes regularly for The Architectural Review. She is also a poet and recently wrote an audio tour of the laundry room for McSweeney’s.