“…We Honestly Just Got Sick of Doing Working Together.” Spatial Negotiation of Adult-Child Thrown togetherness During Lockdown

Alkistis Pitsikali, Heba Sarhan, Husam Abo Kanon, Sandra Costa Santos, Rosie Parnell, Emily Pattinson

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Following a pre-pandemic decline in family time at home, the Royal Institute of British Architects called for multi-functional living spaces to become the new family social hub, where familial togetherness materializes. However, a deeper understanding of the family home as a socio-spatial system, shaped by the negotiation of values, is required to inform housing design. This article draws on the concept of throwntogetherness to explore the family home during COVID-19 lockdown as a conflictual site of value discrepancies. Qualitative analysis of 45 in-depth interviews unpacks adult-child throwntogetherness as a state of negotiation between adults, children, and the spaces and values (care, companionship, control, privacy, play) upon which the family home is built. The study identifies the spatial strategies (Connectedness, Compartmentalization, Containment, and Together-space) used to reconfigure domestic space to negotiate lockdown throwntogetherness. The findings contribute new spatial understandings of adult-child togetherness, with important implications for open-plan housing design, questioning pre-pandemic assumptions.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
JournalHome Cultures: The Journal of Architecture Design and Domestic Space
Early online date12 Aug 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Aug 2023


  • familial togetherness
  • Covid-19
  • lockdown
  • family home
  • adult-child throwntogetherness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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  • At Home with Children Home hack toolkit

    Costa Santos, S. (Member), Parnell, R. (Member), Sarhan, H. (Member), Abo Kanon, H. (Member), Pitsikali, A. (Member) & Pattinson, E. (Member)

    3 Oct 2022

    Activity: Other activity typesOther

  • At Home with Children Stakeholder Event

    Costa Santos, S. (Contributor), Parnell, R. (Contributor), Pattinson, E. (Contributor), Sarhan, H. (Contributor), Abo Kanon, H. (Contributor) & Pitsikali, A. (Contributor)

    15 Feb 2022

    Activity: Other activity typesPublic engagement and outreach - public lecture/debate/seminar

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