Journal Article

Stigma, cladding, and modular housing : resident experiences of Dublin’s 'rapid build' scheme


This paper focuses on how stigma is constructed and deconstructed through linguistic and aesthetic dimensions of “Rapid Build” housing in Dublin, Ireland. Through analyses of in-depth interviews and focus groups with residents and stakeholders, we explore how the nomenclature and brick-clad modular construction of the builds influenced residents’ experiences of stigma. Emphasizing the importance of the symbolic dimensions of housing materialities in mediating stigma, we argue resident experiences reflect the importance of understanding relationships between social housing construction and stigma power in three interrelated ways. First, the nomenclature and materiality of housing has a profound effect on social imaginaries of residents and their self-perceptions. Second, stigmatized groups are not devoid of agency within constructions of stigma, and are both actors in the embedding of, and resistance to, its production. Third, engaging with residents’ experiences is integral to better understanding, and resisting, the role of architecture in the “stigma machine”.

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Brickell, Katherine
Nowicki, Mel
Harris, Ella

Oxford Brookes departments

Department of Social Sciences


Year of publication: 2023
Date of RADAR deposit: 2023-02-17

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

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