Home history book shortlisted for prestigious prize

A book by Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan has been shortlisted for the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain Alice Davis Hitchcock (ADH) Memorial Medallion.

Professor Deborah Sugg Ryan

The book Ideal Homes, 1918-39: Domestic design and suburban Modernism (Manchester University Press, 2018) focuses on the housebuilding boom of the interwar years, when Britain became a nation of homeowners. It investigates the ways in which ordinary people expressed new class and gender identities through the design, architecture and decoration of interwar homes then and now. It argues that these ‘ideal’ homes combine nostalgia for the past and longing for the future resulting in a new specifically suburban modernism. The book concludes by examining how the interwar home is lived in today.

Professor Sugg Ryan, who is Associate Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, said: “I am thrilled to have been nominated for the Alice Davis Hitchcock Medallion for my book Ideal Homes, 1918-39. This book is the culmination of over a decade of research into the speculatively built houses of the interwar years that were designed without the help of architects and the experience of lower middle-class homeowners in choosing fixtures, fittings and furnishings and living with their choices.”

Manchester University Press said: “We are delighted to see that Deborah Sugg Ryan’s ‘Ideal homes, 1918-39’ has been nominated for the Alice Davis Hitchcock Medallion. Blending meticulous research, fascinating detail, period photographs and a compelling narrative style, the book brings the interwar home richly to life.”

The ADH award is given annually to the author of a literary work which, in the opinion of the award committee, provides an outstanding contribution to the study or knowledge of architectural history. The work must be by a British author (or authors), or deal with an aspect of the architectural history of the British Isles or the Commonwealth, and have been published within the past two years.

The winner of the award is announced at the Annual Lecture at the Courtauld Institute in November.

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