Congratulations to Aidan While and his colleague Patricia Simoes Aelbrecht for their new paper in the Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability.

Attitudes to the European modernist social housing experiments of the 1950s and 1960s are complicated and contested. Once derided as a failed and elitist social project, over the last two decades, there has been growing appreciation of the design principles and ethos of the post-war Architecture of Social Intent (AOSI), assisted by a proactive programme of national conservation protection. In this paper, the authors reflect on a university action research project to explore what the AOSI might mean to a younger “millennial” generation. Using an undergraduate action-research project from the UK, they explore millennials responses to the idea of the AOSI but also the perceptions of the welfare state associated with it and the state’s changing role in social housing provision. The paper makes a distinctive contribution to the growing literature on changing perceptions of modernist heritage, making a case for wider public engagement with urban change and design aesthetics.

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