How Libyan Immigrants have Chosen and Decorated their House in the UK Since the 1980s

Intesar Ibrahim, Yun Gao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The interior of Libyan homes in the United Kingdom (UK) provides interesting insights into the Libyan tradition's role in shaping the physical living environment. In order to provide a space to help them adapt to the host environment, Libyan immigrants in the UK are trying to recreate the living environment of their homeland by reorganising the internal space and borrowing furniture and artifact pieces to communicate their social identities in the host country. The internal coordination of the house and the arrangement of the furniture, which include the sitting room (multi-use room) and spatial arrangement of decorations and belongings. All evoke a sense of the past, symbolising fixed values, and above all reflect a model that makes the Libyan house in the UK a different place for the host community. Space allocation results in a complex communicative environment. Past literature describes the home as a self-mirror. “a place of self-expression, a vessel of memories, a refuge from the outside world, a cocoon where we can feel nurtured and let down our guard”. It is understandable to find cultural practices within immigrants' home countries, and their practice in the host environment makes their home an interesting place that is worth exploring.
This study focuses on the Libyan house in the UK and on the aesthetic system that immigrants followed in highlighting home décor as a strong aesthetic and social means through which culture and belonging are expressed. Attention was paid to the material cultures of the immigrants, focusing on their close relationship with the lives of the past places and their reproduction in their new life in the Diaspora. The objectives of this research are to: (a) Understand the Libyan homemaking experience. (b) identify how Libyan immigrants visualize, decorate, and use their housing. (c) identify the representation of their lifestyles, memories, and cultures through their interior decoration.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAMPS Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationHeritages: Past and Present - Built and Social
EditorsJitka Cirklová
PublisherAMPS (Architecture, Media, Politics and Society)
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2024
EventArchitecture, Media, Politics, Society - Heritages Conference: Past and present - Built and Social - Czech Technical University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 28 Jun 202330 Jun 2023

Publication series

NameAMPS Proceedings Series
PublisherArchitecture Media Politics Society
ISSN (Print)2398-9467


ConferenceArchitecture, Media, Politics, Society - Heritages Conference
Abbreviated titleAMPS 2023
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
Internet address

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