Skip to content
#Open journalism No news is bad news

Your contributions will help us continue to deliver the stories that are important to you

Support The Journal

Open Thread: What makes a place feel like home?

Is it security? People? Privacy?
May 2nd 2015, 9:31 AM 8,323 13

Ruth Chadwick takes a close Ruth Chadwick takes a closer look at the 'Home, Heart, Hope' artwork in Dublin's Science Gallery. Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

AN ESTIMATED 1.6 billion people live in inadequate housing. A fact made so visually clear this week with the millions left homeless in Nepal by the devatsating earthquake.

As part of the Home\Sick exhibition in Dublin’ Science Gallery, global housing charity Habitat have supported this artwork by Sineád Cullen.

Called ‘Home. Heart. Hope’, the piece aims to demonstrate the fragility of individual dwellings and the importance of community.

Speaking to, Cullen explained the thinking behind it:

“The idea of little small homes came to mind and the idea about home literally being the heart. So the piece is a whole series of little houses that are hung together.”

Vinnie Cunningham, executive director of Habitat in Ireland, said that part of what they’re doing is asking people what makes them feel at home.

“Very rarely do you hear bricks and mortar,” he says. “It’s about family, it’s about the sense of belonging, it’s about security and warmth. So I don’t think there’s a fixed time or a place for that.”

heart 2 Source:

Cullen agrees, saying where you call home can change based on how you feel:

I’ve travelled a lot, and on a very personal level, when I come to a new city it’s when I find a place where I can actually feel secure. Where I feel like I’m not going to be interrupted, yes it’s privacy, and a sense of security is hugely important. 

But what do you think? What makes a place feel like home to you? When you move to a new city, when do you call it home? Can you have more than one home? Is it about the place or the people?

Tell us what you think in the comments.

Read: Open Thread: Is the cost of childcare preventing you from working? >

Read: Toys for robots, a wine pouring machine and bellybutton swabs. The homes of the future… >

Send a tip to the author

Rónán Duffy


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a comment

    cancel reply
    Back to top