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The Peckham Experiment

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Begun in the 1920s by two medical practitioners, the ‘Peckham Experiment’ was at once an investigation into the nature of ‘health’ and part an attempt to reform the British healthcare system. Families were asked to pay a subscription to join the Pioneer Health Centre in South London, and to undergo a yearly ‘overhaul’. Social and leisure facilities were laid on, and in the mid-’30s the Centre moved from a modest town-house to a spectacular modern building, replete with swimming pool, glass partition walls and the use of an off-site farm. This talk tells the story of the Peckham Experiment, with particular emphasis on the founders’ concern with the ‘environment’ of the individual, linking this to the modernism of the Centre’s architecture and contemporary trends in ecology.

This talk is part of the Twentieth Century Think Tank series.

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