Wednesday, 28 March 2012

What's in Your Fridge?

The content of a student’s refrigerator says a lot about his or her eating habits.  From the contents of one’s fridge, we can tell whether someone likes to eat out or cook, is a vegetarian, is highly carnivorous, hates vegetables, likes to drink, or has a sweet-tooth.  However, “fridge-analysis” can also infer a lot about one’s personality, including whether someone is messy, a clean-freak, healthy, a workaholic, or single. What do the contents of your fridge say about you? 
As the refrigerators in student houses are often shared, it serves as an arena for different personalities to meet in peaceful coexistence or devastating conflict.  While some students are keen to share, some stress the importance of delineating shelves and personal “fridge-space”.  The dynamics of the refrigerator are very complex indeed.  Do you think that how your fridge is organized reflects the relationships in your house?
We want to hear your thoughts!  Send pictures of your fridge and related stories to

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Students are Dirty - Your Feedback

Hi Everyone,

On Wednesday we asked you whether you thought students are really dirty.  Unfortunately, the evidence is rather inconclusive.  It appears that “dirtiness” often comes down to perspective.  Here are some of the responses that we received:

In my last year of undergrad, I moved into a flat with a friend and his mutual friend.  I had lived with other students before and I didn’t think my friend and I were particularly dirty.  But, apparently, we were.  We would take turns cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming, and emptying the rubbish bin now and again.  I thought it worked.  Unfortunately, this didn’t appear good enough for our third roommate, who one day came up with a strict cleaning rota and began leaving notes (somewhat passive aggressively) everywhere:  on the stove, on the dish-rack, on the bathroom mirrors, and on our doors reminding us that it was our particular day to carry out a certain task.  I think this just illustrates that cleaning standards vary from person to person and, although I didn’t think I was that bad, evidently someone thought that I was disgusting.

Photographer: Anonymous

I lived in halls of residence with three other girls. Although we didn’t know each other, we were able to arrange a schedule for household chores and decided to share the expenses for necessities such as toilet paper, dishwashing detergent, broom and other cleaning equipment. The time showed we all had the same perception of cleanliness. We were clean, but not clean freaks. We always cleaned our dishes after use, but we left our personal mugs in the sink overnight. 

When it comes to keeping our apartment clean, we were disciplined. Each of us was completely aware of her duties. We knew exactly when and what we had to clean. When came turn to clean, we cleaned all the shared spaces – kitchen and bathroom. In the kitchen we especially focused on the counter, sink and stove. Twice a year – before the halls inspection announced its visit - we also cleaned the windows, inside of kitchen cabinets and the refrigerator. 

When the two girls finished with their studies they moved out and new flatmates, a couple, moved in. We tried to continue with former cleaning arrangement, but unfortunately, they were not as reliable as our former flatmates. Since the boy was a bit lazy, usually his girlfriend cleaned for him. Sometimes we had problems remembering whose turn for cleaning is, therefore we established written cleaning schedule.  


Photographer: Anonymous

Thanks to everyone for your responses.  Next week we will leave the topic of cleanliness behind and explore the contents of your fridge!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

True or False: Students are Dirty

To continue with last week’s topic on stereotypes of student living, we would like to explore, more in-depth, the question of whether students are dirty.  A common perception is that student homes are dusty and cluttered. It is often believed that students neglect common duties such as vacuuming, doing the dishes, and all other household chores that were once required of them when living under their parents’ roof and watchful eyes.  Do you think this is really true?  Or, perhaps students take the opportunity of living away from their homes to grow and flourish into independent adults with immaculate housekeeping skills. What do you think?  Can you relate to this?
What are your cleaning habits like? Do you have a cleaning schedule?  Know of any student home horror stories? Please share your experiences with us by sending your stories and pictures of your very clean or, alternatively, very dirty student house to  We will post the responses in a few days, and submissions can remain anonymous.  We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Stereotypes of Student Living

Hello everyone!  Last week, we introduced you to our project and earlier this week we introduced you to our team.  Now, we would like to invite you to share your thoughts and experiences.  This week’s topic: stereotypes of student living!  What kinds of stereotypes come to mind when you think about student homes?  We’ll give you a few ideas to get the ball rolling – one negative stereotype that people have is that student homes are dirty and noisy; a positive one is that student homes are places where lasting friendships are created.  What do you think? Can you think of any other stereotypes?  Do you think they are real?  Join the discussion by leaving your comments here on blog or to our e-mail:  If an interesting topic arises we might even dedicate an entire post to it in the near future!

(c) Wikipedia

Monday, 12 March 2012

Meet the Team!

Last week we kicked off our blog by familiarizing you with our project.  This week, we would like to introduce you to our wonderful team from UCL.  These lovely and amazing individuals have been as busy as ants behind the scenes, working towards different aspects of the Who Stole my Milk? project.
To start with, the Project Management team ensures the project runs smoothly. Elizabeth, Elisabetta and Julie oversee communications with the Geffrye museum in addition to communication between the teams.

The Documenting Student Homes Team is comprised of Chao Chieh, Hannah, and Riccardo, with Li as the project photographer.  Together, they invaded the homes of students across London, providing us with invaluable data and information about the not-so-secret lives of students.

The Audience Advocates, Binlu and Jeni, are champions of the audience cause.  They fight to the tooth and nail to ensure that your voice is heard by finding ways of improving the project as it progresses.  In fact, there’s a link to a survey at the top of the right-hand sidebar that they’ve created for your benefit.  Click on it to answer a few questions if you haven’t done so already! 

Katy and Leslie are our resident Audience Researchers.  These lovely ladies are here to study you, the audience, to find new platforms to reach the audience as well as develop new marketing strategies. 

Kate and Javier are the duo that makes up the Public Information Team.  From creating the project postcards that we uploaded last week, to writing case studies, to organizing the private viewing event for the exhibition, this versatile team can pretty much do everything except paint the Mona Lisa.

Min Young and Namyoung make up the Learning and Interpretation Team.  They are spearheading the Family Day events at the Geffrye, creating exciting activities for children and adults who wish they were still children. 

The Exhibition Team, made up of Jenny and Semiha, are responsible for the project exhibition that will run at the Geffrye Museum from 15 May to 9 September.  Their design and story-telling skills are sure to “wow” us.

And, lastly, we the Web Resource Team, Ur┼íka and Charmaine, are here at your service!  In addition to moderating this superb blog, and the project’s social media, we will be creating two exciting web elements that will soon be on the permanent Geffrye Museum website. 

Well, that’s the team!  Now that you know us a little bit better, we invite you to follow us here as well as on Facebook and Twitter.  Stay tuned! 

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

New Project Postcards

Hi everyone, 

The postcard for the Who Stole my Milk? project is in!  What do you think?  Can you spot the differences?

Postcards are now available for pick-up at the Geffrye Museum.  Grab one before they run out!

Monday, 5 March 2012


Welcome to the Who Stole My Milk? blog! We are MA students from the Institute of Archaeology at UCL.  We are preparing a project in collaboration with the Geffrye Museum on the unusual world of London’s modern student homes. The Exhibition will be ongoing from the 15th May to the 9th of September.

What makes a student home?  And what makes it unique from other London homes?  Who Stole my Milk? will tell the fascinating tale of how cooking implements, decorations, social customs and personal mementoes come together in the student’s quest for identity in this temporary home away from home. From inexpensive generic posters and low quality bed sheets, to personal tokens carried across borders, and the exchange of international recipes, we will show how students rise to the challenge of creating a home within an impermanent space and time. 

So, our aim for this blog is to enable you to interact with the project by contributing to these topics.  If you are a student, or have been one recently, or simply wish to share your thoughts on students living, we invite you to post your personal experiences, stories, and pictures with us!  We would love to hear from you. You can contact us at

Geffrye museum /photographers: David Clarke & Markus Leith