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Icon plus expectation : exploring the evolution of the American single family home

By 1975- Michael E. (Michael Eaves) Wilcox


To propose a new conceptualization of "home", it is necessary to explore the mechanisms that have created this revered icon. Since the industrial revolution, the commercial packaging of the home has continually reinforced its significance as a mass-produced object. From clothing to automobiles, little in our environment escapes considerations of mass-market assumptions, including the typical single-family American Home. The focus of this investigation will examine the expectations we have of "home" and how these expectations have come to inform the design generation of this particular building type. To establish a perspective on the meaning of "home" within today's culture, this investigation will assess a number of facets that have shaped the home in the twentieth century: economic factors, cultural iconography, domestic products, and critical architecture theory. The goal of this research is the development of interactive architectural narratives that allow a participant to explore particular contexts of domestic design and come to an understanding of how these devices have informed our American vision of the house. The dialectic of the investigation will emerge through looking at the way homes are designed and built, and the way they are used. This project is inspired by the House_n vision of new modes of home/technology integration. The domestic program set forth by the House_n necessarily inspires a historical perspective to effectively shape the [near] future of dwelling. Where have we been? Where are we now? We are we going? By examining critical periods of home design, certain trends will surface that indicate shifts in use values. By comparing these changes in use expectation with the resulting mass-marketed form, it will be possible prescribe alternate modes of conceptualizing the design and construction of the Michael E. Wilcox.Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2000.Includes bibliographical references (leaves 101-105)

Topics: Architecture.
Publisher: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Year: 2000
OAI identifier:
Provided by: DSpace@MIT
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