Monday, 7 November 2011

Jason Griffiths: A Guide to the Essential Indifference of American Suburban Housing

Last week I attended a lecture given by Jason Griffiths, Assistant Professor at the University of Arizona entitled 'A Guide to the Essential Indifference of American Suburban Housing'. Generally as a student keen to explore the the more unconventional and often bizarre in architecture, the title did not immediately appeal to me, however I found myself pleasantly surprised by both the talk and Jason himself. The lecture was as much a summary with highlights of the highly detailed documentation process of hundreds of American suburban houses and their features, that Jason and his partner had undertaken over the past year, as it was a comment on the difference in taste levels and common modern day vernaculars between the USA and the UK. I found particular interesting the irony behind certain traits and features found in the suburban home, and found myself questioning whether it was the years of architecture school or the middle class British upbringing in me that had formed the my architectural aesthetic - one that was truly appalled yet strangely seduced by this vernacular. Overall, I found the talk both interesting and inspiring, suffice to say, I'm looking forward to including some white weatherboard paneling, garage windows and push out fireplaces in my next building design. Watch out CSA the Yanks have arrived. 

read the review here

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