Suburbia in Vain
Master of Architecture Thesis 2011 | Denver, CO Advisors: McLain Clutter, Keith Mitnick Recipient of Graduate Thesis Prize Fueled by television, film, and advertising, the idealized image of the large suburban home has led to the perpetuation of sprawl. Driven by a “bigger is better” mentality, today’s suburban house is not only a place for private isolation, but also a site for projecting an exaggerated image of wealth and publicly displaying one’s possessions. This thesis reinterprets the suburban desires that have conventionally led to a landscape of sprawl, and reconfigures them to create a new hybrid living environment. Located in a city that has been emptied by suburban dispersal, the project seeks to mitigate the existing condition by increasing the density of an underpopulated downtown. Simultaneously urban and suburban, the intervention proposes an alternative to developing virgin land: vertical sprawl. By superficially conforming to popular suburban values, the thesis subversively produces new desires for urban density and challenges the traditional conspicuous consumption of suburbia.
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