Date of Award
Master of Architecture (MArch)
The thesis critically analyzes the ways in which the sacredness of man-made goods and consumption culture have shaped the American home and the ways in which the single-family American home acts as both an architectural enforcer and container of consumer culture.
Consumption culture is the never-ending yearning to purchase our right of being in this world. The idea that, through the ownership of things, we feel connected to, equal to, and even above others. This can be examined not only through the relationships and constant acquisition of things but also through the relationships and acquisitions to the built environment.
There is such a high value placed on homeownership in the United States and, although homeownership as a metric of success is not exclusively American, this idea is deeply rooted in American culture due in part to its connection to the concept of the American Dream. Although it can mean different things to different people, at its simplest, the American Dream can be defined as the notion that, with hard work and determination, upward social and economic mobility is achievable and this is largely possible because America is a ‘free’ country where anything is possible.
It is important to understand the ways in which changes in American culture and American consumer culture have the ability to affect the built environment, specifically the American home and domestic spaces. I am interested in the ways in which the built environment of suburbia both enacts and perpetuates American ideals, norms, and tropes/standards.
This lead me to pose the question: How are American homes and suburban spaces both affected by consumer culture and perpetuate consumer culture?
Dunlap, Jaime, "Unpacked: Consumer Culture in Suburban Spaces" (2023). Masters Theses. 1069.
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