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The American Idea of Home

The American Idea of Home
Conversations about Architecture and Design

Wide-ranging interviews with leading architectural thinkers, including Thom Mayne, Richard Meier, Robert Venturi, Paul Goldberger, Robert Ivy, Denise Scott Brown, Kenneth Frampton, and Robert A. M. Stern, spotlight some of the most significant issues in architecture today.

May 2017
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245 pages | 7 x 10 | 30 b&w photos |

“Home is an idea,” Meghan Daum writes in her foreword, “a story we tell ourselves about who we are and who and what we want closest in our midst.” In The American Idea of Home, documentary filmmaker Bernard Friedman interviews more than thirty leaders in the field of architecture about a constellation of ideas relating to housing and home. The interviewees include Pritzker Prize winners Thom Mayne, Richard Meier, and Robert Venturi; Pulitzer Prize winners Paul Goldberger and Tracy Kidder; American Institute of Architects head Robert Ivy; and legendary architects such as Denise Scott Brown, Charles Gwathmey, Kenneth Frampton, and Robert A. M. Stern.

The American idea of home and the many types of housing that embody it launch lively, wide-ranging conversations about some of the most vital and important issues in architecture today. The topics that Friedman and his interviewees discuss illuminate five overarching themes: the functions and meanings of home; history, tradition, and change in residential architecture; activism, sustainability, and the environment; cities, suburbs, and regions; and technology, innovation, and materials. Friedman frames the interviews with an extended introduction that highlights these themes and helps readers appreciate the common concerns that underlie projects as disparate as Katrina cottages and Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian houses. Readers will come away from these thought-provoking interviews with an enhanced awareness of the “under the hood” kinds of design decisions that fundamentally shape our ideas of home and the dwellings in which we live.

  • Foreword: No Place Like It by Meghan Daum
  • Introduction by Bernard Friedman
  • Part 1: The Functions and Meanings of Home
    • Richard Meier
    • Grant Hildebrand
    • Witold Rybczynski
    • Lester Walker
    • Sarah Susanka
    • Barbara Winslow and Max Jacobson
    • Hadley Arnold
  • Part 2: History, Tradition, Change
    • Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown
    • Kenneth Frampton
    • Lee Mindel
    • Eric Owen Moss
    • Robert A. M. Stern
    • Sam Watters
    • Douglas Garofalo
    • Tracy Kidder
  • Part 3: Activism, Sustainability, Environment
    • Marianne Cusato
    • Andrew Freear
    • Cameron Sinclair
    • Robert Ivy
    • Charles Gwathmey
  • Part 4: Cities, Suburbs, Regions
    • Paul Goldberger
    • Jeremiah Eck
    • Tom Kundig
    • Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk
    • David Salmela
  • Part 5: Technology, Innovation, Materials
    • Toshiko Mori
    • Greg Lynn
    • Thom Mayne
    • Lorcan O'Herlihy
    • Frank Escher and Ravi GuneWardena
  • Acknowledgments
  • Photography Credits
  • Index

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This book may also be available on the following library platforms; check with your local library:
3M Cloud Library/bibliotheca