The Lawn was Two Feet Tall : A Story of Amendments in a Suburban Cul de Sac Patola, Lee
This thesis project explores the conflicting identities of suburbia: suburbia as a consumer product or financial investment to be protected versus the use of suburbia as a structure for living. The beginnings of this suburban orientation begin in Part One: a study of objects, identity, mass consumption and the domestic space. Part Two consolidates these interests into a narrative exploration of suburbia which employs many of the methodologies (storytelling, gleaning, mashup and bricolage) investigated in Part One. Ultimately two texts are presented in dialogue: the Homeowners Association Rules (which protect the consumer value of the suburb) and a narrative that follows the daily lives of a set of suburban residents. What emerges from the conflict between the two is a series of unapproved architectural artifacts. Both the writing and images included in Part Two are constructions rooted in reality, built by recombining and reinterpreting existing things (documents, typologies, photographs, stories and the like). In a world that privileges the new, this thesis project turns instead to what already exists as a means for renewed understanding. The objects around us - the built environment included - become living, changing artifacts from which to glean and subsequently to build upon. With this project I look around myself and ask: what new thing can be made by amending that which exists? Suburbia, and the rules which govern it, should neither be preserved in perpetual stasis nor demolished in favour of something brand new: it should be revisited, reinterpreted and amended. Let’s revisit suburbia.
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