Geography of Home: Writings on Where We Live

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9781568981727: Geography of Home: Writings on Where We Live
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The house is home to many things. Far more than four walls and a roof, it contains our private and public lives, our families, our memories and aspirations, and it reflects our attitudes toward society, culture, the environment, and our neighbors. ?In a literary tour of the spaces of our homes, Geography of Home reflects on how we define such elusive qualities as privacy, security, and comfort. Part social history, part architectural history, part personal anecdote, this rich book uncovers the hidden meanings of seemingly simple domestic spaces, in chapters ranging from "The Front Door" and "The Porch" to "The Library," "The Kitchen," "The Bedroom," "The Bathroom," and "The Garage," among others.
These writings about the home touch on our culture's fundamental issues: the notion of family, the aging of the population, working at home, and respect for the environment. Together, these eloquent essays help us understand not only what home means for each of us, but how our idea of home shapes our place in the world. As Busch writes, "There are times when our homes express infinite possibilities, when they reflect who we are and what we might be."

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About the Author:

Akiko Busch has written about architecture and design for publications such as Graphis, Metropolis, House & Garden, and I.D. Magazine.

From Kirkus Reviews:

An appealing, insightful collection of musings on the architecture, psychology, and history of house and home in America. Busch, a contributing editor at Metropolis magazine, has assembled 14 essays originally published there. Analyzing the domestic spaces that compose the American home, she offers fascinating insights into the changing conditions and circumstances of our habitats. The front door, for example, in her view has become almost obsolete, not only because we use the door closest to the driveway, but because ``it represents a formality for which we have little use in an age when informality and casualness provide comfort.'' As we have come to increasingly view our home as a private sanctuary providing respite from a chaotic and menacing world, states Busch, we tend to avoid the door that is closest to the public, though we continue to build houses with front doors. Front porchesuntil after WWII an integral part of every home, a place where people shared news and gossiphave also become somewhat an anachronism, the author believes. People get their news elsewhere and are wary about exposing themselves to the fumes of passing cars. In urban environments, front stoops that once served as a ``neighborhoods outdoor living room'' are avoided for fear of aimless violence. But the importance of other architectural spaces has grown. Closet space is now regarded as a priority because, suggests Busch, ``as we become a more transient society, we tend to define home by the accumulation of possessions as much as by place.'' In other words, the more tenuously we view our daily existence, the more fervently we pile up things. Living rooms are now often decorated according to the inhabitants personality. Kitchens, ironically, have expanded, as homeowners find the work done therefrom preparing food to eatinga necessary relief from technology and mechanization. This cozy book provides provocative and intelligent insights that land close to home. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Busch, Akiko
Published by Princeton Architectural Press (1999)
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