Geography of Home: Writings on Where We Live

Geography of Home: Writings on Where We Live

by Akiko Busch, Princeton Architectural Press
     
 

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Geography of Home has been hailed as "an appealing, insightful collection of musings on the architecture, psychology, and history of house and home in America" (Kirkus). Now available in paperback, Geography of Home reminds us that 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…  See more details below

Overview

Geography of Home has been hailed as "an appealing, insightful collection of musings on the architecture, psychology, and history of house and home in America" (Kirkus). Now available in paperback, Geography of Home reminds us that 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 reflects our attitudes toward society, culture, the environment, and our neighbors.

In a literary tour of the spaces of our homes, noted design essayist Akiko Busch reflects on how we define such elusive qualities as privacy, security, and comfort. Part social history, part architectural history, part personal anecdote, this rich and delightful book uncovers the hidden meanings of the place we call home.

Editorial Reviews

Pool & Spa Living
"With her light touch, Busch--at once learned and unpretentious--takes you through a tour of homes and homemaking that is rich in history and sumptuously detailed. 'Dining Room' tells, among other things, of how table knives lost their pointed ends when Louis XIV decided that the table was no place for dueling. Henceforth all knife-ends were to be rounded and a great leap was made, if not for mankind, then for manners...No corner of the home or habit of the mind goes neglected here; reading this, you will look on your house--from its public face, the front door, to the inner sanctum of the well-appointed bathroom--with new eyes."
Residential Architect
"This small, richly written tome evokes all the pathos and pleasure of designing and living in a house-and it does so in a highly enjoyable, almost novelistic style."

Geography of Home is both elegant and funny, philosophical and thoroughly absorbing. Busch coaxed meaning and intrigue out of the front door, laundry room, and other humble elements of a house. She makes us realize afresh the fascinating and complex lessons contained in a home.—October 15th, 1999

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 porches—until after WWII an integral part of every home, a place where people shared news and gossip—have 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 "neighborhood's 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 theinhabitant's personality. Kitchens, ironically, have expanded, as homeowners find the work done there—from preparing food to eating—a necessary relief from technology and mechanization. This cozy book provides provocative and intelligent insights that land close to home.

From the Publisher
Akiko Busch doesn't so much look at houses as cock her head and listen to them. What she hears is the rustle of humanity within their all-too-mortal frames. House and Garden, June 1999

With her light touch, Busch—at once learned and unpretentious—takes you through a tour of homes and homemaking that is rich in history and sumptuously detailed. 'Dining Room' tells, among other things, of how table knives lost their pointed ends when Louis XIV decided that the table was no place for dueling. Henceforth all knife-ends were to be rounded and a great leap was made, if not for mankind, then for manners...No corner of the home or habit of the mind goes neglected here; reading this, you will look on your house—from its public face, the front door, to the inner sanctum of the well-appointed bathroom—with new eyes. Dana Goodyear, Pool & Spa Living, August 1999

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781568984292
Publisher:
Princeton Architectural Press
Publication date:
07/28/2003
Pages:
166
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
13 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Akiko Busch is a contributing editor at Metropolis.

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