The article under consideration is entitled “The Eichler Home: Intention and Experience in Postwar Suburbia.” It was written by Annmarie Adams and published in the journal called Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture in 1995. In the article, the author compares the architecture’s vision of Eichler houses’ functioning and the actual use of such a house by the Clarkson family (Adams, 1995). Initially, the Eichler house was designed in a way that a mother could watch her children while staying in the kitchen (Adams, 1995). For this purpose, the home had a large multipurpose room, an atrium, and window walls.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
However, in real life, the multipurpose room was divided into two sections representing a separate kitchen and a dining room. Furthermore, the hostess of the house did not watch her children all the time since they sought privacy (Adams, 1995). In this article, the author is trying to make a point that the prescribed use of houses may significantly differ from their actual use. Therefore, to understand individuals’ experiences related to the given form of architecture, it is necessary to explore the exploitation of houses in real life instead of relying on literature.
It was interesting to learn that the Eichler house was intended to satisfy the needs of mothers. However, what surprised me the most is that Friedan considered such a home “a comfortable concentration camp” (as cited in Adams, 1995, p. 164). In my opinion, it is a rough comparison since the author proved that women were not shut up in their houses with high fences; rather, they communicated with other homemakers (Adams, 1995). Moreover, I cannot imagine that a person may feel at home like in a concentration camp.
After reading the article, I was wondering why the designers of Eichler homes did not do some research on the traditional lifestyle and needs of American families. Since they did not do it, their prescriptions misaligned with the actual use of their houses. I also noticed that the modification of Eichler homes made them look more like traditional houses. Therefore, my second question is as follows: do you think that it was a reasonable decision to design homes that differ greatly from a traditional dwelling?
Adams, A. (1995). The Eichler home: Intention and experience in postwar suburbia. Perspectives in Vernacular Architecture, 5, 164-178.