Student Life at the University at Buffalo's School of Architecture and Planning

  • anchor

    Master's Thesis - Making a Mark: Personal Customization in Suburban Housing

    Megan Basnak
    Apr 10, '13 1:29 PM EST

    Making a Mark: Personal Customization in Suburban Housing    
    Monica Groele
    M. Arch. Thesis
    University at Buffalo
    School of Architecture and Planning
    Committee: Dr. Korydon Smith and Dr. E. Sue Weidemann


    Since the end of the Second World War, the dominant form of housing in the United States has been the single-family detached dwelling in the suburbs. Such communities have been barraged by criticism for being aesthetically homogeneous and reinforcing of “traditional” family roles, behaviors, and values. Despite outside criticism, however, many residents describe positive experiences of living in these communities. Previous studies have found that the homogeneity and simplicity of the houses allows the residents to make improvements and customizations that address their own living styles, needs, and preferences.

    Building upon Jungian psychology and American studies theories, and using qualitative and quantitative methods, this thesis examines two Buffalo-area neighborhoods. The thesis explores the following questions:    

    - Who lives in standardized communities, why are they living there, and what are their perceptions of the neighborhoods they live in?                                                                             

    - How are standardized residential environments changed to accommodate varied and          changing family structures, needs, and preferences?                                                                  

    - What aspects contribute to or constrain the ability to customize a dwelling?    

    Information gathered from archival research, photographic analysis, and surveys are used to identify implications and potentials for residential designs that encourage customization and self-expression for a wide variety of user groups. The results of this research are meant to be the beginning of the reinsertion of architects into a previously neglected realm, to fill the role of facilitator of personal customization in housing.

    • 1 Comment

    • Oakhay

      This is very thoughtful project.

      Apr 12, 13 3:34 am  · 

      Block this user

      Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?


      This is your first comment on Archinect. Your comment will be visible once approved.

    • Back to Entry List...
  • ×Search in:

About this Blog

Learn more about the research and creative activities of our enterprising students and faculty. At the School of Architecture and Planning, we engage with our local and global communities to push the boundaries of our disciplines and innovate the professions of architecture and planning.

Affiliated with:

Authored by:

Other blogs affiliated with University at Buffalo:

Recent Entries