Kerrie Butts

Kerrie Butts

Chicago, IL, US



Project: Urban Dwelling for Battered Women and Children- Best Thesis Award
Thesis-Master of Architecture
University of Lousiana-Lafayette, Advisor: Michael McClure
Site: North End, Boston
Spring 2004

The investigation of transitional housing and childcare issues is a means to study modes of collective living, while addressing larger urban issues and the scar created on the urban fabric of Greater Boston by the Central Artery Corridor.

“But what is domesticity in a postmodern society? Is it within the realm of collective housing or within the realm of the private house that this concept will find a new definition? The dilemma of finding the proper, formal architectural response to this fundamental challenge of domesticity as social program still needs to be explored.” -Hermanuz, Ghislaine. “Housing for a Postmodern World"

Social change and the blurring of gender roles justify the investigation of the changing image of home and of the family ideal in current American society. Inconsistencies between home as an ideal and as a lived experience affect how an individual in conflictual surroundings defines home. The goal of this investigation is to confront conventional attitudes towards housing, in order to create a nurturing and safe environment for women and children removing themselves from conflictive and dangerous situations, as well as for community empowerment.
Domesticity is redefined in terms of a collective urban environment, in order to examine the spatial and architectural implications of a departure from traditional forms of domesticity and the family ideal. Within the social unit produced by a shared domestic experience, conflicts such as the relationship of adult to child and individual to community become a way of studying the multifaceted and contradictive essence of the human interaction contained by architecture at the level of the everyday. Embracing diversity among individuals fosters the promotion of a collaborative alliance and strengthens community. Promoting diversity also serves as a tactic to strengthen architecture and urban design investigations.

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Status: Unbuilt
Location: Boston, MA, US