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Suburbia

S INBETWEEN THE LINE s

By: Sean Roger

My topic, Suburbia, is one that has quite a bit more history than I thought. While in most parts of the world it serves as a secondary population to urban population, it’s much different in the US. In the US, it is estimated that the majority of the population lives in the suburbs, as opposed to urban areas. This

strange inversion has led to numerous inventions and markets

that were created solely for the suburbs. Supermarket, Mall, and Landscaping industries were all created to serve the suburban population. This new demographic would usually travel to urban areas every day to work, and then travel back home to eat and sleep. This increased amount of traffic led to the creation of more efficient travel routes, as well as improvements to trains.


My topic, Suburbia, is one that has quite a bit more history than I thought. While in most parts of the world it serves as a secondary population to urban population, it’s much different in the US. In the US, it is estimated that the majority of the population lives in the suburbs, as opposed to urban areas. This strange inversion has led to numerous inventions and markets that were created solely for the suburbs. Supermarket, Mall, and Landscaping industries were all created to serve the suburban population. This new demographic would usually travel to urban areas every day to work, and then travel back home to eat and sleep. This increased amount of traffic led to the creation of more efficient travel routes, as well as improvements to trains.


“Suburbia” lacked the fields of rural areas to grow their own food, or the large collection of

new industries had to be created. Supermarkets rerestaurants available in cities, so

placed individual fresh markets, collecting all the stores that “suburbanites” needed to visit into one place. Individual stores followed the same “condensing” model, and were collected into malls that could be built closer to the suburbs where it would be more convenient and there would be more land to use. Yards that were too small to fit crops found cosmetic uses, as an industry

specifically designed to make yards more aesthetically pleasing was created. The use of negative space is far more important in the suburbs than in the city. Placements of tables, cabinets, tv’s, and other furniture hold far more importance than in the city, where extra space is harder to come by. The Suburbs have always been char-

unique utilization of space. acterized

by

a

Every piece of furniture, as well as the negative spaces around them, seem to follow an “invisible grid” system. Garden arrange-

ments, window placement, even outdoor tables seem to interact in a unique way with the objects and environment around them. Space is not sparse, but it is also not


too abundant. This unique amount of space has lead to some equaly unique utilizations of space. Often, architecture in the suburbs is remarkably clean and spacious, especially for the lack of larger incomes. These spacious layouts seem to follow an

“invisible grid” at times,

rarely having too many pieces of furniture occupy the same space. Instead, eerything from furtiture to windows to doorbells to tables are given ample room to “extend”. The shapes of these objects interact with one another, without clashing or interrupting eachother. This “middle” amount of


space allows for architecture and layout to be determined not by necessity, but by

a

small amount of frivolity. Lawn decorations, Bird

Feeders, coffee tables, these things are used to creatively utilize space, but are far from necessary. When a room is arranged with a large amount of empty space, the room is not referred to as “wasted,” but “open.” It takes far more pieces of furniture to cause a room to feel “cluttered” in the suburbs than it would in an apartment in the city, for example. TV screens can be larger, chairs can have footrests, every couch can have a table, every room can have multiple sources of light. Roads can fit more than two cars across, sidewalks become wider, lawns can have gardens. The design opportunities suddenly multiply exponentially, all due to an amount of space that is

“just enough.”

Suburbia  

Inbetween the Lines

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