Popular American Housing: A Reference Guide

Front Cover
Ruth S. Brent, Benyamin Schwarz
Greenwood Press, Jan 1, 1995 - Architecture - 248 pages
1 Review
The book begins with a discussion of vernacular housing and American culture and makes the case that dwellings reflect the people of different regions, materials, techniques, and design traditions of an earlier time. The history of American housing is reviewed with biographies and bibliographies, setting the stage for the environmental and social science perspective of housing. Residential environments are then considered in the broad sense of home and housing. Neighborhood and community are examined with a special focus on people, behavior, and the physical setting. The arts and popular media chapter presents American popular housing as image and icon, focusing on the arts and popular media as "channels" of visual and symbolic information or communication. These channels include painting, prints, pattern books, photography, music, film, television and video, literature, "how-to" manuals, and newspapers and magazines. Taking a macro-level perspective, direct and indirect programs of public administration and policy for housing are discussed. Then, the complex systems of financing, and the prevalance and mechanisms for matching buyers with sellers is considered in the chapter that considers housing finance, marketing, economics and management. The chapter on environmental design, construction process, and technology reviews the professional disciplines and their perspectives on housing, special populations and accessibility needs, descriptions of building trades, terms, materials, construction processes and past industrial housing experiments, as well as issues of energy management, computer technology, futuristic housing, air quality and household hazards. Using current technology to conduct research, the final chapter breaks from the conventional ways of locating hard-copy, copyrighted references to a seemingly endless potential of electronic communication systems such as data tapes; on-line databases; other electronic databases; electronic mail; listserves, chat, and on-line communities; libraries; on-line electronic texts; software; and news and journals including electronic journals.

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About the author (1995)

Schwarz is an associate professor in the Department of Environmental Design at University of Missouri-Columbia.

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