Term Paper Assignment:
Understanding the American Home.
In this paper, you are asked to select, for study and analysis, a work of residential architecture that you know well, or that you can access in person. It can be an apartment building, a dormitory, or a private house, but you should be sure that you can obtain access to the interior before making your selection. You might wish to examine and discuss your family home. If you choose to write about the home in which you were raised, as long as you can provide images and visit it for the purposes of the assignment, that is acceptable, but it’s always a good idea to clear it with your T.A. first.
In order to do your research, you will be expected to visit the building, to take notes, make sketches and perhaps take a few reference photos. Naturally, if you live in the building, this will be easy. The building need not have been designed by a known architect. But you should be prepared to consider how your subject relates to other buildings that you have studied in class, in your readings, sections or lecture. While this is not a research paper, you will be expected to refer to appropriate sources that you have already read, when relevant, and to cite them properly.
The paper will consist of a short essay that considers your subject from one of the following perspectives. Your essay must be organized as a coherent argument, structured in order to support a central thesis. The thesis must be stated clearly within the first paragraph of the paper. If the paper does not fulfill this requirement, it will not be possible for it to be awarded an A grade.
a) Materials and building technology. How was the building constructed? What materials were used, and how were they deployed? Were the building methods typical or unusual? If novel materials or building methods were used, did the architect have to adjust the design in order to accommodate those methods? How does this...