Atlas of Another America_

Another America

©Park Books

An architectural satire—presented in the style of a historical treatise—that imagines an alternative future for the American single-family house and its native habitat, the suburban metropolis.

Keith Krumwiede
Atlas of Another America
An Architectural Fiction
With an afterword by Albert Pope

Owning a home is a cornerstone of the American Dream, the ultimate status symbol in the land of the free. But is the dream in crisis? Mass-marketed and endlessly multiplied, the suburban single-family house has become an instrument of global economic calamity and ongoing environmental catastrophe. Never before have we been so badly in need of a reassessment of our cultural values from an architectural perspective.

With Atlas of Another America, Keith Krumwiede has written a bold and original work of speculative architectural fiction that calls on Americans—and, increasingly, the rest of the world—to seriously reconsider the concept of the single-family home. Presented in the style of a historical architectural treatise comprised of over 150 drawings and images, Krumwiede’s “Freedomland” is a fictional utopia of communal superhomes constructed from the remains of the suburban metropolis. Freedomland’s strangely familiar visions draw on a long lineage of social and architectural thought—from Owen and Fourier to Ledoux, Branzi, and Koolhaas—in which imaginary but not entirely implausible worlds are envisioned in order to reframe reality and direct us toward new territories of action. An appendix collects five essays pertinent to the origins of Freedomland. Among them, “Atypical Plans,” a redacted and reconstructed spin on Rem Koolhaas’s landmark text “Typical Plan,” reflects upon the American Dream, houses, and the Great Recession; “Supermodel Homes” examines the mad genius of Texas developer David Weekley; and « Notes on Freedomland » assembles an account of domestic desires, communal cravings, and architectural ambitions. The book closes with the short story “New Homes for America” in which a young architect, working under the pressure of a deadline, produces new forms for communal living. In his afterword, Albert Pope writes that “the power of Freedomland stems directly from the fact that we routinely fail to see ourselves in the cities that we make,” and goes on to describe the project as “the most highly charged political document to come from within the discipline since the late 1960s.”

With this book, Keith Krumwiede introduces his satirical concept of “Freedomland” which he had already showcased in a number of exhibitions. In 2014, Matt Roman (archpaper.com) wrote about the exhibition at Princeton University School of Architecture: “Keith Krumwiede’s “Freedomland”, an exhibition of architectural misfits, suburban follies, and developer nightmares, defies easy categorization. The pulse of the work is strong, its intention clear: to satirize the cringe-worthy packaging and wholesaling of a particular strain of the American dream of mass-produced, individualized suburban living by Toll Brothers and others through a series of reconfigured catalogue house plans.” Citylab.com commented on the exhibition at Woodbury University’s Hollywood Gallery in 2012: “Is the Most Absurd Community the One That Tries to Please Everyone? [ ..] a modern-day, tongue-in-cheek take on Thomas Jefferson’s ideas about a rural democratic society of citizen farmers.”
ISBN 978-3-03860-002-2

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