Ideas of living

This is an issue about how domestic space organizes our surroundings and habits and values and bodies. It is also about convention: how norms became norms, and how design might gently or violently pull them apart to propose new ways of relating to ourselves and each other in our most intimate settings. It offers a few terms for discussing what can happen when architectural ideas come home.

Article 17 of 17

A constant search for architecture

Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample on a curious journey

At first glance, children’s books seem like the simplest things in the world. They are, after all, made for children. Their pages often seem casually organized, with a nonchalant and playful attitude. But the reality is the opposite: there is an incredible sophistication to the naïveté of children’s books. This is something, like most everything else, we have learned the hard way.

Drawing by MOS, from Houses for Sale (CCA/Corraini Edizioni, 2019), pages 2–3

Houses for Sale is our first and only children’s book. Some things in the book happened, based upon history or facts, and others are a part of our shared imagination. There are small quotes and references hidden throughout the book, waiting to be discovered. In this way, the story reflects both an endless childish curiosity and how we think about architecture, through historical reference, construction, material, social commentary, and humor. Hopefully the book is the beginning of a journey, looking at the world, and the buildings, around us. We started sketching out the book a few years ago, and hopefully each page feels like a blackboard or computer screen where things are temporarily gathered, floating, a place where everything feels active, unfinished, in progress.

Throughout its making, we treated this book as an architecture project; everything was considered and reconsidered, worked and reworked over and over again. With endless versions and variations stored away in our office somewhere, the book itself became a metaphor for the architectural discipline and its constant search for architecture.


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