Sean Morgan

Document Type





Spring 5-2016


architecture, residential, mutant, transforming, uncreativity




Architectural Engineering | Architectural History and Criticism | Urban, Community and Regional Planning


A shift in residential patterns in American cities have fostered a breeding ground for mutant buildings. Owners split, manipulate, and expand their houses as they create idiosyncratic constructs of great visual and spatial complexity. Originally developed for a middle class population, single-family homes have become mixed-use or multi-family complexes thanks to the resourceful implementation of commercial materials.

This thesis aims to develop a new strategy for transforming the normative American house by using the conventions of platform frame construction. Variations will emerge from a set of design constraints, which—unlike that employed for typical houses—are based on data that disregards style and unified compositions. This process attempts to emulate the qualities of the mutated homes found in shrinking cities.

Because mutated homes result from a strange curation of everyday building materials and techniques, I elect to adopt uncreative design procedures. The idea of uncreativity stems from poet Kenneth Goldsmith’s uncreative writing, which involve the collection and manipulation of existing texts. With sources ranging from Shakespeare, newspaper articles, to YouTube comments, Goldsmith creates what he calls a “textual ecosystem.” He uses this ecosystem as a petri dish for his textual experiments. For Goldsmith, writing is not about authors producing new content but how they alter, manipulate, and arrange found texts to generate compelling, if unpredictable, results.

Borrowing from the spirit of uncreativity, this thesis developed processes for uncreative construction that use data such as average square footage per room, project cost, and percentage of siding material related to geographic regions collected from common house building organizations such as simplyadditions. com, the National Association of Home Builders, the National Association of Realtors, and the City of Syracuse Zoning Code. This information is codified into several textual ecosystems, such as a set of spreadsheets, or a construction manual composed of numeric poems, from which emerge layered arrangements and unexpected forms.


local input

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.