Brendan Carroll

Document Type

Thesis, Senior




Spring 5-2023


suburbia, affordable housing, suburban, Morristown




Architectural Technology | Architecture | Environmental Design | Urban, Community and Regional Planning


What does the future of suburbia look like? For much of its history suburbia marketed itself as a pillar of the American dream. While it could be argued that for many years owning a single-family home was an obtainable goal for most Americans, this is far from the case today. Suburbia has shifted from the housing type advertised for the masses to a housing type only obtainable by a fraction of Americans. Suburbia and the housing units within it do not match the social, economic, or environmental needs of today's society.

As the demand for suburban living remains at all-time highs, there is a need for a new suburbia that fits for the need of today's society rather than that of the 1970s. Suburbia needs to begin to densify to reduce its massive per-resident carbon footprint when compared to that of cities. This need to densify give designers an opportunity to decide what a new suburbia could look like. A suburbia with informal rentals such as Airbnb at the forefront of design, as a way to supplement income to make home ownership affordable, will continue to climb. This new suburbia must focus mainly on small units. When suburbia gain popularity after World War II, it made sense to focus on families since they were the most rapidly growing household type. Today a similar focus is needed for homeowners living alone, as they account for just over 35% of households yet are almost entirely ignored in current suburban design. Morristown, NJ is the chosen location for the design test, as it very closely represents many U.S. suburbs. While this new suburbia has a site for the sake of research and climate specialization, it strives to be an example of the evolution suburban towns must undergo to remain an integral part of society and culture, which they have been for much of the last century.

Additional Information

Thesis Group: Afterlives: Generative Built Ecologies

Advisors: Bess Krietemeyer, Daekwon Park, Nina Sharifi, Yutaka Sho



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.