Degree Type

Honors Capstone Project

Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2014

Capstone Advisor

Jonathan Massey

Honors Reader

Not Listed

Capstone Major


Capstone College


Audio/Visual Component


Audio/Visual Location

Honors Library Drawer

Capstone Prize Winner


Won Capstone Funding


Honors Categories


Subject Categories

Architecture | Historic Preservation and Conservation | Other Architecture | Urban, Community and Regional Planning


I posit that an architecture of collective cultural spaces, shared human and animal habitat, and affordable local building techniques, implemented through the design of a co-housing community, would promote a collaborative and communal way of life in harmony with the natural landscape and offer a model for the future development of former agricultural and suburban sites in a manner preferable to the current practices of the American suburb. This project is concerned with redefining the way that people in the United States will occupy rural landscapes in the future. The site for this new co-housing model is a field outside of Rome, New York in the year 2041, when, due to resource scarcity, suburbanites must rely on public or mechanical transportation, build with local or recycled materials, and live at more modest standards of comfort. The Rome Co-house emphasizes the psychological and cultural necessity of community, whether in cities or the countryside, and engages with the idea of a decline in human dominance and comfort as we face a future of limited resources. The new communal type, in its future setting, stands in stark contrast to today’s suburbs and emphasizes key differences in perspective on community, the natural environment, comfort, and technology between today and the project’s future site. In this hypothetical future, the automobile has been replaced by a system of bicycles, buses, and trains. As in the past, before the widespread use of heating and cooling systems, people in this future of scarce resources are accustomed to less thermal comfort. Some thermal comfort is achieved through passive solar and ventilation strategies. The construction materials used are recycled and repurposed from the ruins of suburban commercial subdivisions and the construction techniques rely on local labor as opposed to industrial processes. Much as George Orwell wrote 1984 as a critique of 1948, this project treats 2041 as a hypothetical year in which to place a parable. This future society is not intended as a literal prediction, but rather as a critical comment on contemporary society.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.



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