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Geography of Home: Writings on Where We Live

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  79 Ratings  ·  21 Reviews
Geography of Home has been hailed as "an appealing, insightful collection of musings on the architecture, psychology, and history of house and home in America" (Kirkus). Now available in paperback, Geography of Home reminds us that the house is home to many things. Far more than four walls and a roof, it contains our private and public lives, our families, our memories and ...more
Paperback, 164 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Princeton Architectural Press (first published 1999)
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Jan 07, 2015 Kristine rated it liked it
I might have liked this much better if I hadn’t loved Architecture of happiness so fully – this was published in 1999 and seemed impossibly dated, for one. Also the author was too fond of “we” – “we live our lives in X Y Z mode …” Well, you and your tapeworm, or who? And too many clichés. An excellent idea with some fine prose and worthwhile insights here and there – 33: “Isn’t there an enormous difference between something that is never used and something that is useless? And if something, like ...more
Jean Grant
Nov 17, 2011 Jean Grant rated it it was amazing
Ease and simplicity. No bright new revelations, more like a summer's afternoon in the porch swing. Such beautiful writing:

"The library is a rom that contains human wisdom. Call it a room that reflects our relationship iwth knowledge. Because knowledge is like anything else—when you love it, you want to do somthing for it. Sometimes you want to build it a beautiful room, which is exactly what the English did, with steadfast elegance, for centuries."

Juli Anna
Jan 18, 2014 Juli Anna rated it liked it
The hardest part of reading this book was the recognition that Busch is discussing something I care about so deeply--in such a way that doesn't make me care more. Although I enjoyed this book topically, I was couldn't figure out what point she was trying to make by writing about the home in such a way. It helped pass several subway rides pleasantly, but was not a revelation.
Nov 03, 2015 Julia rated it liked it
Pleasant read; some insightful psychological connections to the American home and its evolution. The author's perspective is narrow, omitting a myriad of home arrangements and living quarters of Americans, which makes the book trite. Dated references to technology and appliances spoil the timeless topic of this book.
Bob Peterson
Jan 06, 2015 Bob Peterson rated it liked it
Interesting book idea, taking each room of the house and evoking thoughts and feelings about it. Made me think about houses I have lived in and the associations I have with various rooms. Good for reflection.
Liz VanDerwerken
May 28, 2012 Liz VanDerwerken rated it it was amazing
This book essentially said everything I believe and feel about design, not only about what design is and what it is not, but how design relates to our lives and the ways we inhabit a space. Love love love.
Ali Rowan
Jan 31, 2014 Ali Rowan rated it really liked it
While it dates itself a little at times (did you know that the VCR has come to take on a central role in our domestic lives?), this book makes so many thoughtful and astute observations on our homes—things we never really think about because we're exposed to them to the point of neutrality.
Feb 12, 2012 Annett rated it really liked it
A nice and light read, insightful for those not too familiar with "the American Home". Akiko Bush touches on every room in a (traditional) home and relates her ideas and thoughts in a conversational tone that makes it a fun and quick read.
Feb 23, 2007 lilly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: design types, culture vultures
Short, sweet well organized cultural history of different parts of the American home. For example, did you know the laundry used to be thought of as a den of sin or that the modern architects tried to do away with closets?
Nice short essays - one on each room of the traditional American home. Not much rigor, the author too blinded by nostalgia, just some nice light semiotic readings.
Jan 13, 2014 Katie rated it liked it
a gentle, easy read that reflects on the history of various rooms we inhabit (in developed, Western countries)
Marion Simmons
Dec 29, 2011 Marion Simmons rated it liked it
The was a very interesting book to read which talks about how the purposes of a house changed over time.
Oct 15, 2010 Bray rated it really liked it
nice little series of essays collected from a regular column in Metropolis magazine about our homes and sense of place.
Sep 12, 2015 Rose rated it it was amazing
I found this book deeply interesting and accessible. I didn't have to work hard to read it which gave me space to enjoy the beautiful imagery and engaging writing style.
Jun 19, 2012 Paul rated it really liked it
Nice little collection of essays om the history and culture behind the different rooms in a typical American home circa 1995. Some of it is a little dated but overall it is a very nice read.
Dec 02, 2014 Mammacass1731 rated it really liked it
I loved it! Like a breath of fresh air. This was a reminder of a simpler life. And I am all for that! Especially the chapter on Closets. I will now be more aware of what I am shoving into them.
Kristina Gibson
Dec 12, 2012 Kristina Gibson rated it liked it
A nice little set of essays on the spaces of the home. I think I was hoping for something a little deeper though.
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Akiko Busch has written about design and culture since 1979. She is the author of Geography of Home: Writings on Where We Live and The Uncommon Life of Common Objects: Essays on Design an the Everyday. Her most recent book of essays, Nine Ways to Cross a River, a collection of essays about swimming across American Rivers, was published in 2007 by Bloomsbury/USA. She was a contributing editor at ...more
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“Although it may be unused, the front door continues to appeal to our sense arrival. Call it the ceremony of coming home.” 2 likes
“Yet though Americans have been driving up to their houses for decades and entering through backdoors, side doors, kitchen doors, and especially doors through garages, architects keep designing houses with ceremonial front doors that are nowhere near any car or driveway.” 0 likes
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