Mapping Privacy in Exurbia John Lang

Alternative Housing Typologies:

Analysis of the Design Process

John Lang

The intention of this thesis project was to investigate alternative housing typologies and urban design strategies that might respond to the ideals guiding middle landscape development yet with increased density.

This investigation proposed alternative dwelling typologies shaped by the ideology upon which the suburban model was formed. The intrinsic values of ownership, privacy, autonomy, security, and connection to nature are the essence for the suburban ideal. Utilizing the principles of New Urbanism as the framework, this proposal increased the density of current development patterns while introducing a dialogue between clearly defined boundaries and meaningful connection leading to a more cohesive fabric for dwelling.

Much of the invesigation involved a reflective analysis of Lang’s design process and how he, as a designer, makes decisions and determines whether our design strategies are successful or not. Through this thesis project Lang discovered that the determination of a set of guiding principles is critical as a basis by which design decisions can be evaluated. This iterative evaluation process defines the design process leading to a well informed outcome.

While there was no defined site for this project, Lang identifed and tested the thesis in Clarendon, Virginia. A post-War suburb of Washington, DC, Clarendon has varied public and private amenities, easy access to public transportation and could support a higher density of housing.