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Is there a “Right” Way to Live in a Home?: Re-seeing the American House

Co-sponsored by the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU.

The single family detached house with a manicured front lawn is synonymous with the US American domestic landscape. Maintaining a perfectly mowed lawn became the suburban code of conduct and a status symbol. For the Chinese casino workers living in the suburban Connecticut neighborhood adjacent to Mohegan Sun, these front lawns have become places to grow vegetables, socialize, park cars, hang laundry, and even dry fish. Guest curator of SUB URBANISMS: Casino Urbanization, Chinatowns, and the Contested American Landscape, Stephen Fan, unpacks the origins and implications of these interventions to the suburban single family house and what they mean to our prevailing norms of beauty, order, and socio-cultural ideals of home.

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Stephen Fan is an adjunct professor in the Art History and Architectural Studies Department at Connecticut College. Working at the intersections of art, architecture, history, design, and planning, he has built projects on four continents, and worked at accomplished architectural firms in the U.S. and Japan, constructed low-cost housing in Bolivia and Kenya, and served as a Community Service Fellow at the Boston Redevelopment Authority. More recently, he collaborated with local citizens on a design/build project and grassroots planning strategy for a Japanese community devastated by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Fan holds a Master in Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and a Bachelor of Arts in History of Art and Architecture and Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard College. He grew up in Southeastern Connecticut.

 

Image Credit: Ranch home in Montville, CT. Photograph by Stephen Fan. Courtesy of Stephen Fan.

Organizer: Museum of Chinese in America
Venue: Museum of Chinese in America
Address:
215 Centre Street
New York, 10013 United States
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