Cover image for Geography of home : writings on where we live
Geography of home : writings on where we live
Busch, Akiko.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Princeton Architectural Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
163 pages ; 19 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NK2113 .B87 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



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 aspirations, and it reflects our attitudes toward society, culture, the environment, and our neighbors. In a literary tour of the spaces of our homes, Geography of Home reflects on how we define such elusive qualities as privacy, security, and comfort. Part social history, part architectural history, part personal anecdote, this rich book uncovers the hidden meanings of seemingly simple domestic spaces, in chapters ranging from "The Front Door" and "The Porch" to "The Library," "The Kitchen," "The Bedroom," "The Bathroom," and "The Garage," among others.
These writings about the home touch on our culture's fundamental issues: the notion of family, the aging of the population, working at home, and respect for the environment. Together, these eloquent essays help us understand not only what home means for each of us, but how our idea of home shapes our place in the world. As Busch writes, "There are times when our homes express infinite possibilities, when they reflect who we are and what we might be."

Author Notes

Akiko Busch is a contributing editor at Metropolis.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Two new engaging architectural studies examine why we're drawn to living in certain places. Busch, a writer for House and Garden and Metropolis, offers a meditative, fascinating tour of the home. Her book explores our emotional attachments to a house's elements, and the way our relationships to rooms have changed with time and technology. Each chapter opens a door to interesting insights: the kitchen, Busch writes, signifies "the possibility of transformation . . . the place in the house where the ordinary becomes extraordinary." She calls a set dining room table "an act of courage" performed to satisfy "an appetite for order" over nature. The formal library, she notes, is nearly extinct in U.S. homes yet was recently identified in a magazine survey as the most wished-for room. (Second in ranking was the exercise room.) What does all this tell us about ourselves? Busch's thoughtful and personal work will be of interest to readers deeply attached to the place they call home. Hildebrand's book is more challenging for the non-architect than Busch's but just as rewarding. A professor of architecture at the University of Washington, Seattle, and the author of a respected study of Frank Lloyd Wright, Hildebrand suggests that our personal responses to architecture originate in the innate behaviors of our ancestors. So that the layreader might describe, evaluate, and select satisfying spaces in which to live and work--and for architects to use in design--Hildebrand's book presents practical criteria that help us understand our emotional reaction to a space: refuge and prospect (view), enticement and peril, order and complexity. These terms take on valuable meaning by way of the author's excellent examples and the 125 black-and-white photographs that keep the reader on track. A worthwhile, intelligent guide for all architecture lovers. --James Klise