Cheap and Tasteful Dwellings
Design Competitions and the Convenient Interior
- Author(s): Jennings, Jan
- Imprint: Univ Tennessee Press
- Publication Date: 2005-09-01
- Status: Active
- Available in Hardcover - Cloth: Price $48.00 | Buy Now
In 1879, Carpentry and Building magazine launched its first house design competitionfor a cheap house. Forty-two competitions, eighty-six winning designs, and a slew of near winners and losers resulted in a body of work that offers an entire history of an architectural culture. The competitions represented a vital period of transition in delineating roles and responsibilities of architectural services and building trades. The contests helped to define the training, education, and values of “practical architects” and to solidify house-planning ideals. The lives and work of ordinary architects who competed in Carpentry and Building contests offer a reinterpretation of architectural professionalization in this time period.
Cheap and Tasteful Dwellings thoroughly explores the results of these competitions,conducted over a thirty-year period from 1879 to 1909. The book outlines the philosophy behind and procedures developed for running the competitions; looks at characteristics of the eighty-six winners of the competitions; examines the nature of architectural practices during the period; analyzes the winning competition designs; and provides biographical details of competition winners and losers.
A landmark book in architectural history, Cheap and Tasteful Dwellings makes a compelling case for the theory of convenient arrangement–its history, its role, its principles, its relationship to contemporary interior design education, and its meaning to American architecture. More importantly, the book explains the impact of Carpentry and Building‘s contests in furthering the tenets of convenient arrangement for house design. By using extensive material from the magazine, Jennings leaves little doubt as to how important this overlooked story is to the history of American architecture as a whole.