Open Art House: 8 Irreverent Projects to Reinvent Suburbia


In an age of serious reflection on a sobering housing market crash, these rather humorous home-as-art remakes take a lighter and more playful tone in tackling the question of what to do with the persistent present and future problem of suburban sprawl. At the same time, there are some seriously thought-provoking pieces even within the most absurd of these eight unique conceptual explorations.

Inspired by 1950s-era sentiments, the House Dress by L.E.F.T takes the idea of architectural garment to intimate extremes. A whole home is wrapped to create both privacy and public spectacle, complete with gaming and gambling inside (note: the house always wins).

The Block Pantry serves a “collective cupboards that encourages homeowners, tenants, and neighbors to trade goods for services.” If you don’t feel like cooking, you can pass along fresh produce from the grocery store and take hot, ready-to-eat meals in exchange.

Urban (and suburban) farms for individual families are hardly new, but what if whole backyards were extensively planted with crops like in this Bright Dawn Farm? And what if you could walk right up to a house’s window like you would a fast-food restaurant or parking-lot coffee shack to pay for what you want?

Rampant fears of foreclosure and underwater mortgages have many worried not just about a single home here or there, but a Detroit-style exodus of entire neighborhoods and ways of life – hence the Domesticity Museum to capture and preserve this history for future generations.

Other projects from this Droog-directed (and Diller Scofidio + Renfro-orchestrated) theater of bizarre Open Houses include a home in which to practice vacations before picking destinations, another that features free lectures for public education and a Monty-Python inspired place where you can pay for some much-needed attention. (Images via Droog, CollabCubed and Rocco S. Cetera)

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