Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date



Architecture is the unavoidable art form.It permeates everyday life and wholly shapes lifestyle; it reflects culture and location as well as the economic power of a region. At its core, architecture is a testament to its surroundings, its design naturally requiring a series of decisions regarding space, form, and use – decisions born within a crucial and telling social context, decisions that quickly reveal the social climate of an era. Indisputably, architecture serves as a lens through which scholars can peer into a time past.

In the course of this thesis, I will examine how the designs of half a dozen residential complexes, built in the United States within the last one hundred years, are influenced during construction or creation by external factors (pre-existing phenomena) and the ability of these designs to provide a framework for neighborly relations and community development. I will reference – as a secondary basis for study – the economic and environmental factors related to the development of these six residential projects, focusing largely on the spatial layouts and design elements that contribute to each project’s ultimate success or failure. I will prove that the most successful neighborhood developments share three key elements: a conscientious regard for the experience of the individual, an attempt to address pressing financial concerns in tandem with the resident’s connection to nature, and a harmonious balance between public and private space.



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