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Archetype, hybrid, and prototype: modernism and House beautiful's small house competition, 1928-1942. (2007)

Advised by Patrick Lucas.


"Domestic architecture lagged behind commercial architecture in accepting new forms of architectural representations and styles, including Modernism. This thesis undertakes the initial question of when and how Modernism began to appear in domestic architecture. House Beautiful's Small House Competition serves as the primary evidence of residences built in America by professional architects for specific clients between the years of 1928 and 1942. By documenting the competition, the research also confronts the question, not simply of Modernism as an architectural form, but Modernism as an accepted means of representation for architects and critics, in the magazine, and the reception of their definition by House Beautiful readers. The thesis traces how the architectural process changes over time from one accepted form (archetype) to another (prototype), using Maxwell's "Two-Way Stretch" theory to uncover the changes. The research shows that, during the course of the competition, archetypes of traditional buildings yielded to hybrids that combined traditional architecture with Modern ideas."

View complete thesis at


College of Arts and Sciences
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