Title page for ETD etd-06272007-131848

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Weissberger, David
URN etd-06272007-131848
Title Economie House
Degree Master of Architecture
Department Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Galloway, William U. Committee Chair
Jones, James R. Committee Member
Rott, Hans Christian Committee Member
  • cube
  • house
  • economy
  • chrematistics
Date of Defense 2007-05-07
Availability unrestricted
This thesis inquires into the nature of economy and its connection with the architecture of the house. Economy is a slippery term. In its original sense, the word had more to do with philosophy than finance. It raised issues of necessity, hierarchy, government, and happiness. Aristotle distinguished chrematistics, the art of getting wealth, from economy, the art of household management.Vitruvius, the first architectural theorist, offered a differing interpretation of the word, and included it as one of his six principles of architecture. Henry David Thoreau revisited Aristotle’s ideas and invented a new, solitary economy. Both he and Aristotle emphasized that the purpose of economy is to meet material needs with sufficiency rather than surfeit. Economie House explores these ideas architecturally. On an imaginary site a perfect red cube sits on a concrete platform. Steel frames support a translucent, gabled roof. The cube opens in various ways to reveal the machines that serve man’s biological needs. Closed, the cube suggests the limits of material goods as contributions to the good life.

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