Cluster | Worlds Away

Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes


Walker Art Center,
February 16 - August 17, 2008

Carnegie Museum of Art,
October 4, 2008 - January 18, 2009

Yale School of Architecture
March 2 - May 10, 2009

Because suburbia occupies a dominant presence in so many lives—a place of not only residence but also of work, commerce, worship, education, and leisure—it has become a focal point for competing interests and viewpoints. The suburbs have always been a fertile space for imagining both the best and the worst of modern social life. more

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Related Events


Drawn Here: Sean Griffiths of FAT
Target Free Thursday Nights
Thursday, March 6 7:00 pm

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Free First Saturday
Saturday, April 5 10:00 am to 3:00 pm


Next Exit: The Shifting Landscape of Suburbia
Target Free Thursday Nights
Thursday, April 24 7:00 pm

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All essays are originally from the companion book for this exhibition, Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes. Some essays appear in excerpted form where noted.

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We asked people to make a video telling us about the suburbs and put it on YouTube. Selected videos are showing in the gallery at the Walker Art Center during the run of the exhibition.

Selected Videos

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Original Submission Call

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Do you live in a suburb? Do you work or go to school in one? What is your experience of the “burbs? ”…

Whether you love them or hate them we’re interested in your thoughts on the phenomenon of the American suburb. We invite you to make a 5-minute video about strip malls, cul-de-sacs, office parks, and green lawns or whatever suburbia means to you. A select number of videos will be chosen to screen as part of the exhibition Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes in the Target Gallery from February 15 to May 18, 2008.

To participate, upload your video to YouTube and add the tag “walkerworldsaway” or post it as a response to our video above. We’ll feature all videos on the Walker’s YouTube page. To be considered for gallery screening, entries must be 5 minutes or less and be online by January 18, 2008.

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1.  cluster subdivision

A traditional form of suburban development that groups together similar houses sold at similar prices to families that purchase similar types of household goods, which results in geographic divisions between socio-economic classes.1

2.  cluster zoning

A type of development that increases the overall density of housing by reducing each home’s lot size, which in turn leaves large areas of open space to be used for parks, preservation of environmentally sensitive areas, or agriculture. In addition to being a more ecologically sound alternative to a traditional development, cluster zoning reduces construction and maintenance costs by having shorter streets and utility lines.

For types of development that promote smart growth see adaptive reuse, compact land use, infill, mixed-use development, and urban growth boundary?.

3.  clustered world

Refers to the findings of marketer Michael J. Weiss, who divided the U.S. into 40 marketing clusters that take their names from residential stereotypes in The Clustering of America2 and The Clustered World : How We Live, What We Buy, and What It All Means About Who We Are.3 Weiss’s data is based primarily on the research done by Claritas.

See also Claritas, SOHO.

4.  fast food cluster

A collection of fast food restaurants in a small geographic area.


1 Dolores Hayden, with aerial photographs by Jim Ward. A Field Guide to Sprawl. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2004: 32. (↑)

2 Michael J. Weiss. The Clustering of America. New York: Harper & Row, 1988. (↑)

3 Weiss. The Clustered World : How We Live, What We Buy, and What It All Means About Who We Are. London: Little, Brown, & Co., 2000. (↑)


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