Monster Home | 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

Exhibition Photos

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

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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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Monster Home


An extremely large new house built in a neighborhood of smaller homes.

Monster homes typically come into being as “teardowns,” a term that describes the process of demolishing an existing, functional house and replacing it with a larger, more expensive home. In recent years, cities have begun to enact legislation that restricts the size of new homes in older neighborhoods. Some of these laws take the form of limiting new buildings to a certain percentage of its lot size.

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), in 1950 an average new house was 963 square feet and in 1970 it was 1,500 square feet. The 2005 average was 2,400 square feet, with one in five having more than 3,000 square feet. However, since 1971 average household size has shrunk from 3.1 people to 2.6 people in 2005. The average lot size also contracted from 9,000 square feet in the 1980s to 8,000 in 2005.1 Thus, the trend points to bigger houses being constructed for fewer people on smaller plots of land.

See also: Edifice rex, McMansion, starter castle, tract mansion.


1 Les Christie, “Die, die, monster home!,” (August 18, 2005). (↑)


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