Atlas of Another America
An Architectural Fiction
An architectural satire—presented in the style of an historical treatise—that imagines an alternative future for the American single-family house and its native habitat, the suburban metropolis.
1st edition, 2016
272 pages, 354 color and 168 b/w illustrations
24 x 32.5 cm
Owning a home is a cornerstone of the American Dream, the ultimate status symbol in the land of the free. But is the dream in crisis? Mass-marketed and endlessly multiplied, the suburban single-family house has become an instrument of global economic calamity and ongoing environmental catastrophe. Never before have we been so badly in need of a reassessment of our cultural values from an architectural perspective.
With Atlas of Another America, Keith Krumwiede has written a bold and original work of speculative architectural fiction that calls on Americans—and, increasingly, the rest of the world—to seriously reconsider the concept of the single-family home. Presented in the style of a historical architectural treatise comprised of over 150 drawings and images, Krumwiede’s “Freedomland” is a fictional utopia of communal superhomes constructed from the remains of the suburban metropolis. Freedomland’s strangely familiar visions draw on a long lineage of social and architectural thought—from Owen and Fourier to Ledoux, Branzi, and Koolhaas—in which imaginary but not entirely implausible worlds are envisioned in order to reframe reality and direct us toward new territories of action. An appendix collects five essays pertinent to the origins of Freedomland. Among them, “Atypical Plans,” a redacted and reconstructed spin on Rem Koolhaas’s landmark text “Typical Plan,” reflects upon the American Dream, houses, and the Great Recession; “Supermodel Homes” examines the mad genius of Texas developer David Weekley; and "Notes on Freedomland" assembles an account of domestic desires, communal cravings, and architectural ambitions. The book closes with the short story “New Homes for America” in which a young architect, working under the pressure of a deadline, produces new forms for communal living.