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Changes in Technology and Changes in the Housing Design Architecture Essay

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According to Bemis (1936) “A new conception of the structure of our modern houses is needed, better adapted not only to the social conditions of our day but also to the modern means of production: factories, machinery, technology and research”. Albert Bemis, US housing manufacturer in the early twentieth century has a vested interest in using technology to advance new concepts in the design of houses. Nevertheless he points to the important relationship of the use of technology in the structural design of housing. However, it is difficult to estimate how far changes in technology were responsible for changes in the design of housing as much of the evidence that has been sourced argues that the social, political and economic environments played a significant role in contributing to these design changes. These environments impacted on the urban form and fabric to unify with technology to create change in the design of housing.

The aim of this essay is to show that between Ancient Times and Modern Times the form of housing, as in a structure providing shelter, has not changed but the design and features aspect of housing has been changed by technology. The examples of Athens from 500BCE – 400BCE, Paris from 1850-1900 and Chicago from 1900-1930 have been chosen and a time period allocated to each geographical area which will give clarity to the argument and supporting evidence as there are a number of important technologies to be considered which impacted on the social, political and economic environments. In Athens I will pay particular attention to the study of houses within the polis, in Paris attention to tenement housing and in Chicago I will be looking at pre-fabricated houses. Using sources predominately from course...


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...nent sewerage system and elegant inner city apartments.
The progress of transport technology alone has been responsible for many spin offs such as sanitation, electricity, automobilization and highways. Shipping of limited speed and capacity initially brought migrants into Athens but in the nineteenth century with technological advances in transport it meant that very many more migrants could reach Paris and Chicago at a time of their major redevelopment. These technologies had a major effect on the design of housing. The underlying influence in the urban development of these cities was order and simplicity and the need for each of them to display their wealth and civic pride through buildings and open spaces and Paris and Chicago harped back to the Rome who in turn had aesthetically improved on the Athenian Greek form and fabric of architecture and polis.




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