Thursday, January 17, 2008

Celebration of Bland Architecture makes for a perfect
starting point. These houses sprouted like weeds in the 60s and 70s in
Vancouver, and some say have the same aesthetic value.

Every North American region has its own kind of pedestrian residential
architecture. Where are the web sites devoted to the Levittowns, the
suburban townhouses of the mountain states, the strip malls of Southern
California? I found the Suburban Frontyards International Pool at,

but they seem to be trying to hard to post photos of interesting buildings.
I want the ordinary that we pass by every day without noticing.


Anonymous said...

Hey Eric,

I'm the admin of the Suburban Frontyard International group. I'm glad that you found us and that there seems to be some interest out there for this kind of thing. I am surprised, however, about your impression that the group members try too hard to post interesting photos. Every photo that meets the requirements of the group is accepted into the pool, irrespective of aesthetic or any other consideration apart from showing a suburban frontyard. Maybe the "international" aspect creates a more diverse impression of the pictures. I am actually surprised at how many similarities can be found in suburban architecture from all over the world.


Eric Promislow said...

Hey, Tib -- it's a comment from someone I don't know! Bound to happen sooner or later.

The photos on the site have a numbing sameness about them. They're also deliberately shot poorly to reflect the quality of photos in the throwaway real estate weeklies (although with the way prices are now, those weeklies get more traffic than the stock market pages).

What I was getting at is that the shots in the suburban pool might be too interesting. Maybe flickr needs a pool for boring suburban houses. When you're about to take a shot, ask yourself why you chose that house and not the one next to it? And then take the shot of the other house, and not the one you originally intended to. Slightly out of focus, with the wrong f-stop setting.