138 MODEL HOMES is part of the the ‘Architectures by Proxy’ exhibition of the 2017-2018 Willard A. Oberdick Fellow at Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Michigan, Brittany Utting in collaboration with Daniel Jacobs.

The home is never innocent, never neutral. Utopian and speculative, the Model Home of the World Expo, the Trade Fair, and the International Exhibition is the prototype for a culture’s habits of consumption. The relentless frequency of the global expo phenomenon endows it with the ability to influence public policy and consumer culture, marking it as both an index of a society’s patterns of living and a measure of a culture’s collective desires. A pure spatial product in this setting, the Model Home is a construct of models, drawings, images, financial analyses, and slogans, opportunistically adaptable to any rhetoric or purpose. An instrument appropriated by architects, politicians, and home-owners, the house has a history of being used for both radical social experimentation and the reinforcement of the status quo. The domestic interior is a space that can be appropriated to sanction an explicit way of life and inflect patterns of consumption, making the World Fair, the Exhibition, the Biennial, and the Trade Show ideal delivery methods for an ideology.  Today’s Model Home is a space of labor, a space of financial leverage, and potentially a space for political action.

Project Team: Madison Strakele, Brian Baksa, Michael Paul

Photography by Yojairo Lomeli