Culture Forcing Design

Have you ever noticed that you can determine the era in which a house was built based on the orientation of the garage? Obviously, this is a broad generalization, but the overwhelming trend in garage placement throughout the decades provides a brief glimpse of how our culture has changed.

In the 1950’s, a typically house in town consisted of a quaint front porch that faced the street. The house was set back from the sidewalk to encourage a walkable neighborhood and large front lawns to enjoy while drinking your morning coffee on the porch. The garage would be either tucked on the backside of the house accessed only by the alley, or almost out of view on either side. It may have looked something like this:

Today, houses are built much closer to the front of the lot and encourage private backyards versus public front yards. The garage has become the main focal point of the house with easily accessible driveways right off the main street. Today, we see this:

What caused this cultural trend? I’ll leave the answer up to you, but keep your eye out for other interesting shifts in design related to our changes in culture.


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