Mothers' perceptions of housing space : an analysis of 3 married student housing sites: Eastgate, Westgate and Peabody Terrace
Analysis of 3 married student housing sites : Eastgate, Westgate and Peabody Terrace
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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What is a good housing environment for nurturing, a place where the physical environment reinforces the lives of both parents and child? This thesis looks at three married student housing sites in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in relation to these qualities, focussing on parents with children under four. Since the mother tends in these cases, to be the person usually spending most time at home with the child, it was their perceptions which were explored in detail. Peabody Terrace was found to be by far the most satisfactory of the three environments, and this, largely because of its location and the variety of both indoor and outdoor communal places it provides. There, mother and child can be either alone or together with other mothers and children, as well as involved in neighborhood activity. Although of the three, Peabody was by far the best, it still has some very serious shortcomings. For example, there are no physical arrangements possible for different lifestyles that are needed by families with young children. If two couples wish to share childcare and eating, the physical arrangement does not facilitate this. All three buildings work on the assumption of a completely independent, nuclear family, where the question of loneliness and physical isolation, especially of the women, has not been considered. Another important aspect, is the greater significance that the environment assumes when one spends more time at home. The qualities of comfort, visual variety, color, light, views out and personal identity, all assume greater significance. Surveilled space for child's play indoors, while parents are preoccupied with other things, such as cooking, doing the laundry, or reading, is essential, if unnecessary frustration is to be avoided. Children also learn from the environment and if, for instance, they cannot see out of their apartment, because all the windows are too high, this can be a serious inhibition. Sometimes, mothers are forced to spend a lot of time lifting the child up, allowing them the opportunity to Fee out. All these simple factors being missing, surely represent the distance between the designer (usually male) and the user of the environment. Women architects and researchers could help to create and advocate more humane and rich environments for the special needs of nurturing.
Thesis (M.C.P.)-- Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning; and, (M. Arch.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 1974.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Urban Studies and Planning
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning., Architecture.