in celebration of the ordinary

At the MoDA:

In Search of Suburbia: 11 October 2005 – 26 March 2006

We are all familiar with the suburbs. The majority of the UK’s population lives there.

We all know what we mean by suburbia. For many of us it is summed up by the 1930s semi-detached family house with front and back gardens. And many of us have strong feelings about it, whether positive, quiet, safe, leafy, and family-oriented or -negative- think Mike Leigh snobbery and Desperate Housewives undercurrents.

But in fact the suburbs are incredibly varied, both in date and in the type of homes provided. So why do we have such a strong tendency to homogenise this vast diversity?

Is there really such a place as suburbia or are there many different and changing suburbias?

MoDA’s exhibition goes in search of suburbia by looking at a number of different developments in the vicinity of the museum: the red-brick villas of Edwardian Palmers Green; 1920s and 30s social and private housing in Oakwood; the sparklingly bright modern homes of the 1950s; the large-scale mixed planning of the late 60s Grahame Park Estate in Barnet; and a small 1990s development.

Also – a reading list to accompany the exhibition: Suburbia reading list (PDF link)

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