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McCullough Talks Apartment Architecture for Michigan Radio’s Stateside

Monday, August 19, 2019

Lecturer in Architecture Kit McCullough discussed recent trends in the design of apartment buildings for a segment on Michigan Radio’s Stateside program, which aired recently. McCullough teaches a class on the cookie-cutter apartment complexes that have become a staple of modern housing construction. She studies the revitalization of city centers as mixed-use areas, focusing on how urban planning can support environmental and economic sustainability. Apartment buildings like the ones discussed in the Stateside piece are often an important aspect of mixed-use development. 

“These buildings are formulas, and like most formulas, they’re the most efficient response to a set of constraints,” she explained, pointing out that these formulaic buildings pose a challenge to architects hoping to create a variation on the oft-repeated design. McCullough said brightly colored panels and unusual window placement are some of the ways architects try to differentiate from other buildings.

Though McCullough finds many of these designs uninspired, she explained that the buildings’ proximity to downtown areas do allow residents to walk to work and support local businesses. 

Listen to the interview at michiganradio.org/post/why-so-many-modern-ticky-tacky-apartments-all-look-just-same.