Now considered the father of American landscape architecture, A.J. Downing’s contribution to architecture began with his departure from European aesthetic theories. His writings reflect a keen appreciation for his country’s struggles seeking identity and definition in the rural arts. Downing wrote about design principles and designed houses based upon democratic values and advocated for domestic design that would satisfy basic human needs and the desire to live well. Understanding Downing’s work reminds us of what we once considered necessary and desirable for satisfactory dwellings, and leads us to reconsider how domestic design supports living in a positive and uplifting manner.
PhD Dissertation title: Caren Yglesias: The House Complete: Downing's Domestic Architecture Completed: 2002 Supervisor: David Leatherbarrow