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400 Years of American Houses, Visualized

Sweet home, homie.

  • <p>American houses sure have changed over the centuries. A new poster from the geniuses at Pop Chart Lab surveys domestic architecture from 1600 to today.</p>
  • <p>The poster groups houses by time and style and then illustrates variations.</p>
  • <p>Pop Chart Labs hops the poster fosters "a general appreciation and respect for American design evolution for the home over the past 400 years."</p>
  • <p>Manufactured houses get their due.</p>
  • <p>As do historic styles. "After the success of our two prints celebrating the architectural achievements of iconic structures around the world—<a href="http://popchartlab.com/products/the-schematic-of-structures" target="_blank">The Schematic of Structure</a> and <a href="http://popchartlab.com/collections/prints-design/products/splendid-structures-of-new-york-city" target="_blank">The Splendid Structures of New York</a>—we decided to examine the elegance of the home," the team at Pop Chart Lab said via email.</p>
  • <p>While some of the silhouettes look similar, close inspection reveals subtle differences in the facades.</p>
  • <p>The poster begs to be examined and rexamined. San Francisco residents might recognize some of these facades.</p>
  • <p>The ornate Tudor is shown with a handful of variants.</p>
  • <p>Visual history is sometimes easier to understand—and a heck of a lot more fun—than reading dense books.</p>
  • <p>The Ranch house was popular all throughout California.</p>
  • <p>Even the sprawling McMansion gets its due.</p>
  • <p>Here are a few modern houses that look ripped from the pages of Dwell. Purchase the poster for $29 from <a href="http://popchartlab.com/collections/prints-architecture/products/the-architecture-of-american-houses" target="_blank">popchartlab.com</a>.</p>
  • 01 /12

    American houses sure have changed over the centuries. A new poster from the geniuses at Pop Chart Lab surveys domestic architecture from 1600 to today.

  • 02 /12

    The poster groups houses by time and style and then illustrates variations.

  • 03 /12

    Pop Chart Labs hops the poster fosters "a general appreciation and respect for American design evolution for the home over the past 400 years."

  • 04 /12

    Manufactured houses get their due.

  • 05 /12

    As do historic styles. "After the success of our two prints celebrating the architectural achievements of iconic structures around the world—The Schematic of Structure and The Splendid Structures of New York—we decided to examine the elegance of the home," the team at Pop Chart Lab said via email.

  • 06 /12

    While some of the silhouettes look similar, close inspection reveals subtle differences in the facades.

  • 07 /12

    The poster begs to be examined and rexamined. San Francisco residents might recognize some of these facades.

  • 08 /12

    The ornate Tudor is shown with a handful of variants.

  • 09 /12

    Visual history is sometimes easier to understand—and a heck of a lot more fun—than reading dense books.

  • 10 /12

    The Ranch house was popular all throughout California.

  • 11 /12

    Even the sprawling McMansion gets its due.

  • 12 /12

    Here are a few modern houses that look ripped from the pages of Dwell. Purchase the poster for $29 from popchartlab.com.

From post-Medieval English to McMansions, domestic architecture in the United States is as diverse as its denizens. A new poster from Pop Chart Lab makes identifying them easier and offers a glimpse of over 300 years of design history in a single, beautifully illustrated graphic.

The Brooklyn-based poster company, founded by Ben Gibson and Patrick Mulligan, has earned its cred by sleuthing often overlooked information and presenting it in a beautiful way. (Co.Design detailed Pop Chart Labs's formula for success here.) The company has tackled compendiums of basketball jerseys, Apple's history, and beer, among others. There's an insatiable thirst for infographics—someone should do a poster about that!—and Pop Chart Lab has carved itself a nice little niche.

"After the success of our two prints celebrating the architectural achievements of iconic structures around the world—The Schematic of Structure and The Splendid Structures of New York—we decided to examine the elegance of the home," the team at Pop Chart Lab said via email.

The designers embarked on a comprehensive research project to discover the changing traits of houses—how the rooflines morphed through the decades, how architects mined the past for new styles, and how the houses we come to know today evolved from a complex lineage. Because there was an information surplus—far too much to fit into one poster—they honed in on single-family residential architecture in the United States from 1600 to today. Virginia Savage McAlester's Field Guide to American Houses was the main reference.

Those with a knack for history might recognize the iconic Vanna Venturi house as a representative for postmodern design, Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater for Organic, and the Gehry Residence for Deconstructivism. And those with a razor-sharp memory might be able to ID the houses they lived in. (I grew up in a spot that's a dead ringer for the Spanish-style ranch that's illustrated.) Pop Chart Labs hops the poster fosters "a general appreciation and respect for American design evolution for the home over the past 400 years" and that viewers will "learn more about an interesting topic that we see in everyday life."

Now go find out what style your house represents and purchase the poster for $29 from popchartlab.com.

Slideshow Credits: 01 / via Pop Chart Lab; 02 / via Pop Chart Lab; 03 / via Pop Chart Lab; 04 / via Pop Chart Lab; 05 / via Pop Chart Lab; 06 / via Pop Chart Lab; 07 / via Pop Chart Lab; 08 / via Pop Chart Lab; 09 / via Pop Chart Lab; 10 / via Pop Chart Lab; 11 / via Pop Chart Lab; 12 / via Pop Chart Lab;

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