Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Architecture



First Advisor

Brazley, Michael


This thesis attempts to find ways in which the designs of single family residential units can be changed to increase the happiness and comfort of residents. Houses are humans' fundamental locations to start and end their days. They are places to grow a family's health and safety. By looking at a failed attempt at residential housing (Pruitt-Igoe), this thesis will try to gain insight about what design aspects are not effective. No one want the same result as what was created at Pruitt-Igoe. The main thrust of the research presented in this thesis was captured by use of a survey. The questions was designed using three (3) categories with which Happy Index uses to measure happiness, life satisfaction, life expectancy, and ecological footprint (Abdallah, Michaelson, Marks, & Steuer, 2009). The survey was given to both Japanese and American people. Japan makes us think of a very different culture and efficient use of limited space. Conducting a survey on happiness, greenery, comfort, lighting, stress, community interactions, and satisfaction of homes with total of one hundred twenty one (121) Japanese and American participants shed some light on what the most important design aspects are to be happy. For most of the participants, family makes up a huge part of their happiness. For this reason, single family homes need to be designed for more easy interaction with family members. Even with the difference of cultures, the definition of happiness is the same, but American people comment more positively in regard to comfort, satisfaction and happiness in their current homes.




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