Ellen Mueller

McMansions

This is an ongoing project, building towards a multimedia installation.

This body of work examines McMansions, the large ostentatious modern houses that are cheaply built and are often considered lacking in architectural integrity. Through this subject matter, I focus on excessive consumer culture by putting visual emphasis on the wide array of standard and novelty rooms one might find in these homes. I am interested in the environmental and socio-political impact of these homes.

Above, delicate blueprint drawings of floor plans are 3D printed in porcelain, mirroring the fragility of the housing market. These porcelain drawings will be hung in a large grid on a wall.

 

There are also a series of highly simplified aerial stainless steel houses hung in a cloud formation away from walls. Both processes utilize 3D printing to achieve a fine level of detail. There is visual contrast between the vast array of novelty rooms hung in a shiny blue grid, and the simplicity of the floating one-room houses. I am asking questions about value, the environment, consumption, and the monetization of happiness. The challenge of housing all humans is a complex and nuanced one without a simple answer. I create these works in SketchUp and order them from Shapeways.

In addition to the sculptural works, these drawing-based pieces are executed on Yupo and utilize Citrasolve transfers, watercolor, and china markers. Imagery borrows from McMansion floor plans and builds on top of that with watery spills and pools.

There are stereotypical markers of affluence that regularly appear in home decor magazines: house plants, novel fixtures, statuary symbols of wealth (pineapples, lions, gargoyles), trending furniture, and so on. These animations, created with Processing, emphasize the repetition and sameness that occurs in much of this advertising material.