Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2016

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Alison Cool

Second Advisor

Carla Jones

Third Advisor

Benjamin Teitelbaum


This study is an exploration into twenty-first century residential patterns in Colorado. Twenty-one individuals were interviewed, focusing ethnographically in three field site locations: Denver, Boulder, and Summit County. Using in-depth interviews with the twenty-one informants, historical data, and modern articles and media, the changing inclination away from what is described as ‘traditionally Coloradoan’ toward contemporary design is the result of both social class preferences and sociopolitical actors vying for environmental innovation in residential design. Using Keith Murphy’s theory of a cultural geometry and Pierre Bourdieu’s theories of class distinction, as guiding theoretical frames, this study explores changes in residential design patterns as Colorado’s population demographics are shifting in the early twenty-first century.