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Calling for Conversation: The Sunken Room Revolution

Conversation pits, typically used in the 60s and 70s, were beautiful sunken sitting areas within people's homes, usually living rooms, designed solely for the purpose of simple conversation.

The Miller House in Columbus, Indiana, designed by Alexander Girard and built by architect Eero Saarinen, is the residence credited with the popularization of the pits. According to "Antonio Román's Eero Saarinen: An Architecture of Multiplicity," Saarinen was motivated by the wide yet organized rooms he observed in Japanese households.

This sparked interest in the 70s population. Interior designer Leonard Horowitz offers an explanation for its popularity. The conversation pit, he argues, mirrored the social shifts occurring at the period, when people were more concerned in a room's function than its decorations.

In 2022, we frequently use our smartphones to escape reality by scrolling endlessly through TikTok and Instagram, binge-watching the newest HBO series, or engaging in competitive X-Box gaming. The restoration of this architectural style, however, might promote more meaningful interactions between people and boost human contact.

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