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Stranger Homes

After the 2016 presidential election, I was moved to create something that celebrated diversity. With Stranger Homes, I wanted to encourage cultural exchange through personal spaces. The objects in our homes represent our traditions, our interests, our memories, our travels, our vices, our obsessions. We often tout the value of cultural exchange via food and music, but the home is powerful because it’s so private.


  From the looks of my 10x10 bedroom in Brooklyn you wouldn't box me in as one particular ethnicity - there is not much in physical form that nods to my roots. Growing up I struggled with being American enough, trying to conform to how my friends conducted themselves. As an adult, I struggle with being Indian enough, feeling guilty at times for not paying enough homage to my roots. I keep these pictures of my family on my nightstand as a reminder of where I came from. At this moment, that for me is enough.  (HP, New York)

From the looks of my 10x10 bedroom in Brooklyn you wouldn't box me in as one particular ethnicity - there is not much in physical form that nods to my roots. Growing up I struggled with being American enough, trying to conform to how my friends conducted themselves. As an adult, I struggle with being Indian enough, feeling guilty at times for not paying enough homage to my roots. I keep these pictures of my family on my nightstand as a reminder of where I came from. At this moment, that for me is enough. (HP, New York)

  When I moved out of my mom's apartment, she gave me this wine rack. It originally came in a pair of two, so she still has the other one at home. I like knowing that we each have one of them. I keep wine gift bags for reuse in the bottom compartment, but I've never used any of them. Open bottles sit on top.  (DS, New York)

When I moved out of my mom's apartment, she gave me this wine rack. It originally came in a pair of two, so she still has the other one at home. I like knowing that we each have one of them. I keep wine gift bags for reuse in the bottom compartment, but I've never used any of them. Open bottles sit on top. (DS, New York)

  The distinction between the words house and home has always been important for me. Growing up with a father who remodels houses for a living, I was privy to the transformation of each and every house he worked on, from frame to finish. As a kid, I was often envious of other children whose families had more conventional ideas of a home; I longed for the simple pleasure of hanging a poster on my wall, but we had to be cautious of any wear and tear on the house come time to sell. Every year or so my father would complete a project, and we would pack up and move on to the next, keeping each house company as he went about his work. I still remember the smell of saw dust in the morning so distinctly. Now 24, I have recently moved from Chinatown to the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and was fortunate enough to stay with my parents in Connecticut for a month in between leases. Early one Sunday morning I sat studying the frame of my father's most recent build. I have always been very impressed by his work, for I have seen him find potential in the most helpless of houses. The beauty of this dawned on me, and in that moment I realized something. During the packing, and the unpacking, and the tiring train rides back and forth to the city, I still felt as if I were at home. Home for me is not a place, or a structure, or a city. It is not the furniture or the decor or the moldings that make my home unique. But rather home is a feeling I have created within me; for really home can be everywhere if you look for it.  (FB, New York)

The distinction between the words house and home has always been important for me. Growing up with a father who remodels houses for a living, I was privy to the transformation of each and every house he worked on, from frame to finish. As a kid, I was often envious of other children whose families had more conventional ideas of a home; I longed for the simple pleasure of hanging a poster on my wall, but we had to be cautious of any wear and tear on the house come time to sell. Every year or so my father would complete a project, and we would pack up and move on to the next, keeping each house company as he went about his work. I still remember the smell of saw dust in the morning so distinctly. Now 24, I have recently moved from Chinatown to the Upper East Side of Manhattan, and was fortunate enough to stay with my parents in Connecticut for a month in between leases. Early one Sunday morning I sat studying the frame of my father's most recent build. I have always been very impressed by his work, for I have seen him find potential in the most helpless of houses. The beauty of this dawned on me, and in that moment I realized something. During the packing, and the unpacking, and the tiring train rides back and forth to the city, I still felt as if I were at home. Home for me is not a place, or a structure, or a city. It is not the furniture or the decor or the moldings that make my home unique. But rather home is a feeling I have created within me; for really home can be everywhere if you look for it. (FB, New York)