Houston’s Unhappy Hipsters

Sure, it’s a big break when local architects and designers get their work published in Dwell, but who knew that an appearance in the modern design magazine might ultimately be seen as just a stepping stone on the path to even greater fame? That’s right: With the recent appearance of the Unhappy Hipsters blog, Dwell‘s design stars will at last be able to reach a much wider circle.

Most photos on Unhappy Hipsters are taken from the magazine. But yes, the captions are changed — just a little bit — so that the work shown can reach a larger and perhaps more appreciative audience.

Already, two teams of Houston designers have been featured on the blog. A reader writes in to report that the photo above, showing the owners of Numen Development’s shipping-container house on Cordell St. in Brookesmith, was featured in a recent Unhappy Hipsters post. Except instead of the original caption from Dwell, which described the front porch, the species of grass on the lawn, and the bent-steel shade above, we have this:

Not on the grass, Sweetie. Never. On. The. Grass. See how much fun Daddy is having?

Who else is appearing on Unhappy Hipsters?


How about architects Mark Schatz and Anne Eamon of M+A Architecture Studio? They’re shown here in front of the 700-sq.-ft. house they built for themselves on Grace Lane, just a stone’s throw from MacGregor Terrace — and maybe a thermal oxidizer explosion away from the neighboring Griggs Rd. plant of CES Environmental Services.

Here’s Dwell‘s original caption for the photo:

Schatz and Eamon carefully tend to the greens planted on the ground that they took to with shovels when digging the original footings for their home.

But again, Unhappy Hipsters’ deadpan audience-pleasing version makes their work much more accessible:

Rather than bicker, they’d head outside for a multidisciplinary investigation of the social, political, and cultural ramifications of architecture-as-conceptual-art.

Photos: Jack Thompson (top) and Misty Keasler for Dwell

13 Comment

  • Unhappy Hipsters portrays what most people think of architects.

    Few people are looking to live in a design statement and want a place to live…

  • I happened upon the Unhappy Hipsters blog a few weeks ago. It’s hilarious.

  • Well put. I think Unhappy Hipsters is the best thing to happen to architecture since Swamplot.

    When my house is complete, I can only hope to be ridiculed in such a clever way.

  • I love Unhappy Hipsters – if DWR and http://www.despair.com met, fell in love, and had a website, it would be Unhappy Hipsters.

  • kjb said: “Few people are looking to live in a design statement and want a place to live.” I don’t care what statement my house makes to the public, I just want it to be a happy place to live. Modern architecture makes me happy. Other types of architecture make others happy. And yes, I know only a relatively small percentage of people can afford to be choosy about their architecture. If only more homes were actually well-designed…

  • I find the UH blog hilarious, but would argue that few of the people pictured are in fact hipsters.

  • Gee kjb434, bitter much? You use the terms “most” and “few” as if you actually know these statements to be true. Perhaps it’s just the crowd that you hang with. Do you ever have anything nice to contribute?

  • That Unhappy Hipsters is a hilarious website!

  • Since “most” people dislike architects and “few” people really care what their homes look like, I guess we should all live in whatever Perry Homes builds for us.

  • Well, just look at our suburbs and the suburbs of many cities (not only in the US). People need places to live before they need places of architectural individuality.

  • So, because the suburban model is most prevelant in our society, we should ridicule those who don’t buy into it?

  • I’m sure a similar website treating suburbanites can be made and will be equally funny. I like the style of homes shown in all of the Urban Hipster pics. If you can’t laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at.

    The comedy is that many of the people that Urban Hipsters make fun of are people that take themselves way too serious.

    Does the site tough a nerve with you?

  • No, I think it’s funny site. The down side of it is that it reinforces the anti-design attitude that some people already have.