Saturday, February 20, 2010

It's Lonely in the Modern World

Got this from Unhappy Hipsters:

"Anything to avoid returning to the zero-energy, cold-concrete, corrugated-metal death sentence."

Well put. Not everything on Dwell's website makes you feel "at home." It's been a few decades since those modernist fanatics really screwed up public housing in a bad way, and you'd think architects would have learned their lesson.

But sometimes even the best forget that their buildings are for people. And those people have lives; lives that aren't always shiny and squeaky clean. Houses can be places of solace, comfort, and warmth, but also chaos, coldness and anger - I mean, who has a family that doesn't quarrel? Who hasn't found their home to be oppressive and suffocating at some point in their life?

Even though Unhappy Hipsters is satirical, it brings up an important point that architects seldom consider; homes aren't for families who get along all of the time. The dining room isn't just for eating and communing - its also a battleground for the passive-aggressive wars of attrition that will inevitably take place, even in a "healthy" family unit.

Architects set the stage for the drama of everyday life. The successful house, like a successful set design, becomes an active participant; it's an omniscient cast member who takes on a constantly morphing role, pushing and pulling the action in subtle ways - some predictable, others not.

This isn't to say that everything on Dwell is bad news (a number of featured works are fantastic). No architecture can anticipate the full range of it's human inhabitants' behavior. Just remember that a house is meant to be lived in - life is not always pretty or happy or peaceful.

Monday, February 1, 2010

I saw the sign

The Revolution Began...

And Dada rides again!