(Planet Me)
Saturday, August 04, 2007
Oh! Your Ugly Houses!

Architecture is really important. People don't necessarily see it, but it most definitely is. Driving around the new estates, recently, I realised that architecture and design is really an integral part of our lives. And poor housing.

Driving around the rabbit warren estates the other day, I thought... we're living on top of each other. Designers cram in houses upon houses upon houses in estates that feel like gigantic, brick laid baked beans. These rabbit warrens of lanes and alleys and streets and avenues, generically named, cookie-cutter, bland, tasteless, dull, crowded... these aren't homes : they are machines for living in. Stacked up high, miles from anywhere : designed solely to shove the maximum number of people into the smallest space possible. Look at this :

Doesn't that look like a mess? Spaghetti made out of roads? Driving around these disheartening places, I just felt.. disconnected from everything. These places were obviously designed by people who will never live there, nor designed with any understanding of what it is like to live there. They were probably tasked by land developers to get 422 properties out of a set number of square metres, and generate a certain amount of profit.

This kind of living robs human beings of their dignity : people turned into baked beans, consumers to be exploited for profit. Isn't it sad that people are only seen as markets to be made money out of? I am not a profit opportunity, but a person.

And houses can never be homes when the people who design and make the houses see them purely as way to make money. There's more to life than profit.

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