Where is the detail?
The Warm Up
So what are we musing about today, folks? What is there to be intrigued about? What can we all do to think a little better? There is much to be said about space that bears repeating. My brain tends to respond to the environment around it. So when I am writing a post, I....
Ah hell, what is this all about? I'll stop dancing around; why is the office so shit? How on earth have we managed to build a world so devoid of inspiration? Why do we build crappy housing estates and soulless apartments? To be fair, I covered this a fair while back (in a technical sense, at least). But there is a deeper answer to be found. Why do we willingly spend our time surrounded by crushing blandness?
Let's look past the developers, the lenders, the regulators etc. They are incentivised to offer these 'products' for as long as we are willing to accept them. Instead we should wonder. What really makes us comfortable and content? First there's the caveman requirements; heat, shelter, water, security. Pretty damn important, for sure. But what else? Beauty, for starters. Proximity to others. A sense of shared existence and endeavour.
Now a modern housing estate or commercial office is great at satisfying material comforts. But they fail miserably at the more subtle factors that make us content. It's bloody difficult to maintain enthusiasm in an aesthetic wasteland. There's not much community spirit in a 2 hour commute. The worst part is that we once took these matters much more seriously. Just look at the converted industrial warehouses that now embody inner city living. Beauty transcends use. Beauty is sustainable.
So why have we opted for a stale, bland world? Why have we ditched our connection with nature. Why have we replaced human scale with motorways? Where are the flourishes of detail that widens our eyes with delight? It is a Big Fucking Question. And perhaps one that will take a long, long time to answer with any satisfaction. But I'm up for that, friends. What else would I do?
So let's finish up for the time being with this. Why have we moved away from subtle contentment to material comfort? What's really going on underneath the surface?
Signing out, Steven.
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