Saturday, 26 September 2009

Save the Human!

This is the sort of town I would like to live in.

Sadly far more towns look something like this..

Sometimes I wonder if housing is built by people for people at all. Or if people can only dream of being listened to when it comes to their own housing.

I guess it's called 'progress'

Let's stand in the way everyone. Let's say a big fat 'No!' to Brutalism. And battery cage homes for humans, with anything but the space and light we all claim to want, let alone room to get our furniture in. Let's demand that all 'progress' be in a forwardly direction, and preferably with posterity attached to help our era mean something.


Nota Bene said...

Here here. It's hard to understand how the person who designed the buildings in pic 2 ever thought 'These are nice'. We don't have to have old fashioned houses, but we should have housing that is sympathetic, attractive and as you say human

Stephen said...

It's amazing how tastes change. I can't imagine anyone ever thinking that concrete boxes were an attractive or stylish choice.

Over here, there are similar crimes committed, though they are very quick to re-facade a building if it sucks very badly.

Steve said...

The best architects are the ones who build homes they themselves would be prepared to live in and bring children up in... not the idiots who build monstrosities to create landmarks or art concepts or forward the dubious art of building construction...!

The Sagittarian said...

Oh yes, I am lucky to live in a 2 storey house, big yard, plenty of room for all but driving to/from work going past the 'battery cages' for human occupation I do wonder how we are changing the human's who live in them. There must be some spin-off for being in a cramped house, hearing the neighbours every fart and sigh, that has an impact on human behaviour!

Reluctant Blogger said...

Oh yes, absolutely. It makes my heart sink when I crawl through the London suburbs on the train and see all the concrete blocks of East London. London has so much beauty but yes, huge tracts of brutalistic stuff too. Too depressing for words.

Whenever I am in Berlin and get on a tram and flit over to the East, it depresses my mood immediately staring at all the concrete greyness. No-one should have to live like that. I cannot imagine living in ugliness.

Or perhaps there are people somewhere who see beauty in these structures?

Owen said...

It's a wonder people don't rise up and burn them all down, to start from scratch... perhaps clusters of tee pees would be more aesthetically pleasing?

Steerforth said...

I quite agree, although I'm not sure if I'd want to live in the floppy, multicoloured houses in the first picture - a bit too 'Yellow Submarine' for me.

When humanity ceases to exist, the modern buildings will be the first to go.

Romeo Morningwood said...

After seeing Slumdog Millionaire, I was astonished that the Government was bulldozing the slums and building a concrete megaplex upon the ruins.
That would never happen here because "those" people deserve to live like that because they're lazy and stupid.

Here in the Colonies, for the last 60 years, everything has been built to accomodate the Automof*ckingbile. Little or no thought has been given to the consequence of the urban sprawl..almost as if the carmakers designed our communities.

If aliens visited they would look at our garage-front homes in the 'burbs and wonder if the humans were slaves to the car.

Wisewebwoman said...

Well Laura, any remote resemblance to aesthetics has been laid on the altar of avarice and greed. The almighty dollar/pound.
I'm lucky to live in an old house, built by hand right on the ocean. I've never lived in a new concrete bunker. Ever. That was a conscious choice.
I imagine the soul destruction of living in this travesties has a domino effect on future generations.
It is unconscionable to warehouse people like this.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Notabene - yes it's hard to see how they could ever have waxed lyrically over carbuncles of concrete, even when that concrete was gleaming white and fatigue had yet to set in. Not that I particularly advocate building more 'old' houses - just preserving those we have and ensuring any new development is both sensitive and appropriate to the existing built environment.

Stephen - I think they probably took a lot of drugs in the 1960s. Mind you, judging from today's glass boxes and gherkins, they still do! Good to hear they at least try to put things right in your neck of the woods if people truly can't stand them.

Actually Steve, some architect-designed houses won't exactly win them any clients, but you are right that they put more effort in, even if the final result is hopelessly impractical and over-conceited. Certainly I agree that every architect should be made to spend a minimum of one month living in their own design aftewards.

Sagittarian, well doubtless the battery hen arrangement suits the voyeur and the pervert's purposes. But probably not the young family next door who can afford no better! Glad you've got yourself and loved ones a decent-sized cage down under anyway.

RB - I am sure there must be perverts out there who enjoy Brutalism, not unlike those who designed it indeed. I do hope they are humane enough to issue free anti-depressants with every flat. Like yourself, I feel in need of them just looking from a train window!

Owen - Nice idea but I think the Police still care about damage to property and probably dole out life sentences for such. Plus those with the time to protest are probably the poor sods living in such.

Steerforth, I agree there are some worrying structural oversights in the cartoon town of my dreams. Not sure how well a rubbery house would stand. Just want to see something cuter, cuddlier and more characterful and colourful (and there for the duration) than what British architects seem capable of.

Thanks for dropping by Don. Yes I was surprised at the extent Mumbai (aka Bombay) has been bulldozed and redeveloped and wonder what will happen to all the poor - who cannot possibly afford any of the buildings being erected on the former slums. Yes most of our towns and cities have been carved up as a sacrifice to the great god Car - nearly all of them in fact. Aliens are too sane (and evolved) to bother landing here I imagine. Though if they ever deign to grace us with their presence I think I want a lift to their mother ship!

Your house sounds heavenly WWW - straight out of an Edward Hopper painting! Lucky you. I do hope you have a nice old seadog to share the view with.

teeni said...

In the U.S., it seems that more and more people are being pushed into living into condominiums or trailer parks. The dream of the little house with the white picket fence is mostly unattainable and some actually prefer the condos because they don't have to do the yard work (which they wouldn't have time for because they are working the two or more jobs they must work in order to continue living in their little boxes). Sad.