the new first year design project is fabulous fun. from the perpetual kineticism of the houses for people, where the students are building ‘machines for living (and working)’ it would seem that it is no longer tenable for the home to romanticize the act of dwelling. as walls and roofs turn and twist to make the maximum use of the minimum space, to speak of intimacy and domesticity in a home seems irrelevant.
this is perhaps the nature of our city. when the simple act of occupying space is always a struggle to survive; when space is a rare commodity to be made full use of, the house tends towards becoming a tool. a complex swiss knife, of sorts, with hidden secrets deployed for the right task.
there is no separating the idea of the home in the city and the notion of resistance.-a resistance to define ones individuality in the chaos of the metropolis. in the ‘machines for living’ resistance is offered by perpetually being unstable and difficult to pin down by becoming what allows a certain act to exist. but, there are other kinds of resistance that could also exist.
resistance by slowness and silence: where there exists a sense of detachment from the movement, a flaneur like observational state- a refusal to move with the changing tide. to stay still and watch as the city mutates around. perhaps this is what gives us presence, defines our identity.
or then there is the resistance through play and the uncanny. where not everything is defined by the ‘useful’; where rather than a machine- the house is a toy. with toys, at some point the relationship allows random choices- not predetermined by utility.
with a house that is in a constant state of change what happens to memory; or history? what are the strange dark corners of the house where i can remember hiding in the summer afternoons?
maybe these spaces lie only in the interstices anyway, unmapped and unresolved. it perhaps makes us cringe at the sentimentality that this will entail, when survival and the lack of space are primary in the guerrilla like lives we lead in the city. maybe we can talk about them in some other place. for now, the houses with rotating, swiveling, sliding parts are making me think, and making me happy.