Is there anyone other than me – the author of this by now rather extensive collection of articles, which in this new age we call a blog, because the children cannot pronounce the word weblog or web-based diary – that is, are there others in the big city or eventually out in the uplands who think that it has become legal to rent or own the place we call home? In other words, the price for the place and what you get for the price has taken a slide, which has brought these two sizes and prices completely out of proportion. Speculation has taken over and the price is something like commercial fictitious.
In addition, is there anyone – perhaps the same ones – who occasionally swoon over the aesthetics, or rather the uncharm and ugliness of the buildings that this brain’s modernity produces? So that concrete modernism’s storage facilities for work-able meat do not correspond to today’s title: the human house? The man in the living quarters of modernism marinates in bad style, and bad style creates bad thoughts and bad feelings, which together create bad lives. People, in their indomitability, have to try to thrive in spite of and not because of their living quarters.
By the way, has anyone occasionally wondered what the municipality uses what they call property taxes for? That is, for something other than maintaining the municipality and its army of employees in the same way as income taxation and a shitload of taxes hidden as taxes, which in the state Denmark, where something is wrong amount to approx. 83% of all normal earnings help sustain the greedy State and its army of employees. Weeell, says the municipality, it’s so that people can get all the benefits and services that … BEEP! wrong answer! This is what we have municipal taxes and pay for renovation, sewerage and snow removal and other services.
Has anyone ever wondered how quickly modern buildings tend to fall into disrepair, while a solid and well-maintained building – and well-maintained must of course be mentioned as a prerequisite – from 1885 is in excellent condition. Yes, even a village house that I lived in for a few years build in 1770 with a thatched roof and half-timbering is in very good condition today. Even neglected houses with 100 years behind them can usually be saved and renovated, while a dilapidated high-rise building from the 1970s has to be demolished.
And to round off this introduction, which is mostly about the un-human house, there may also be people who have philosophized a little about whether part of the chronic diseases that are popular nowadays, among other things, originate from the myriads of unhealthy and experimental building materials that the industry has developed over more than half a century. The indoor climate has only gotten worse over time. It only takes one generation to create a population with such chronic diseases. Building materials in new buildings release gases. Gases are located from 0-40 cm above the floor in a house. Who is there? The children do. They absorb and store the gases, and 30 years later the effects arrive.
Six years ago I myself made the choice that I no longer wanted to pay the grotesque price to live in Copenhagen. I made the choice after the constructive midlife crisis and a period of being functionally homeless for 3 years + the loss of all my possessions, where I was forced to do away with my previous life. Crises have a cause, and the best thing to do with them is not to let them go to waste. If you are forced by circumstances to do so, then you must choose to be forced to do so. Take ownership of the life crisis and you will come out stronger on the other side.
It was the biggest and best decision so far, because I can see another one just around the corner this time prompted by the bigger picture and what’s happening with society right now. Today I live in a country house of the best quality build in 1937. Main building of solid brick and tiled roof, outbuilding with utility room and studio – fully insulated with skylights – shed complex, firewood shed, greenhouse and garden area of 2000 m2. On the grounds there are something like 15 fruit trees: prunes, four kinds of apples, two kinds of pears, walnuts + tons of blackberries + whole beds of mint. And here comes the purchase price for the glories – with a sea view, it must be said: DKK 900,000 DKK = 130.000 € or 90.000 pounds. You can’t even get a lousy one-room back-building apartment in a damp basement in a larger city for that price.
Times are changing and I may find myself forced to sell half the plot to survive. I can do that because it consists of two registers. This is because I no longer want to work the last two years of my working life for a government organization that is now rolling out the new totalitarian normal at full throttle.
This means I may be forced to live on a stick. Instead of dying on the street – and remember that the government also wanted to deprive people of their pension, their unemployment benefit and even their bottom line cash benefit if you refused to be vaccinated – and then it is an option to move to half of my plot and build a habitable shed. A possibility I say, because it is here that a new series of problems with the very same state arise.
I have the CAD drawings for it and I have calculated the price. Incredibly, it lies at approx. DKK 35,000 including heating source and toilet.
Add to that a geodesic dome of 6×6 meters as an extended greenhouse – the old greenhouse is not big enough and is located on the land, which in that case must be sold, where the main building and outbuilding studio are also located. I also have precision drawings for that. Price is estimated at DKK 6,000 DKK without offal in the form of raised beds, vertical suspensions, soil, oil barrels with water, regulation of windows, cladding with preferably polyketer (9 layers of polycarbonate) or similar but slightly less sophisticated material. So I wonder if the price will rise to 10,000+ DKK, but that is also a large greenhouse.
Add to that that the plot itself will still be 1,000 m2, so there is the possibility of a quite nice kitchen garden. All the fruit trees are on that area. And who knows, a chicken house, but where there are chickens, there are also rats, hmm … Fortunately, I have a neighbor who raises sheep, chickens, eggs, ducks and geese.
Add to that energy supply for the house consisting of a mini-wind turbine at a not unreasonable price (approx. DKK 6,000 without a 6 m mast and anchoring with wire and concrete blocks in the ground) combined with three solar panels on the roof of the shed (the Swedish hardware store Jula sells them for 2,300 piece and add inverter and x number of series-connected car batteries). To call it a shed is of course misleading, because it is 25 m2, well insulated and thoughtfully furnished as a caravan or a houseboat. Every cm2 is utilized.
Add to that on the self sustainment wish list a root cellar for storing preserved and dried food. I also have precision drawings here, and the basis is 200 foundation blocks of 15x20x50 + a concrete roof + two doors + shelves + ventilation pipes and drains (estimated price is DKK 7,000). Conservation is half – at least – of all self-sufficiency, both vegetable and animal. It is a science and there is much to learn here. Fortunately, there are many out there who keep this science alive, and if you are hit by the government’s upcoming ban on professions, then it is not free working hours that are missing.
I am of course aware that I run into various rules for the construction of buildings. I can initially apply for a building permit. Next, I can try to list it as non-permanent constructions, which it is, since they can be dismantled at any time and thrown on a trailer and driven – yes, where? As far as I am informed, it is possible to set up wind turbines below a certain size without running into the whole wall of regulations.
Isn’t it interesting, by the way, that one moment the government makes self-congratulatory speeches about sustainable energy and CO2-neutral and green initiatives and all the other lame hypocrisy they can come up with … and the next moment makes it impossible for private individuals to actively contribute to their fine postulated intentions? Could there be a hidden agenda here? I think so.
In the same way, as a private person, you cannot immediately carry out a water borehole for domestic needs. There may be a certain reason why a company cannot, for example, simply stick a straw into the groundwater and tap infinite quantities for commercial purposes. But any farm in the past had its own well, didn’t it? Moreover, you cannot tap infinite quantities from a single well. In return, industry and agriculture have been given carte blanche to pollute the groundwater with pesticides containing the ultra-disgusting substance glyphosate, which is identified as the main cause of the majority of chronic diseases for humanity today!
So the State has said that you may well be allowed to drill for water, but you have to go through a legal jungle first to build your own waterworks, as it is called. Since when did a pipe in the ground become a waterworks? And then you have to submit samples of the water annually, and it really costs the same as a whole year’s water consumption! Isn’t that amazing?
The state is no longer a protection against the abuse of the population by private stakeholders. The state is today part of the perfidious partnership and thus a guarantee of the abuse. The state is not part of the solution, it is part of the problem – if not THE problem. A construction like that has a name, technically and historically: fascism.
Empowerment in praxis
A few years ago I ran into this man from Texas on the internet. His name is Brad Kittel and he is one of the practical geniuses of our time. Underline practical, because what he says is something he has done. You will see that in the video from 2014, which is packed with information.
Tiny Texas Houses’ “Willy Wonka” on making magic reusing wood
Another man is a slider type with the long draw. His name is Jon Landai: Life is easy
With ultra-simple means from his base in Thailand, he has produced one practical video after another under the title Life is easy. So true, life is not difficult – except for governments and other mafia-related structures that have done their best to make it very uneasy for the people of the world.
A third man who has done a great deal of work in exploring that particular structure, the geodesic dome (the halved football of penta- and hexagons) is Paul Robinson. Again, he always provides the recipe for what he has already done.
Shelter – from windblown shed to pauper’s palace
A fifth man of true practice and wisdom is Lloyd Kahn is an American architect, globetrotter and author. His special love is the diversity of the way people build houses, the endless ingenuity that lies behind it and the equally endless beauty that has come out of it. His book Shelter from 1973 is a classic and a forefather of the trend that has had a renaissance, especially in the hell of housing speculation, the USA, and also in certain places in Europe: Tiny Houses. Or put another way: houses you can build yourself and which follow no other rules than common sense, the limits of imagination and sustainability as well as sound economics.
Although the word sustainability is becoming well eroded as a cliché belonging to the new-speak vocabulary of Agenda 21/2030-eco-social-fascism, and which has seeped into the language of media, companies and politicians, sustainability truly applies to the houses that appear in the publications from Lloyd Kahn’s own publishing house Shelter Publications.
There is a follow up called: Shelter II og Tiny Homes – Simple Shelter, Home Work, Builders of The Pacific Coast.
Sustainability as a concept is one of these strange banal obviousnesses, which is nevertheless sold as something completely new and revolutionary in the style of ‘Science has today found out that …’, where it turns out that they knew that in the viking age. Because of course you built sustainably, because who would be stupid enough for anything else? In the same way, of course, that you didn’t pour poison into the ground to make the plants grow better – you simply didn’t have poison in such large quantities, and even if you had, you would never have chosen it, because it is counter-intuitive and self destructive. Poison is good for life? … not exactly! But we obviously have to constantly reinvent the hot water, the spoon, the fire, the wheel and the soup plate and call it ‘new knowledge’, ‘design’ or worse: ‘innovation’, a word as rubbery insipid as the is suitable for pep talks at company seminars. It’s like sex – there’s a lot of talk about what you don’t get enough of. Besides, who says something is good because it’s new? Who says that youth is a guarantee of quality in a stagnant and infantilized culture with a huge loss of tradition and knowledge? And who says perpetual growth is good for anything but… cancer cells?
The house builders in Lloyd Kahn’s beautifully illustrated books have all the necessary qualities in a cool way. Here are some examples:
Houses built around a large tree, themselves made of wood. The tree does not fall in a storm, so why should the house fall? You just have to be good friends with the tree, because it is alive. Twisted stairs, crooked angles, ropes and wooden dowels (never nails into the wood).
The pallet house:
An architect was given the task of designing houses for refugees. What is used to transport supplies to the refugee camp? Lots of pallets, which are simply discarded or burned afterwards. Why not use pallets as walls, floors, roofs, terraces? Even as furniture. You can possibly use one pallet to fill holes on the other with. Certain types of pallets already have a double wall so that you can insulate the space in between.
The sheepherds hut:
There was an old, crude shepherd’s station on the mountainside. By its very nature, it was extremely sustainable, as it was built of rock boulders. But the roof was leaking, so it was torn off, beams were laid crosswise overhanging, a wooden floor with a swallow’s passage all around was built on top. Not only is it beautiful, but the gully also protects the interior from wind and mountain weather. True design is never called ‘design’, it is always called ‘beauty comes when you hit the spot in the solution of a practical challenge’. The perfect chef’s knife is beautiful, but it is still a knife with one purpose: to cut through.
The house on the slope:
My uncle had one like that. It was at the entrance to a place south of Odense called Den Gamle Have – The Old Garden, a community area with sport lanes, open air swimming pool and a kiost/café. You entered the living room from the shoe valley down to The Old Garden. Then you went through the kitchen with the cast iron stove, which ran most of the day and heated the entire floor – the stove was alwais center located. Then you went down the steep basement stairs to the utility room, where there were jam jars, glasses, cans and sparkling beer in wooden boxes lined with straw. Then they went straight out into their own garden, which sloped down to a stream at the edge of a forest. Here were the chicken inside a fence and an enclosure for pidgeons. Go to Southern Europe and see how entire cities are built on a mountainside. Important here is how to deal with rain water running down the hill.
Houses of clay and straw:
The material is called cob in English. It is a certain mixture of clay, sand and straw. The technique consists in building an airy frame of poles connected with basket web of thin brances like hazel or willow. The walls are then built up with this wet material, which can be shaped completely organically. Cob builders sometimes can’t help themselves from making window sections that look like something out of Tolkiens The Hobbit. There has to be a roof with a large overhang, because rainwater must not run down the side of the house. The airy material is self-insulating. The oven next to the house may also be made of cob – possibly a different mix.
A large house of 20 m2:
A contradiction? Certainly not. According to certain local building regulations, you may not make extensions or garden houses of more than 20 m2. Then what do you do? Then you make a foundation that stays within the area and instead of vertical walls you make walls that slope outwards and include an upper floor of eg. 30 m2. That makes 50, which is plenty for 2 people and children. In small houses, all space is utilized. Just like in a caravan or a houseboat.
The house on wheels:
One of the many things that is prohibited in Denmark is year-round living in mobile homes. The fact that we largely do not see these house types in Denmark is due to the fact that we have one of the world’s most rigid building-regulatory complexes. EVERYTHING is legislated for. Elsewhere in the world, you can, for example, arrange yourself in a disused horse transport, a large truck with wooden sides and a ramp at the end. Out go the horses, in go the windows, you have a house on wheels.
Another man converted his goods truck by raising the room and putting in a half-barrel roof. The lower floor became the sofa-bed end, the kitchen with a spherical open wood stove that never soots (chimney up through the roof) and a collapsible half-roof out to the ski shed. The car was mostly quiet, but as the man said: ‘It’s easier to get an agreement to park your home for a long time on another person’s lot if you have wheels on it. Then people don’t feel like you’re ‘settling down’, and if there are problems, they can get rid of me more easily. But it will not be relevant, because I will of course make sure to have a good relationship with the owner. And then I can actually go on holiday in my house :-)’
Or what about the woman who bought a large trailer with two middle wheels without a box and then built a house on top of 18 m2? Or what about the gypsy wagon, the discarded scavenger wagon, the crew container, the train wagon?
The recycling house:
Everything in the house is crumpled, discarded materials. I once clobbered a pile of logs into a dumpster when they closed down the local police station and turned it into a fashion store. Beds and tables were built from it for the whole family.
Visit the farmer. He traditionally has a barn full of recycled materials. In the countryside, you store everything, because you have plenty of space for it, and you will need it – one time or another. If you live on a coast with onshore winds, there is driftwood. If you are in the vicinity of dilapidated country houses, bricks can be reused. The house has to be demolished anyway, so try to get an agreement with those who can’t sell the land and rent a truck. Visit the brickyard and pick up bricks that are missing a corner. Or how about boulders in the field? Ancient idea. The farmers do not use them so much anymore, but throw them at the edge of the forest. Discarded thermal windows. If you know how to take them apart, then only the space and the frame are ‘punctured’. Use the old window frames from the demolition house, they are often made of better wood than you can get today, they just need a loving hand. And teach yourself how to cut glass – it’s amazingly easy. The ideas are endless.
House on stilts:
It can of course be something very exotic, which you find in coastal and river areas in East Asia. But actually we don’t have to go that far, because the Swedes are good at making houses without buried foundations. They almost build a large ‘pallet’ on top, possibly with evenly spaced stone settings. It is the solution to the big problem in the Swedish countryside: rocky ground. A Swedish company, arvesund.com, has specialized in making newly designed wooden houses of all sizes based on traditional yet innovated Swedish style. They are very beautiful and very well thought out. Their smallest model goes all the way down to 8 m2 and is called The Hermit’s Hut – the hut is a log cabin. But make no mistake. There is a bed, cupboard, table, chairs, a fireplace and a sink. And if you want a built-in bathroom as well, you can buy the next size at …. 17 m2. It’s called The Hermitage 🙂
The Round House:
We are talking about a principle and not necessarily a real Mongolian yurt woven from camel wool. The principle is the round room with a central skylight. If you take a trip out on Refshaleøen in the Free State of Christiania in Copenhagen, you will also find a real yurt. The man who has his music studio here uses it all year round and it is very easy to heat up. If you ask him, you can order an imported yurt from Mongolia. Talking about Refshaleøen and the Christiania area, it is almost the only place in Denmark where you see a representative selection of the above-mentioned building forms. It is therefore an exception in a country where most of the population lives in standard type houses or tenements. But then: the yurt. It could easily be made of wooden sides, with slightly outward-sloping sides and a roof with an overhang – both parts to prevent water from running down the wood. Besides, who says roof tiles have to be made of … stone? Why not chips of water-resistant teak or spruce? The genius of the central skylight is also that only a few side windows are needed.
Yurts have become popular certain places in the world. Denmark is actually not the ideal place. Some exerience problems with moist and mold due to the very humid climate. Their natural-cultural habitat is of course the open dry-windy plains of Mongolia.
The non-square house:
The yurt is perfectly round. The same applies to ‘the dome’, the cupola. It can be built based on the principles of molecular structures, the geometry of nature. It is also called the geodesic dome. It will typically be in the form of triangular patterns in groups of 5 and 6. The football is an example of this structure og pentagons and hexagons, and Buckminster Fuller designed his domes exactly like this. A particularly perfect and natural shape is the bindu pattern, where the triangles wind up towards the middle, also called a zome.
The octagon is a strong construction, an angular yurt. One should study the way in which the log house ‘binds’ the individual beams by braiding them at the end.
The displaced squares: on top of the basic square, the next layer is turned 45 degrees, while moving inside the basic square. You can do it one more time. The Norwegian, Finnish and Russian wooden churches are sometimes built according to this principle.
During my time as a CAD draftsman in an architectural firm, we joked about the concept of sustainable architecture. So: if a house wasn’t ‘sustainable’, was it a house at all, since it obviously couldn’t sustain and support its own weight? It can be said very simply: sustainability is an imitation of nature’s own construction principles. What is called ‘sacred geometry’ is not some esoteric nonsense, it is the very pillars behind nature’s forms and thus principles for growth, health and … sustainability. There are simply hardcore reasons why beehives, eggs, tree crowns, crystal forms and other structures in nature are extremely strong, because it is nature’s own way of achieving maximum strength with the least possible consumption of resources. Algorithmically speaking, nature always takes the closest route.
The shit house:
Just ask Danish actor and theatre director Jytte Abildstrøm and you will get the recipe for her mult toilet. It is not exactly something you do in a city appartment area, but it applies to most of the building types mentioned. It is natural composting that requires surrounding nature. It is the cities that takes sewage systems because of the unnaturally large accumulation of human organic waste. The principle is that you use a whole lot of water to transport your shit into water pipes instead of letting it break down naturally. Waste does not exist in nature, it is something humans have invented.
The house on water:
A boat is also a house. Dutch canals are full of houseboats that aren’t really meant to sail, even though they can. It’s more of a way to utilize all that water. It’s kind of strange that there aren’t more houseboats in Denmark. Is it again due to the rigid over-regulation in the over-cultivated landscape, where nature has largely disappeared? The population density is greater in the Netherlands, but they have no problem with that. OK, the Netherlands is dammed marshland with an ingenious system of dikes and canals, which explains a lot – including that Dutch law includes it. It has to, how else would 1/3 of the population have a place to live?
Lloyd Kahn’s philosophy is that small can easily be good. But in Denmark, there are virtually no small houses – that is, apart from summer houses and allotments. But it is generally forbidden to inhabit these on a year-round basis. You also cannot live in a caravan on a year-round basis, although this is unproblematic. Ban-ban and ban again. Even prohibition Sweden can’t keep up here.
The curse of the city
Who says we all have to huddle together in the asphalt jungle – wasn’t that something the industrialists invented in the late 19th century, when millions of two-legged donkeys were needed to run the machines in the factories? A good bid for a recapture of the rural district will be when the energy supply during the next decade goes off-grid with the technology that the oil industry and energy companies do not want to appear in the public space, and which has been kept away from people since J.P. Morgan character assassinated Tesla and along with the intelligence services stole his inventions. When that happens, many people no longer want to live in rental housing. Out in the countryside, they also find out how dirty Danish agriculture is, and ecology then becomes a matter of course.
So where does the idiocy of clumping human flesh in prefabricated cage complexes come from? The supporters of the 2.0 principle are today the Agenda 21/2030 prophets, the industrialists 2.0, who want the so-called global village, as it is paradoxically called by them. For one of their goals is a total depopulation of the countryside, housing people in huge housing complexes that would make a Jasques Fresco / The Venus Project happy, and where the population is fully controlled. ‘A place where people are no longer born, they are grown’ (cf. The Matrix 1). The agenda is neo-feudalism and is a follow-up to the drive away from the countryside that started with industrialism and which further increased after WW2: the death of the village in favor of endless boring and violence-inducing suburbs, the death of the island communitiues, the death of the school in favor of huge central schools, the death of shops in favor of shopping centres, the death of local dairy, the death of homesteaders in favor of crop and meat factories, the death of savings banks in favor of unscrupulous global branch banks. All in all, the death of local and personal initiative and direct democracy in favor of the nanny state and the sofa election (after the cross on the note: the sofa).
Besides, democracy is not something invented by the ancient Greeks. They just invented the word. Every village before industrialization had village self-government with a courthouse and guildsmen. The only problem was the lord and the manor. The Vikings had democracy, even when there were kings and earls, e.g. everything Icelandic. It is a huge paradox that we live in a time and a society that calls itself democratic meaning: ruled by the people, when the people rule less than ever before. And speaking of the Icelanders, I suspect that their resolute reaction against the super-bureaucracy, the fascist EU project and its backers in the International Monetary Fund and the World Economic Forum is rooted in that proud tradition. THAT, and not Greco-Roman democracy in its pitiful, watered-down, contemporary version, should be the role model for the plundered European nations. Greeks, Spaniards, Portuguese and Cypriots: kick out the financial fascists!
Financial fascism has imposed on us a society and a lifestyle where we are in debt up to both ears. And, we probably shouldn’t forget, that we willingly bought it. Now we pay it off – by sending a giant bill to our children and grandchildren.
Is it romance?
If you choose to see it that way, then maybe. Romanticism is not the same as utopianism, which promises people gold and green forests and paradise on earth … tomorrow, always tomorrow (that never comes). This is not about tomorrow but what we can and must create today. As a famous lama put it: There are only two days a year when you can do nothing. Yesterday and tomorrow. And as you know, tomorrow is always postponed until: tomorrow.
Lloyd Kahn has a large section in his second book on ‘reading cures’, Shelter II, where he reviews with drawings and blueprints – ready to use – the principles behind all facets of house building. If it is romance, then it is romance with full grounding, after which the undersigned writer is enrolled in the company of practical romantics. For those who over many generations developed and passed on their ways of building shelters, it was not romance, it was survival. It seems we have to learn from them.
Climatic construction of the plot / relation to the landscape
- Climatic construction of the plot / relation to the landscape
- Design checklist
- Flow of water, wind, heat, energy, traffic
- Alternative energy and local energy
- Construction in cold climates
- Flat roofs
- Sloped roofs
- Low gables / roof structures
- High gables / roof structures
- The ‘Saltbox’ – high on one side, low on the other
- Gambrel roof – steep in the low part of the roof, less steep in the high part
- Roof with 4 sloping sides and short roof ridge
- Green house / greenhouse
- Construction principles
- Wall constructions
- Roof trusses and frames
- Roof covering
- Wall covering
- Vapor barrier
- The metal chimneys
- Nail types
- Building materials
- … etc.
It is all something that was common knowledge among our forefathers and mothers, but which most people have forgotten all about today. It’s not oh-so-romantic, it’s practical skills and survival techniques based on knowledge and experience greater than what one generation has been able to develop. It is the core value of traditionalism. Our social structure has helped to destroy the natural knowledge sharing – another trend-pop management word in times when the state and the business professionals have a monopoly on everything. Social democratic leveling policy has ensured that you cannot help your neighbor with your knowledge without the state arriving with accusations of illegal work and tax evasion and wanting money so as not to make a mess of the tax money themselves.
One might have suspected the over-regulated building Denmark of making it so difficult to build one’s own house that people give up in advance. And what is even worse: the quality of construction has not improved, but suffers the same as all other mass production:
- The indoor climate has deteriorated.
- This is compensated with ventilation systems that make apartment buildings perforated like Swiss cheese, which means you can hear when the neighbor farts.
- The building materials (aluminum and concrete and myriads of building materials and paints and chemical preparations that do, yes, guess what, sometimes give off gases that we inhale or absorb when touched) make us sick. Asbestos is only 1/million of materials that should never have been used in homes.
- The windows do not last long (built-in obsolescence), thermal windows are in addition to being ugly – they have, for example, ruined the aesthetics of 1000’nds of houses in Danish villages – also unsustainable and unhealthy. A healthy, well-maintained and good window made of e.g. fir wood should be able to last at least 100 years.
- The aesthetics are … boring and violent! You rape the landscape, you don’t follow the landscape, the landscape is in the way
- The street scene is designed for cars and is in many places empty of life
- You don’t know your neighbors, and you don’t really give a damn about them
- All houses are largely identical and mass-produced. Mass production is not the same as tradition and style constancy. Unimaginative architecture breeds unimaginative people.
- Cities are planned and shot up all at once. The scary example of bad construction is Ørestaden. It is designed top-down. The cities of the past grew bottom-up as an organism. Ørestaden completely lacks ‘soul’ and is therefore in principle unsuitable for human habitation. On the other hand, it is perfect for the de-humanized human, the robo-sapiens.
Read: The City of the Dead
Is this a romantic writing about ‘Back to nature’? Yes and no. Yes, in the sense that we have reached the extreme of nature-alienation. Nature is now striking again, so it can be felt seriously, and we are getting sick in body and soul from this extremism – which is quite real and anti-romantic. No in the sense of swarming and unrealistic. It is completely cynical-realistic considerations that underlie this article. If the destructive corrupt pattern is not broken, we and our children are truly fucked-up!
What about the city properties, by the way? No problem, except that you don’t just slam open a 4-storey property. In the cities, there are extra strict rules for everything. Which is understandable in many ways, because once you make streets and crawl in height, you have more or less abolished nature. A log cabin in Main Street no. 42 … no, well. The subject falls outside today’s theme, so maybe another time.
Read: We live in ugliness and long for beauty
Urban architecture requires architects and engineers, and when you climb high, you have to know everything about what you’re doing. From my two years as a freelancer for an architectural firm, I can assure you that it is not imagination and good will that architects lack. But as soon as a wealthy developer comes in, the architect becomes his lackey, and the cheap and often unimaginative solution is the result.
So does that mean we all have to move to an island and live in a shed? If it is the result of the reading, then read again. It is a call and inspiration for thinking. Preferably out of the box. But first and foremost, it is a knowledge of and demonstration that humans are capable of living in 1000 ways, while we gradually settle for living in 10 prefabricated ways. It is a cultural impoverishment and, in addition, extremely uneconomic and inappropriate. If we scratch the surface, we quickly find that the reason for our demarcation and choice or non-choice of lifestyle is purely due to the convenience of someone else – not ourselves – and this someone’s opportunity to make money. The example of the builder can be elevated to a social principle in our world.
The fact that someone has made money in the place we live in does not therefore make it fit for human habitation. Or unsuitable for that matter. But it is about time that many people start asking themselves whether their lifestyle is due to consideration of someone else, who thye are willing to serve.