American Nightmares

Another one of my favorite subject ARCHITECTURE - actually my life line from where I administer the intravenous fluid to survive this physical world.
I am working here in the US for the past 5 years in a small office that deals with Residential Projects. I opted to shift to a smaller office from a big one - to come in touch with the REAL PEOPLE - WITH REAL DREAMS (obviously based on thier income) and PROBLEMS (created becoause they dream bigger than they can eschew).
I think to be a good architect you have to be socially sensitive and design to exhilerate the spirit.
It has been a very interesting journey - I have met people from all walks of life -people from all different nations - religions - aspirations -dreams - apprehensions.
But all these people have common goal of attaining the "American Dream" - their Home.
But it is sad that I am unable to push the boundaries in this contractor-mortgage dominated field of practice. Any Tom-Dick-Harry who can weild his weapons of mass production (construction tools) can become a contractor.
Their lack of sensitivity backed by the ever hanging cloud of mortgage and loan payments - trickle down on bastardizing the home designs.
I have designed houses where the bathrooms for a certain class of people is a bedroom for the other where a family of two three share that room. But the windows and the configuration and the materials and the look of the houses is almost the same.
It is very surprising - a country like US - priding itself for individualistic growth - the individual has accepted this form of architecture.
I also beleive the social problems in this country are because of the way these houses are - lacking sufficient daylight - smelly, creaky and cramped - (most because of the absurd zoning laws) - people tend to avoid being home or are just simply stressed once they are there.
I simply wonder sometimes and ask is this really THE AMERICAN DREAM or NIGHTMARE


Preethi said...

Now this is a diffrent way of looking at the social probs here. Never thought of associating this aspect with the kind of housing in America. Interesting. You cud send this idea across to the papers. Not joking here!