Following the publication of Matthew’s Manifesto on the Origin of Creativity, he began writing an architectural blog in the Spring 2012, archived here in this collection.
The average lifespan of an American house is thirty-four years. Architects claim this is unacceptable and strive to build structures that will last a hundred years or more, claiming only then will it be sustainable. They have it wrong. Their ‘green’ certification rewards longevity and efficiencies, but LEED certified architects do not grasp the true nature of the problem – building houses with more durable materials, most often mined (with the heaviest burden and finite availability) to extend a dwelling’s lifespan, in theory makes sense. But our homes are not re-built because they wear out, we re-build and renovate because we tire of a dated appearance, furnishings, lifestyle.
Our culture shifts consumer driven fads every year or two and our tastes follow suit. The race to have the latest phone or this season’s designer clothes creates a lot of waste, however, nothing compares to the energy lost and material resources expended to change over a home to keep up with the Jones. We don’t need houses that will last forever made of indestructible low maintenance materials, our fancy changes with the wind. We need houses that respond to our fickle habits, houses made of soluble materials that will return to the earth naturally, easily, quickly, so the inevitable desire to change will have the smallest impact. Step lightly, not dig holes and build fortresses.
sketches: blog on architecture (2012)
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