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HOME In A Change Time

June 22, 2020


The flurry of articles exploding on our screens on “The New Architecture of COVID19” is all trees, no forest. And for good reason: we don’t know where the forest is growing, dying, or being cleared, let alone the tree species. We are in full Myopia Mode during a change time. In an effort to simulate perspective every day is a Groundhog Day of “experts” on the Internet.

Think of this the beginning of a social Ice Age: we can sense that the temperature is changing (no hand shakes, let alone hugs). Some familiar animals are vanishing (offices are empty, people more often work from home). Centering our lives around a social existence, where people have to be together to work or live, has, for many, ended.

Things in Sequestration have socially ripened to have gone beyond shock and adaptation, to, perhaps, thinking about what has changed beyond coping. Are we seeing things differently? If so how? How will this affect what we build in the future, especially homes?

What does that shift in perception mean in terms of the home? Will it change? Will where we make them change? Are we redefining sustainability to include our personal sustainability, beyond the existential, but distant, perception of climate change? If so, what is the connection, synergy, cross-pollination of our perception of future life in the COVID/Climate Change niche of survival?

This month, HOME PAGE has three thought leaders who offer perspective, rather than predictions. Ann Sussman teaches at the Boston Architecture Center and conducts intensive investigations of how humans perceive the built environment. Mark Alan Hewitt is a writer, preservationist, and an architect whose trenchant thoughts have a perspective that calls into question how and why architects create buildings. Martin Pedersen is the Editor of the Common Edge Collaborative, for all the rest of us on HOME PAGE this week, and his view during the whiplashing cross currents of this complicated time is especially valuable.

Forget about conclusions: Lets understand where we are first: since it’s changing every day, it’s necessary, if frustrating.

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