Should architects start hiring real people?

February 16, 2014


I don’t know much about either one of these houses except that they are both in Japan.  It is not hard to figure out which one turned up on the slick architectural blog arch daily and which one  came from flickr?  If you have any doubt click the photos and follow the link to find out.  I posted them together to demonstrate the profound paradox between architectural fantasy and living reality.  The beautiful sculptural form on the right becomes something else entirely when subjected, as is the house on the left, to the messiness of human interaction.  As landscape architect Margie Ruddick pointed out in the April issue of Dwell, at bit of mess is where life happens. I keep thinking the two must somehow intersect for architecture to happen really.

As an aside, anyone who has ever spent a night in a Japanese royokan understands the national tendency to separate the private and public space.

As another aside,  the word slum, though well defined in the  dictionary, has no comparable in the Merriam Webster online Thesaurus; meaning that neither is there an antonym.  It appears to sit alone in the English language.


  1. Yikes, i dont like either of these haha.

    • I was tempted to subtitle this post “architects design bridges for real people to live under,” which considering the Japanese tendency to manipulate every inch of available space, is not necessarily a bad place to be. Anyway, I can’t seem to avoid making the visual connection between the houses and a freeway underpass.

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