“Home is not, perhaps, at all a notion of architecture, but of psychology, psychoanalysis and sociology. Home is an individualized dwelling, and the means of this subtle personalization seem to be outside our notion of architecture…Home is an expression of personality and family and their very unique patterns of life. Consequently, the essence of home is closer to life itself than to artifacts.”
The airplane and the internet are the two factors that changed the paradigm of home. While history illustrates many examples of migration, but most of these migrations have been with the entire tribe, it was not an individual choice or will. Nowadays, people usually choose by themselves to relocate, and this can happen for various reasons: better job opportunities, different climate, or for more personal reasons like relocating for their loved ones or just for the sake of experiencing something new.
The renowned architect Juhani Pallasmaa, in an essay titled Identity, Intimacy and Domicile Notes on the Phenomenology of Home, states that:
Good architecture does not guarantee a good home, architecture is (just) a facilitator, but on the other side, bad architecture can worsen the self-esteem and the conditions of living of the owners. Children all around the world are mocked by their peers if they are considered to be living in degrading conditions, and this can affect them psychologically. Nonetheless, the aesthetical appearances, many of them are happy and know how to enjoy life (see the countries in Latin America).
We live in an age where we pay too much attention to the visual aspect of our buildings, and we forget that architecture should touch our soul not just our lives.
Therefore, we are in search of experiences, not just pretty images. Experiences engage our whole bodies, mind, and spirit, all the senses, we are immersed in the environment, we become the environment and the environment becomes us. We want to relocate to a different place in the world, not (just) for the way the city looks, but the way people live their lives there.
Architecture is, also, a facilitator of this life. There is interdependence between culture, climate and the activities of the people. Architecture is the result of the way people live.
Even though the architects have the ability to dictate how one lives their lives, | the fact that the houses are transformed into a living organism by their users is a testimony that something is lacking in the curriculum, because this is what you are taught in architecture schools, that you have to design aesthetically appealing houses. |
“Wardrobes, cupboards and drawers represent the functions of putting away and taking out, storing and remembering.” When one goes backpacking across the world, this is exactly what he lacks. His entire fortune is jammed into his backpack. Lack of storage could mean an unwillingness to collect memories? And by memories, I don’t mean pleasant memories, but more of a detachment of unwanted clutter. More and more people are quitting their jobs and are taking a sabbatical year, to travel the world, or teenagers before going to college they want to spend some time globetrotting.
The act of leaving one’s home with only reduced baggage could signify one’s willingness to free up his mind, and go search a different self. By going to different places, you are exposed to different cultures and different situations, and you start knowing parts of yourself that you never knew existed. And you cannot explore the world with a mind full of misconceptions and a back bent by the heaviness of the backpack.
“Our imagination fills out compartments of rooms and buildings with memories and turns them into our own personal territories. We have just as great a need to keep secrets as we have to reveal, know and understand them. One of the reasons why contemporary houses and cities are so alienating is that they do not contain secrets; their structure and contents are conceived at a single glance. Just compare the labyrinthine secrets of an old medieval town or any old house, which stimulate our imagination and fill it with expectation and excitement, with the transparent emptiness of our new cityscape and blocks of flats.”
Perhaps this is one of the reasons why people want to explore the world more nowadays. They are in search of the unknown, when in fact they are in search of the unknown parts of themselves.
“Authentic architecture is always about life; man’s existential experience is the prime
The subject matter of the art of building.” (Juhani Pallasmaa, in an essay titled Identity, Intimacy and Domicile Notes on the Phenomenology of Home)
“…it is time space and money which make the world go around, and us go around (or not) the world. It is capitalism and its developments which are argued to determine our understanding and our experience of space.”
“The home should be the treasure chest of living.” Le Corbusier