ruminations about architecture and design

Thursday, August 8, 2013

a shifting baselines special edition

Okay, I was about to start some rambling screed about the death of character in American architecture. I googled images for "mcmansion" and came across a picture of the Biltmore Estate. Now, I'm not sure that I can mount an effective criticism of modern American dwellings. How can I judge taste? My clients pay me for my opinion--at times I have to go so far as to make something resembling an argument. Meanwhile, the deep yearnings of millions of citizens take form in tracts of subdivisions and a profusion of rooflines and cheap brick. Its not as if I can pass judgment on this when I ride past rotting, fire-trap triple deckers every morning in Boston. My home has vinyl siding, vinyl windows, suspect plumbing, and inadequate insulation. My landscaping is an ongoing study in neglect and futility. My driveway needs to be repaved.

We all strive to keep the great game going.

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