ruminations about architecture and design

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

good fences

Every boundary erected by humans implies the possibility of transgression. This picket fence seems to enclose a portion of someone's property and provides a clear visual marker that would be recognized by any other person. It performs its service as a barrier by tapping into a deep part of our psychology that recognizes artificial space definers and assigns them a form of power that is far in excess of their physical presence. Animals respond to these visual or symbolic markers with a similar respect. A highly motivated dog could surmount this fence with ease, but in most circumstances would understand that such an action would have negative consequences.

Last year, on this day, the Tsarnaev brothers committed a violation against public space and personal property. My thoughts on the event are still unresolved. From some things I observed yesterday near Copley Square, the consequences of their actions are reflected in some minor increases in public safety measures. However, these actions--fence building on a large scale--have not turned my work neighborhood into a police state. I expect to see large crowds in the following days. These crowds are the most effective repudiation of some of the intentions and aspirations of those two criminals.

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