I’ve been pondering how people make decisions, more specifically how they make decisions about architecture. I really don’t expect people to think about architecture, cities or even our physical environment very often, unless you are an architect like me. Nevertheless, I believe it is our values, our faith and our priorities that govern how we choose where to live, what to drive and how to spend those fleeting 24 hours given to us each day. These values govern the minds of the developers who choose to renovate or build on untouched land. Do we just consume or do we think about giving back? Why don’t we reuse an existing building versus building from scratch?
Oh, I can be found guilty as charged, so I’m not throwing stones. However, I am asking questions, especially in light of the economic crash we are all still living.
A great song, by a great Christian artist, Billy Crockett has said it more profoundly than I could.
“41 lawnmowers” by Billy Crockett
Find a good old neighborhood. / A square block of the USA. / Stake your claim. / Claim your space. / Sink your roots & live your days.
Build a fence / close it in / raise a lawn & grow some kids. / Make a name. Name your friends. /And that’s the American way to live.
and 41 houses, only 1 street /41 yards, 82 trees. / 41 mowers all sitting in sheds / 41 families in over their heads / & everybody’s got their own everything.
from the Bronx to Hollywood. / Montreal to Mexico. /The fever grows. /Go for gold. / Gain the world & lose your soul
Push & shove / don’t look back / Absolute success attack. / Insulate / Cul-de-sac / Prove the universe of fact.
41 houses, only 1 street /41 yards, 82 trees. / 41 mowers all sitting in sheds / 41 families in over their heads / 41 neighbors with nothing to say / building their lives the American way /& everybody’s got their own everything.
41 houses, only 1 street /41 yards, 82 trees. / 41 mowers all sitting in sheds / 41 families in over their heads / 41 tables for 41 meals, 41 hundred automobiles/ 41 neighbors with nothing to say / building their lives the American way /& everybody’s got their own everything. “
Is this the American way, the American dream? I hope not, at least not for me and my family. We try to think through our decisions in light of our values and beliefs. I suppose one day we’ll find out how well we did.
I found another blogger who pondered this several years ago. He is not writing about architecture, but he does address a favorite subject of mine, community. Read his blog where he cites this same song.
I’d love to get your thoughts.
Bottom photo is from jk5854 photostream on Flickr (used under the Creative Common License)
Top photo may be your neighborhood.