Architecture A Note on Modernism
posted by March 1 at 12:35 PMon
If there is to be hope for the future, one of the three popular toys that should be abolished is the dollhouse. What a girl/boy should have instead for play is a residential tower. A dollhouse, like a toy car, weakens, rather than strengthens, the social instincts in a child. And as experience shows, social instincts, unlike selfish ones, take time, effort, an education to develop. With a tower as a toy, the habit of living with others in dense locations is introduced at an early age. The dollhouse encourages the complete opposite habit—the habit of homeownership. And the consequence of the American dream of homeownership has been this unsustainable trend:
In 2005, there were 1.4 million single-family homes built and only 160,000 units in buildings with more than 20 units.
In short, we must revive the themes and goals of modernism, which, as a new book, From a Cause to a Style, by the sociologist Nathan Glazer points out, has failed in America. A recent reviewer of that book, Edward Glaeser, agrees with all of the reasons Glazer provides for the failure of modernism in America but one, the “scale problem.” Glaeser writes near the end of the review:
If there is one area where Mr. Glazer and I disagree it is his view that “scale is a problem.” The resurgence of New York, London, and Chicago, and the great, growing cities of Asia remind us of how valuable scale can be. Scale is not for everyone, but great towers enable vast numbers of people to reap the economic and social benefits from physical proximity. New York’s skyscrapers are the infrastructure that enables the city’s flow of ideas…
So, for the sake of increasing the social benefits that come naturally with increased social instincts in individuals, we must mass manufacture models of these for girls and boys: