Interviewing different design “experts” for our kitchen remodel last year, I was struck how each one wanted to tear down the relatively small wall separating our living room and dining area from the kitchen.
When I explained that I preferred having a visual and auditory buffer between those rooms, the answer was always the same..”But it could look so much bigger!”
“I’m sure it would” was my answer “but it just won’t function for how we live and I actually want to preserve the original layout of the house.”
Funny enough I recently read an article on design trends and it looks like the ‘Open Concept’ craze is coming to an end.. partially because of Covid. As more and more folks spend more and more time at home, they are craving privacy, quiet and space for themselves.. (makes sense to me.)
Design ideas clearly come and go, so I guess the moral of the story is to carefully consider the real-life, potentially permanent, consequences of major choices.
All of this got me thinking about times throughout recent history when blowing up “old things” was all the rage. Little value was placed on the importance of preserving historical buildings or infrastructure. There was zero respect for original designs or how new architecture would fit into established communities. Builders appealed to the demands of the masses and bulldozed their way to riches. We were impatient, we wanted our new fangled ideas implemented immediately and with no restraints. We didn’t care what we had to plow down in order to get what we wanted-and we wanted it right now!
I can’t help but feel our country is in that moment again..giddy about blowing up “infrastructure” that has held us together as a functioning society.. rapidly replacing it with carelessly drafted concepts that suit pressing political needs and, at least temporarily, placate the rampaging furies.
It reminds me of when they tore down a row of historic homes in (one of our favorite places) downtown Savannah for a humungous parking garage..I’m sure it seemed like a great idea in the moment but sadly became an ugly and permanent monument to the long term ramifications of short term, egocentric and impulsive decision making. Change can be good, but change implemented without thoughtful consideration of potential negative impacts can lead to big mistakes.