Thursday, 18 August 2011

House My Nephew Wants to Build

My Dream House, by wobuilt.comMy Dream House
"... a tree house with stairs, plumbing for the washroom,
roof that opens, an extra area for the kitchen/living room,
and additional supports for the structure."

2011 @

Where does our imagination go?
My soon to be 7 year old nephew Alex drew me his version of a dream house recently and I was totally blown away. Not only can I harbour hopes that there will be a designer or architect / engineer in the next generation, but I marveled at the depths of his ideas at his age.

All I asked him was if he could draw his dream house, the one he would like to live in and he immediately said: "Oh, I draw you a tree house." And not just any tree house, one that has stairs in the tree trunk, plumbing for the washroom, roof that opens and an extra area for the kitchen/living room. He even thought of extra supports for the structure. Amazing! I am so proud.

It struck me: if we as children have so much 'realistic' imagination, why do we end up with standard unimaginative boxes to live in when we are adults? Where does the sense of adventure go? Is it a question of supply and demand? Are we getting what we ask for or are we given only limited choices or are we conditioned to like boxes? These are questions that warrant lengthy answers, but maybe we just have to ask them. I am not advocating that we all live in a tree house or castle, but that we let our imagination loose.

If we have to end up with a box, maybe we can make it an interesting one. We can use the notion of inside-outside space, using orientation, playing with levels, daylight/sunlight, natural ventilation, window sizes, structure and other architectural themes and tools to bring wow into the space.

But talking again about tree houses. My nephew is not the only one dreaming about living in or around a tree. In our post Wobinna’s Dream Home Contest: Submission #2 Tree House we described a tree house with amenities, just as my nephew did. There seems to be something ancient and elementary in humans that likes the idea of back to nature, green and simpler, but with modern amenities. Maybe we need to bring this element back into our designs.

Hence we are considering reviving our dream house competition where we would like to push the envelope of home design; where we can let our imagination come true. We, as humans, have an abundance of imagination. We are influenced by many factors from popular culture to space travel, from traditional design to modern architecture. So dream away and something marvelous will come from it!

Martina Ernst
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

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