the gates.central park.nyc :: 2.26.05
design 102 ::. design for life
i really appreciated all the great comments on my last post. lots of substance. it really got me going. here are some further thoughts in designing living – homes
design involves all of life to serve life
these days some communities are being built with openness and accessibility in mind. many of these architectural designs involve expansive windows that invite the world outside in. how would you like your family activities to be on display for all to see?
my good friend e. and her hubby just moved into a new dorm type apartment structure where they can easily peep into other people’s spaces from across, above, or below. now this may not make many people feel very comfortable. afterall, it goes against the design principles of modern suburbia that tend to separate, divide. people cherish their privacy. but what do we really have to hide? why do we hide especially when we are part of a “community”? during my stay here in jersey, i don’t know many people who care about their neighbors or even know who they are.
i grew up in a very italian part of brooklyn where everybody knew everybody. these older pizanos would sit outside on the sidewalk on summer afternoons just chillaxing. i saw them everyday on my way home from school. they watched me grow up. these fellas were even very protective of me, looking out for my safety and sometimes calling me out on my poor decisions or rejoicing in my achievements. that was a great supplement to my home-life. they cared for the neighborhood and those living in it.
the idea behind designing communities where everyone can see your family or individual business is about cultivating community responsibility. neighbors are to look out for their neighbors. it requires that people get involved in each other’s lives. it literally removes the walls and barriers that keep us from each other. the result should be a more secure, close and loving community. we like to hide behind our masks. we’d like for everyone to think that we have the picture-perfect family or perfect life. we know better today there’s much more behind those smiles in family portraits. we desire authenticity and acceptance.
in a recent conversation, it was asked, why don’t we live or like to live in glass houses? the answer — because people like to throw rocks, especially in the church. we like walls and darkness because we don’t want others to know everything in our lives. we need something to hide behind to show that we are better than we actually are. we’re afraid of being judged. our homes, our lives are fragile things. they must be handled with care.
taking church a step further ::.
the church needs to rethink its sense of architecture among other things. rather than asking people to go to “church”, invite them to see your home first. in other words, let them see how you live. between you and the people you hang with (e.g. fellowship, family), are you living in living together in redemptive practices of reconciliation, accountability, care and obedience? imagine what it would be like if your neighbors saw “church” happening in your open and accessible home? ++++++
we need to rethink design/architecture/urban planning and its relationship to(1) being part of the Kingdom; and (2) being responsible stewards of creation. i’ve been long wild about sustainable design. i can’t believe i consider myself a treehugger. whowouldathunkit?
[Sustainable design is the art of producing objects using only renewable resources, and which themselves, in operation, deplete only renewable resources. Such designs are called ‘sustainable’ because they serve human needs without destroying the resource base on which human civilization is based. Thus, they can be used into the indefinite future.]
there is a restoring factor to design and not just aesthetics and functionality. design should aid the soul and not just the eye or body. when we design something it ought to have a purpose larger than itself. it ought to serve life.
some good conscious links ::
::Habitat for Humanity ::
a widely respected, nonprofit organisation that seeks to “eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world”
::Architecture for Humanity ::
AfH has a long, honored tradition of doing astoundingly cutting-edge work. they will be applying 100% of the money raised for this project to the reconstruction itself, with zero overhead costs. please consider making a donation.
:: food ::
share restaurant nyc
share’s desire is to connect people with the food that they eat and with the friends they eat with. cuisine is seasonal American, all served in tasting portions that are meant to be shared. portions are slightly larger than appetizer size to encourage sampling of various menu items.
the menu revolves around ingredients that are purchased fresh from farmer’s markets and local suppliers. since food should both taste and do good, share supports small farmers who are sensitive to the environment and practice sustainable agriculture.
share’s philosophy is to eat with the earth’s cycles; the menu changes with the seasonality of the ingredients. A strong emphasis is placed on using pure ingredients and natural resources such as organic and wild (not farm raised) products. sauces are integrated to enhance and elevate the natural flavors of the base ingredients. we feel that it is important to reconnect people with the land through the food they eat.
in the back of the house, owner-chef Kay Chun, runs the kitchen using her food education and industry knowledge to ensure that the food is of the highest quality. owner-manager Winston Shih runs the front of the house to create an intimate environment with friendly service and close attention to customer needs. “