Our homes are designed for stuff, making them unsuitable for people


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/11/16/grand-pianos-small-ambitions.html


The red dots in this image show how houses are really used, in terms of time spent.


Is that Prof Plumb in the Dining Room with a candlestick?


Miss Scarlet, obvs. Weapon selection undetermined.


Rev. Green with a lead pipe in the back passage.


Our homes? Speak for yourself—I for one do not live in a McMansion.


The subdivision of single-family McMansions into multi-family dwellings as American exurbs become favelas will be especially ugly. Victorian mansions were designed sensibly and durably enough that they could be turned into livable rooming houses and SROs when owners could no longer afford the upkeep, but that’s not the care with houses whose interiors are designed mainly to impress others and display stuff.


I have a feeling that Stewart Brand wouldn’t particularly have a problem with McMansions as long as the people living there mold the building to fit their lives. If it’s just a trophy piece, then yeah, they’re stupid.

I don’t think I’ve ever heard Mr. Brand criticize mixing of architectural styles. I think he’d approve of a trailer being glued to the side of the house if that space was used for something that made the lives of the occupants better.


One good thing about a smaller home is that it tends to counteract this effect, especially if the public areas are built on an open plan.

She’s talking about “our” single-family homes in the sense of more recent American ones.


Oh good I get to post this:


That’s basically the point being made in the article I linked to. Seeing how the kitchen table is still a main focus reminded me of when my kids used it for homework, crafts, and hanging out in our 1200 square foot (111 sq. m.) house. I’m glad to see the piano gets some attention.

Before air conditioning, that big porch would have been much more utilized.


The dining room may be aspirational, but I do wish that I had one.


Trapezes. Climbing walls.

Best, though: cat playland.

[Edit: cheers to @Mindysan33 who posted about the cat playland in July 2017]


“Our lives are designed for stuff, making them unsuitable for people”


Our Late Stage is designed for Capitalism, making it unsuitable for humans…


I assume that I am in the minority here, but Kate Wagner seems like a bit of a jerk.



I mean, she’s snarky, but her critiques are deeper than than a hipster’s subjective difference on aesthetics.


Yes, but the HOA would not.


Our homes are designed for stuff
Modern homes are designed for stuff” would be a better way of putting it, the house I live in is about 150 years old so I doubt it was designed for half of what we use it for. It wasn’t designed with electricity in mind, but there is plenty of room for servants.


I never have understood the appeal of these big things. The newest house I have lived in was the tiny 26’ geodesic dome built by my family, by hand, in 1971. Ever since then, I’ve lived in pre-1950 houses. I have no interest in the newer houses. I’ve had in-laws who lived in those, but the bigness of these places seemed rather pointless.

If you don’t feel a bit cramped in your house, then it’s too big.