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SUBJECT: design focus
DATE: 3/11/1999 1:59:00 PM


I have only recently become acquainted with PATH.
Conceptually this program seems to be for the good.
What I am curious about, is that if we can accept and
believe (as a constant, so to speak) that emerging
technologies will allow us to build better housing
(more energy efficient, recyclable, economical, more
durable and more affordable, etc.), then shouldn't
there be much more focus on design? I'm not talking
necessarily about nuts and bolts (although ease of
construction should be implicit to any design idea).
I am talking about the affective result of the house
on an individual's life. What will make a house
actually enhance a life on an experiencial level,
through quality space, good light, good orientation,
good interaction with the site, etc.? The products we
are seeing built, for the large part, really show
little if any innovation in new and better forms.
Instead, we are still seeing the same designs we have
seen for the last twenty years, at least. What will
be the legacy of these structures (inherently dated)
to those of future generations? Have we really
invested in the visual environment?

Technology in the housing industry, is way ahead of
the forms that are created with these technologies.
Why is it that no one seems to pay attention to the
way something looks and feels or how it may be
experienced? Or, at least, why does there seem to be
a blind contentedness and satisfaction with very ho-
hum designs? Shouldn't we exploit the built form as
we exploit new technologies? Shouldn't the concept of
green building go beyond the physical recycliblity and
economy of materials and actually invest in our visual

When are we going to quit staring at these concepts so
microscopically and start broadening our perspective
to see what the far reaching affect of a design can be
on those who may experience these structures , be it
the inhabitants or those who may observe from afar?

All of those interested in discussing this further,
please post. An open dialogue on this topic will do
everyone some good.

Troy Kennedy
QMET Architects
Austin, TX.



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