Monotony and plainness are rarely considered as factors supressing the Australian psyche. But consider for a moment that most project homes built in estates are by and large the same across the continent.
Could we be contributing to what Alain De Botton calls ‘Status Anxiety’? He suggests that our level of satisfaction in life is relative to how we view ourselves when compared to others. If we see an individual or family that we view to be our equals moving ahead or achieving something we have not we are more likely to experience greater levels of envy and resentment. (Status Anxiety – Alain De Botton)
By limiting the choice of a design, and ending up with what is essentially the same as ones neighbour are we actually increasing the desire and desperation for difference?
Let’s liken it for a moment to clothes. Go into any high school that requires a set uniform and you will immediately see kids subverting monotony in the search for individuality. They are the ones that are always trying to push the boundaries, introducing nose or tongue piercings, shorter skirts, baggier pants or the school hat on backwards. It is evidence of the human instinct to desire independence and uniqueness.
Could it be the same within the residential building industry?
Could we actually appeased levels of envy and resentment though conceiving our buildings form out of a response to place? Does this not seem more natural than though fake phyodoric columns, porte cocheres and herbal mouldings, all decorative, yet irrelevant facade treatments?