Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Offshore Architecture

(Map of offshore finance havens via)

Another more vicious and destabilising kind of relationship between architecture and fluidity is suggested in this recent Guardian article. In it William Brittain Catlin points out some of the hideous ironies of the (specifically) US/UK economic collapse.

At one end of this collapse we have houses as supposedly safe and solid investments, both symbolically - in the sense that they represent the high point of our aspirations) - and literally - in the sense that the size of our mortgages limits our options and keeps us tethered to home) - grounding us. At the other we have the free-floating, nationless, homeless, deregulated hedge funds that finance such painful dreams.

During the last three decades houses have assumed an ever greater importance in our collective value system, becoming more reassuringly familiar in their symbolism at the same time. Meanwhile their financing has become ever more abstract, intangible and destructive. It is as if finance itself has taken on the dreams of boundary-less freedom we might once have wished for ourselves, while we have invested all our desires and more than we earn in staying put, staying home.

No comments: