However, much has happened since it went up, including the Blogger outage. Scroll down for a report on that. More new posts will be added below this one. The essay below is the conclusion of the ninth part in a series by Takuan Seiyo.
For men, clothes are meant to cover their nakedness. Their value is purely functional. For women however, clothes are an expression of their personality. What she chooses to wear on a particular day is a woman's way of saying who she is; her values, personality, and what she wants other people to think of her.
Now, if we consider cities from this perspective, some are certainly more feminine than others. I'm not denying women's ability to be practical, nor men's ability to express themselves by the way they dress.
Rather, I'm using this generalisation to make a point about where that dial on our architectural scale of values lies, and what approach public authorities have when planning and installing urban furniture. I will clarify the point with an example.
Take something like grass or any other urban greenery. A masculine approach Hotel rwanda essay questions dressing our cities dictates that grass is meant to cover up the bare naked ground. And if we could find another way of covering it up, say, with a material that needs less maintenance or that can be used for advertising think of how many trees have been replaced with billboards then we would come out quite well, and with some extra money in the pocket.
These would be judged as very practical solutions, straight to the point. And with the same mentality, every empty space should be turned into a parking lot, and any piece of construction over metres tall that is not a building must either be a lamp-post or a telephone mast.
Another example is paint. A masculine approach says that paint is meant for covering up the bare nakedness of concrete and plaster. And if we could find something to replace this tiresome material, that easily tarnishes under rain and sun, with something more practical like alucobond and all the range of self-cleaning external finishes then we would certainly be better off.
They express our appreciation for freshness and natural beauty. Street furniture like sculptures and obelisks would not just be landmarks that serve the purpose of orientation.
They would turn our streets into open museums full of reminders of our culture and heritage. And as for painting facades and using natural finishes like stone or brick, such an approach to dressing up our cities would make us do more than just covering up the bare walls behind or the bare behinds of walls.
But wouldn't this cost more? Such questions reveal that the general public, and especially those with the power to build, have a too much of a materialistic mentality and too little of an aesthetic one. They are masculine dressers, not feminine ones.
The value of beauty, even economically, has been overshadowed by the price-per-square-metre doctrine. The quantity of space you can sell is more important than the quality of space you can offer.
Real estate developers cash-in more on square metres of built space than on "nice views" which are considered, at best, as sentimental incentives. There is some truth to the materialist approach.
Square metres do fetch a good price. However, my argument is that Quality of Space sells even more. If we are going to argue about initial costs, there is no doubt that beauty is expensive.
But there's equally no doubt that in the long run, people are willing to spend on buildings and spaces whose value grows with time. A functional approach will provide spaces whose lifespan is dependent on the practical use of that space. As soon as the function changes, the space becomes dead, and one is at pains to find new clients who have that specific need to fit into that specific place.
Such spaces always lend their beauty to whatever new function they serve.
Now, it is a museum and does the job just as well in one time as in another. Sadly, this is not the case with the string of buildings at the start of Mpaka Rd Westlands, opposite the famous Mc Frys restaurant. Their name has long since been forgotten. Its design was from the very beginning, purely functional.
The practical demands of shopping spaces shoved aside the beauty that would have made the space still relevant today. Unfortunately, its only tenants are now a few bats, lizards and cockroaches, amid a pile of dust and slime-coated debris.Archives and past articles from the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and grupobittia.com Are you a Fresh Graduate in Kenya?
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