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McMansion or not?

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Kent Wang, Mar 12, 2006.

  1. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    I love Nano Walls and if we build will have one or two. If we buy, hope the place has or if not, a likely spot to install one.
    The Nano and like-kind doors are great! I've also adapted standard patio (French style) doors to multi-track sliding/pocket operation.
     


  2. A Y

    A Y Senior member

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    Speaking of ugly, here's a mini McMansion I drive by occasionally:

    [​IMG]

    --Andre
     


  3. mordecai

    mordecai Immoderator

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    the kitchen floor of that of that home seems to be devouring the exterior
     


  4. whiteslashasian

    whiteslashasian Senior member

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    The 3 tiers aren't cohesive in any way...ugh.
     


  5. ad_infinitum

    ad_infinitum Senior member

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    Lol. You doubt the link between nature, mental wellness and health? If you're saying that the built environment a person surrounds themselves in has nothing to do with their health and happiness and the quantitative measures of each, people wouldn't need to make an effort to improve their living or work conditions beyond the purpose of attaining some level of desired function. Can you understand how stupid that is? Look at these two work spaces, where two different people might have spend 50 hours a week for their entire working life, and tell me there is no distinction between the level of anxiety, depression, fatigue, or displeasure they would elicit.
    I will skip the whole making fun of you and try to get to the points. No, I do not doubt the link between nature and mental wellness and health. However, I do doubt that carpet flooring significantly increases levels of depression. Depression is a complicated illness, and true causation from genetics, neurobiology and environmental causes is far from being definitely and completely understood. What I am trying to say is that to claim that carpet choice significantly alters the onset of depression episodes, (when current science has troubles differentiating if depression is partly caused by low socioeconomic status or is low SES caused by depression) is nonsensical. I think you overgeneralized a bit. Because this is internet and specifically styleforum, take a look at this picture: [​IMG] Alpha Waves are something that is commonly associated with wakeful relaxation and meditation, the last example on here is epilepsy (the less bad kind). Do you see which one has 'increased brain activity'. Can you understand why it is stupid to say something like : People with hardwood floors are happier and have increased brain activity? I am pretty sure I am just bitter with the whole lets correlate this and this and than make a ridiculous statement. Throw in a brain reference or two and you are golden. However, I do understand your points and do agree with your general approach to this, it is just couple things that bothered me. Maybe I should not have jumped in like that. I apologize. PS That is a wonderful office.
     


  6. mordecai

    mordecai Immoderator

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    it isn't ridiculous. i am currently in my drab office, depressed, wishing that i was in the forest office that was posted, or in my nice bungalow home . it's not a brain waves/emerging field of science debate. it's more like "i'm eating Lay's potato chips, i wish i had some good food."
     


  7. Hannerhan

    Hannerhan Senior member

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    it isn't ridiculous. i am currently in my drab office, depressed, wishing that i was in the forest office that was posted, or in my nice bungalow home . it's not a brain waves/emerging field of science debate. it's more like "i'm eating Lay's potato chips, i wish i had some good food."

    So I'm the only one who would feel claustrophobic in an underground forest tube? [​IMG]
     


  8. mordecai

    mordecai Immoderator

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    So I'm the only one who would feel claustrophobic in an underground forest tube? [​IMG]
    so replace with whatever example does not look like [​IMG] [​IMG]
     


  9. StephenHero

    StephenHero Black Floridian

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    I will skip the whole making fun of you and try to get to the points. No, I do not doubt the link between nature and mental wellness and health. However, I do doubt that carpet flooring significantly increases levels of depression. Depression is a complicated illness, and true causation from genetics, neurobiology and environmental causes is far from being definitely and completely understood. What I am trying to say is that to claim that carpet choice significantly alters the onset of depression episodes, (when current science has troubles differentiating if depression is partly caused by low socioeconomic status or is low SES caused by depression) is nonsensical. I think you overgeneralized a bit. Because this is internet and specifically styleforum, take a look at this picture: [​IMG] Alpha Waves are something that is commonly associated with wakeful relaxation and meditation, the last example on here is epilepsy (the less bad kind). Do you see which one has 'increased brain activity'. Can you understand why it is stupid to say something like : People with hardwood floors are happier and have increased brain activity? I am pretty sure I am just bitter with the whole lets correlate this and this and than make a ridiculous statement. Throw in a brain reference or two and you are golden. However, I do understand your points and do agree with your general approach to this, it is just couple things that bothered me. Maybe I should not have jumped in like that. I apologize. PS That is wonderful office.
    I'm not saying you walk into a room with carpet and a switch activates your depression. I'm saying it alters your mood and level of alertness and these artificial effects from environments wear on people's mental and physical wellness in the same way alcohol, drugs, junk food, inactivity, and background noise do. It's a process of degradation. You most certainly do have immediate changes in your brain activity depending on the environment, even if they aren't to the degree that people notice or try to respond against. When people sit on the couch and watch tv, their brain is relatively at rest. When they're inside a busy train station, they use energy acclimating themselves to the stimuli. An environment that drowns out subtle changes of natural elements like light and noise decreases the ability of your brain to orient itself to nature. If you disagree, take it up with the people writing the books.
     


  10. NorCal

    NorCal Senior member

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    It has nothing to do with jealousy. I'm not jealous because I don't own a McMansion. I'd much rather live in a 500sq. ft. stone barn than a 4000 sq. foot Lowe's advertisement. The thing that people don't acknowledge is that the size of their home and the formal elements it possesses have absolutely nothing to do with the ability of the home to meet it's intended purpose, which is to live in. Those two aspects are used irrationally to express a connotation of wealth or lifestyle which we associate with pre-20th century mansion styling.

    Does vinyl siding made with a fake wood texture improve your life? No. All it does it mimic the materials of colonial houses in order to give the impression that the owner has a slice of authentic America.

    Does an ornate plastic porch light that was copied from an old Boston street lantern design improve your life or provide an honest expression of its purpose? No, unless you actually use whale blubber to burn it. All it's doing is mimicking the lifestyle it cannot authentically recreate. There is such an absurdly contrived falseness in the motivation for McMansion ownership, that it's amazing that people don't even fathom how purposeless it is.

    Homes and architecture are not supposed to be limited to a utilitarian existence, so they can have ornamental elements, but if those elements aren't intended to actually provide a function of pleasure (as opposed to to a function of deception or representation), there is no purpose.

    Take a flower arrangement at a dinner table. If it's a real flower arrangement made of real flowers, that can provide a function of delight that we take from natural things and validate its ornamental existence. Obviously that would be expensive if it was done every day, so it therefore takes on some level of desirability within the the world of McMansions. But if it's made of fake flowers that you bought at Michaels, does it still provide delight? No. Of course not. It just sits there and tries to convince the people eating dinner that their servants may actually have picked them from the garden. But there's nothing delightful about plastic tulips that were shipped in a crate from a Chinese village. The plastic flowers don't fool people into believing someone's life is either in touch with nature's splendors or authentically exceptional. It's just tacky.

    The McMansion can't say it's an honest representation of its occupiers' existence because the entire purpose of a McMansion is to deceive them into believing their home represents a lifestyle that they don't actually have. Anything meant to mimic something else that predates it in purpose or style is only valuable if it's a completely authentic version. If you want a Georgian colonial, it should be made of 100% Georgian colonial materials, not artificial materials that were invented in 1996.


    Preach on!
     


  11. ad_infinitum

    ad_infinitum Senior member

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    I'm not saying you walk into a room with carpet and a switch activates your depression. I'm saying it alters your mood and level of alertness and these artificial effects from environments wear on people's mental and physical wellness in the same way alcohol, drugs, junk food, inactivity, and background noise do.

    I agree.

    It's a process of degradation. You most certainly do have immediate changes in your brain activity depending on the environment, even if they aren't to the degree that people notice or try to respond against. When people sit on the couch and watch tv, their brain is relatively at rest. When they're inside a busy train station, they use energy acclimating themselves to the stimuli.

    Certainly. I am quite aware of that.

    An environment that drowns out subtle changes of natural elements like light and noise decreases the ability of your brain to orient itself to nature. If you disagree, take it up with the people writing the books.


    Not necessarily disagree, but have some issues with it that are not part of this topic.

    ------------
    Fin


    Now lets see some more awesome photos[​IMG]
     


  12. NorCal

    NorCal Senior member

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  13. Mr Herbert

    Mr Herbert Senior member

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    StephenHero, RSS

    have either of you read Alain De Bottons 'Architecture of happiness'? interested to know your opinions.

    has been a while since i read it but i remember him being pretty critical of people recreating Georgian homes to live in today - even with the same materials - his argument was the way we live our lives now, the types of families, lifestyles etc requires an entirely different form of house.
     


  14. StephenHero

    StephenHero Black Floridian

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    I haven't read it, but I've seen a few interviews with him on youtube. I think in totality he's one of the people that definately get its. I think people are always going to have different opinions on forms and material choices depending on the degree they value historical and regional significance versus performance, but the important point is to raise the level of awareness and intelligence of purpose within the process itself. Pluralism in architecture isn't a problem unless it's representative of disparate or conflicting ethical values regarding the purpose of design.
     


  15. tiecollector

    tiecollector Senior member

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    I think color affects the mood in a surrounding more than anything. McMansions are often painted with a flat, neutral color paint like beige (scuze me: cafe cream mocha espresso) walls, beige carpet and a white ceiling.

    The white ceiling makes the eye stop at the top of the walls and you really feel like you are in a defined box. How depressing, not to mention the flat paint gets dirty quickly.

    Taking out the carpet, painting the walls and ceiling in an eggshell or satin finish really makes a space come alive.
     


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