McMansion or not?

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

  1. thekunk07

    thekunk07 Senior member

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    house i am buying is from 1888. would never buy some newfangled pos
     
  2. Hannerhan

    Hannerhan Senior member

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    natural timber, slate (and other metamorphic rock), ceramic brick, stone, raw concrete, or unprocessed metal

    Having interior walls/ceilings made exclusively from those materials not financially possible for 95%+ of the population.
     
  3. mordecai

    mordecai Immoderator

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    house i am buying is from 1888. would never buy some newfangled pos

    i'll bet if ann d. tool-dipped a mcmansion you would live in it.
     
  4. StephenHero

    StephenHero Black Floridian

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    Having interior walls/ceilings made exclusively from those materials not financially possible for 95%+ of the population.
    Uh, what do you think 85% of the world's population builds their homes out of now? And what did they build their homes out of before the middle of the 20th century when all those other shitty commercial products finally became available? If you can't build your home out of the materials that actually exist in their natural form on earth because of cost, you should either not be building a home, or building one at a scale that isn't grotesque.
     
  5. mordecai

    mordecai Immoderator

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    Uh, what do you think 85% of the world's population builds their homes out of now? And what did they build their homes out of before the middle of the 20th century when all those other shitty commercial products finally became available?

    have you ever visited neutra's house? he used predominantly shitty mid-century commercial materials. it's pretty cool, though currently falling apart
     
  6. StephenHero

    StephenHero Black Floridian

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    it's pretty cool, though currently falling apart
    He'd do it differently if he understood the lifespan of all that shit. Natural materials don't fall apart. They simply express their age. [​IMG]
     
  7. CDFS

    CDFS Senior member

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    I think it has a few defintions. One is roughly, "It's such a shame plebs can buy houses the size of my family manor" and two roughly, "I can't afford it so I shall disparage it to mask my jealousy."

    This post amuses me for the second time after reading StephenHero's post.

    Uh, what do you think 85% of the world's population builds their homes out of now? And what did they build their homes out of before the middle of the 20th century when all those other shitty commercial products finally became available?

    If you can't build your home out of the materials that actually exist in their natural form on earth because of cost, you should either not be building a home, or building one at a scale that isn't grotesque.
     
  8. mordecai

    mordecai Immoderator

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    He'd do it differently if he understood the lifespan of all that shit. Natural materials don't fall apart. They simply express their age. [​IMG]
    not a bad point i suppose. i visited the Gamble House by Greene and Greene the same day (both are close to me) and it made me [​IMG] as much as the neutra's decay made me [​IMG] granted, a lot more money goes into the gamble, but there are parts of neutra's home that wouldn't be practical to maintain even if the funding was even
     
  9. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    house i am buying is from 1888. would never buy some newfangled pos

    Where is the outhouse located?

    This post amuses me for the second time after reading StephenHero's post.

    It's amazing how well I can capture a paradigm sometimes, no?
     
  10. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    have you ever visited neutra's house? he used predominantly shitty mid-century commercial materials. it's pretty cool, though currently falling apart
    But...but... they can be repaired!
     
  11. StephenHero

    StephenHero Black Floridian

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    This post amuses me for the second time after reading StephenHero's post.
    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.
     
  12. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    I'm not jealous because I don't own a McMansion.
    There probably are a lot of people out there who are jealous of the select many (too many unfortunately) who live in McMansions. But hey, the great majority of people have bad taste.
     
  13. jefe

    jefe Senior member

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    ^^ Can't you just be upper middle class, have some dough and want a big fuckin' house? Perhaps the owner is less interested in the nature of the materials and more interested in impressing his golfing bros. That doesn't make them a bad person, just a person with ideals that differ from yours.
     
  14. mordecai

    mordecai Immoderator

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    it bugs me when people say jealousy but mean envy.
     
  15. StephenHero

    StephenHero Black Floridian

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    ^^ Can't you just be upper middle class, have some dough and want a big fuckin' house? Perhaps the owner is less interested in the nature of the materials and more interested in impressing his golfing bros.
    That's why McMansions are paradoxes. They are created with the intent to impress people, but they don't impress people because their intent to impress people is so obviously contrived and transparent. If you want to look rich by owning a rich person's home, you need to actually be rich and own a rich person's home. That would impress me. A McMansion is basically architecture's version of the guy that tries to inconspicuously flex his biceps in photos. Instead of being content letting people know he has 18" biceps, he tries to deceive us into thinking he actually has 20" biceps. In the process, he exposes himself as a person motivated to by the social validation he thinks large biceps will bestow upon him rather than a superhuman ability to carry burlap sacks filled with rocks. Instead of just being the guy with pretty big biceps, he's the guy that can't overcome his insecurity in his quest for external validation. [​IMG]
     

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