“Despite sharing the same environment, everyone lives in different worlds.” (Arthur Schopenhauer)
Is it big or is it small? Obviously, size is in the eye of the beholder. Our assessments or judgements are based on individual experiences and personal comparisons. So, everything is relative, even the order of things stems from an individual, inner development process, but a process with a sliding scale. Time after time, designers and builders have endeavoured to find appropriate dimensions and suitable proportions. However, even within the last century, they have vacillated between very different size references. Periods when individuals were considered to be just small cogs in the machine resulted in a series of construction projects for mass housing. The declining significance of the collective and booming individualisation, on the other hand, led to the proliferation of homes for single families. Today we live in a world which is complex, individualised and at the same time mainstream. The world of megacities and superlatives where everything is geared to growth. The concepts of ‘higher’ and ‘faster’ have become benchmarks for so many things over the last decades. We all have different reference values, experiences and ideals, but we are standing at a watershed in our approach to space and matter. Given the limits of sustainable growth, more and more people are talking about ‘degrowth’ and ‘downsizing’. But if our mind-set does not commit to scaling back, then reducing our demand for space is really difficult. And yet our only options are a new order and an inward growth shift. It’s time to set new targets; ones which are not measured in metres or tons.
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