Re: Why buildings should be dumb boxes
From: Philip Dowds (
Date: Sat, 25 Aug 2018 10:58:02 -0700 (PDT)
One of many things I was told, as a first year architecture student, was that 
“Corners are expensive.”  I was not told, however, that corners are bad because 
they cost money.  Rather, the point was resources are finite, and need to be 
deployed wisely.

Lots of things are expensive:  Corners and surface articulation.  Diversity of 
choice.  A night at the opera.  Ornamentation and diamond necklaces.   It’s 
certainly true that, all things being equal, a woman with a diamond necklace is 
more costly than a woman without.  But this does not lead directly to a 
conclusion that the main point of life is to make things as cheap as possible.  
We can make our gardens easy and inexpensive to maintain by paving them over.  
But is that what we want, really?


> On Aug 25, 2018, at 1:01 PM, Sharon Villines via Cohousing-L <cohousing-l 
> [at]> wrote:
> One of the things I’ve liked about architecture is nooks and crannies and 
> jogs and juts. Articulated surfaces. This article explains why that is a bad 
> idea for both building and maintenance. Each of those jogs and juts requires 
> more construction materials and is a point of tension subject to cracks from 
> settling and age, leaks, one material aging differently than another.
> The author discusses the need for another aesthetic to make dumb boxes as 
> attractive as they are economical.
> "In praise of the dumb box" in Treehugger
> Sharon
> ----
> Sharon Villines
> Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC
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