‘When the peaks of our sky
My house will have a roof.’
These three lines, part of the short poem ‘De notre temps’, by the French poet Paul Eluard, can be interpreted as the ultimate metaphor on what constitutes the framework of experiencing a home. Being poetry, it surpasses the traditional ontology of what a house and/or home represents, i.e. protection, privacy, a roof over one’s head. It also, however, tributes to the more abstract issues involved that become all the more relevant when our physical world transforms into a hybrid world, a mix of the real and the virtual, of the analogue and the digital. The emphasis in this tends to focus on the technological issues involved; while the abstract is threatened, causing a breach in what constitutes process and result of building houses. After all; the virtual resides within the real; there is no virtual only.
Heidegger once remarked that we can only build when we can dwell, which in today’s world offers a different frame of thinking to our process of creating housing. After all; what concerns our lives most - our house - is the one issue on which we have very little influence. First we build a house; over the years this becomes a home: lived space.
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