Remember the song from the sixties that sang about little boxes on the hillside, and they are made out of ticky tacky, and they all look just the same. Bit of a cynical look at modern housing methods and probably not too far from the truth. Good house design has given way to mass produced housing at budget building prices.
We have gone through lots of housing phases in the past as governments try to get the equation right. At one stage they were building whole suburbs of welfare housing that did all look just the same. A building contractor would get a contract to build a whole street of these things and so everything was mass produced. All the timber was pre-cut in the factory and the whole street went together as one as various tradesmen went from one house to the next doing the same job over and over again.
Of course the system didn’t work as tenants didn’t appreciate being housed in little boxes in rows and rows all the same. Therefore they did not look after the properties and the government ended up with whole suburbs of substandard property that was never going to be worth anything. Welfare housing is now integrated into the community and is the same standard as any other house in the neighborhood. At least the tenants feel a little more accepted.
This mass produced concept has spilled over into the private sector of housing too and has adapted some stereo type ideas of modern society. To take the traditional housing method in Queensland Australia as an example we can see the massive swing away from functional housing. Queensland has a warm climate and is famous for the traditional housing system there known as the Queenslander. This was a timber framed house built up on stilts and surrounded by a verandah. It was on stilts to create a cool draft under the floor. It had a varandah right round to keep the sun of the house walls. The effect was a very comfortable and functional house that has stood the test of time and is prized today as a symbol of prestige and wealth in the inner city suburbs.
However, out in the outer suburbs, we have reverted back to the little boxes again all made out of ticky tacky and all looking just the same. We think it just grand to live in our brick veneer in the suburbs and spending a fortune each year on air conditioning. Why is the human race so thick sometimes