October 20, 2012

"Who would willingly choose to live in something with the footprint of a parking space (8x10x16 feet)?"

"In cities where space is at a mind-boggling premium, McCormick’s idea of taking up residence in a parking space — in what he refers to as a 'Houselet' — isn’t all that far-fetched...."
“When you ask people to consider spaces smaller that what they’ve normalized to,” says McCormick, “I think it tends to trigger elemental associations of constriction and claustrophobia. I think you have to find ways around all those acculturated and visceral reactions, and observe that we’re usually O.K. with that for certain times and purposes.”
Tim McCormick isn't an architect or an interior designer. He's a communications consultant. Hmm. That means this isn't about design. It's about the manipulation of the human psyche. Get ready!

Quite aside from whether I'd be willing/able to live in a repurposed parking space — after our cars are taken away — I'm resistant to the brave new world that has such communications consultants in it. He's an expert at language and he's talking about the spaces we've "normalized to" and "elemental associations of constriction and claustrophobia."  "Elemental associations of constriction and claustrophobia"... AKA claustrophobia. Man, I was getting claustrophobic within the word-clutter of that sentence of his. Now, go away Mr. Communications Consultant. I'm going to stick with my own acculturated and visceral reactions feelings.

56 comments:

edutcher said...

They make jail cells bigger.

ricpic said...

Anyone against reducing humans to units against progress! Well, progressive progress anyways.

BaltoHvar said...

If that isn't the end-game of collectivization, I don't know what is. Where are going to go to... DO ANYTHING? And how about when the neighbors ARE?

EDH said...

Alan Dershowitz is selling his home.

This architect-designed Cambridge contemporary built in 1955 is the home of famed legal eagle and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz and his wife, psychotherapist Carolyn Cohen, who put their own colorful stamp on this unique property.

This three-plus bedroom, 5,451-square-foot wood-sided corner-lot home, listed for $3,950,000, sits atop the highest point in West Cambridge, on the site of the city’s former reservoir that was covered over in the early 20th century. The Reservoir Hill home was previously owned by MIT professor David Baltimore, who won the Nobel Prize in 1975 for discovering reverse transcriptase, which later led to treatments for retroviruses such as HIV.

Dershowitz and Cohen redid the entire interior of the home after buying it in 1990.

Pogo said...

This is all part of the UN's Agenda 21.

We're fighting these fascist fucks in our little town in SE MN. They want to force us all into high density hives, just like those death traps in the Moscow.

Not a joke at all, and they all speak in obfuscatory bullshit like this guy.

cubanbob said...

Walk in to a bank, give the teller a note that this is a robbery (only need to demand one buck) and you to can get a similar living arrangement plus three meals a day and medical care for free courtesy of the Bureau of Prisons.

Imagine that, one can live better in prison that on the outside thanks to our progressive overseers.

Econophile said...

If the NYT and Mayor Bloomberg can convince everyone else these are acceptable--even desirable--living spaces, I am happy to benefit from the lower price of a grown-up sized apartment that would result.

But Pogo is quite right to point out the UN's Agenda 21, which implies more than merely convincing trendy fools.

Also, it's funny that when referencing "affordable housing advocates" in San Francisco, they never mention their views on the severe building restrictions in and around the city. I don't think they make the connection with limits on building heights in the city and prices somehow.

clint said...

How much would it cost?

If it were cheap enough, I could see a demand for it as a "second bed" -- like for commuters in 100+ hour jobs, wanting somewhere in the city to keep a bed and a change of clothes.

BaltoHvar said...

Imagine the volumes of the CC&R's passed by the HoA.

Where can I park my cardboard bicycle?

No cooking/hot-plates?

Can I grow tomatoes?

But I LOVE Black Sabbath!!??

Kevin said...

When you are a single in a big city where all your food and entertainment is outside of the home and the only thing you need an apartment for is to have a place to sleep and wash and charge your half dozen electronic devices, sure.

But despite the father and son pic, there is no way this is working for families. Anyone who unironically posits that it could has never had a family, or is just a completely unserious person.

Seeing Red said...

Bitter clinger here. I like my back yard.

john said...

Robert Hughes once said the utopian buck stopped in Brasilia. That was obviously spoken more in hope than reality.

Alas, he died a few months ago.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

Over history, an enormous number of humans have spent their entire lives using dwellings far smaller than the 160 square feet of that parking space. A modern American urbanite might be at great pains to flaunt his exquisite 'sensitivity' by calling such space claustrophobic, but over history, such digs are normal or even luxurious for humans.

Minor cavil - modern parking spaces are rarely so wide as 10 feet, and almost always longer than 16.

Astro said...

Communications consultant? Sounds more like obfuscation than communication.
If you diagrammed his sentences would there be loops?

Pogo said...

"Willingly choose" isn't part of the equation.

Like Obamacare, it's what you get, shut up, and get back to work.

Obama will have his Hawaii dacha, so don't be thinking the elite will live like hamsters. Just you proles.

PatCA said...

Don't worry, all the mistakes of past progressive central planners will be solved by today's progressive central planners.

Joe Schmoe said...

InsuffSensitive, your point about dwellings being much smaller is accurate, but those conditions have historically been less sanitary than the size of contemporary dwellings. Nineteenth century city tenements were small, dark, cramped, crowded, with poor air quality and poor human waste removal systems. Diseases and plagues were more likely to flourish in those conditions, and they did. Fires were also particularly deadly. Lifespans were much lower.

It's surprising that anyone would advocate a return to those conditions. What about the old canard of those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it?

Steve Austin said...

Hmm. Sounds more luxurious than the shed Obama's brother George is living in back in Africa.

See "2016" the movie this weekend. Rent it on ITunes.

Joe Schmoe said...

If one of those mercury-laced CFL bulbs broke in your hip, new micro-loft, the whole place would be contaminated.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Bitter clinger here. I like my back yard

DITTO

We ARE considering putting a container cabin on our property for those times when we have company and need overflow accommodations.

I could never LIVE in such a small space or be stacked on top of other people. I can barely stand it when we go to a motel or hotel. Listening to all those other people.....annoying!!!

Tank said...

Where would I keep my tank?

bagoh20 said...

When you fly over the western United States you clearly see there is no shortage of space. I love the window seat. I'm looking outside the whole time. I always sit next-to-the-last row, pilot's side (left). There are miles and miles of space, often with no sign of man, no buildings, and even sometimes no roads. I always see spots that look incredible: hidden, tree covered ravines, or remote immense cliffs with no roads to them. I try to figure out where they are and vow to find them on google when I get home, and later to go there. I have not done it yet. Maybe this year. 8 X 10 X 16 is fine if it's in miles.

traditionalguy said...

Over sized coffins are all the rage with these Neo-Maltusians...for us but not for them, of course.

This seems to come from the evil vision that formerly honored humans are now only to be expendable protoplasm pre sorted like trash is into bins for efficient disposal.

Rustling Leaves said...

Where I live, you can drive for an hour straight without encountering much more than a scattering of houses and fields and forests. This overpopulation bullshit is a figment of their imaginations. They will have to pry my minivan from my cold dead hands. I'll resort to driving a horse and buggy before I'd be willing to live clusterfucked like that.

Michael K said...

"If it were cheap enough, I could see a demand for it as a "second bed" -- like for commuters in 100+ hour jobs, wanting somewhere in the city to keep a bed and a change of clothes."

I've seen photos of airport sleeping pods that close and seem to be the minimum living space for progressives to shoot for. Apologies for the metaphor.

Joe Schmoe; the Cholera epidemics in London about 1849 to 1854 were actually in wealthy neighborhoods like Golden Square. The concept of sewage disposal was lost after Rome fell until 1850 where the first public toilets in western civilization, since Rome, were exhibited.

Here is an article in the NY Times, which typically bungles the story by saying Golden Square was a poor area. This standard Times propaganda but medical articles about the famous "Broad Street Pump" tell the truth. Sewage was simply not recognized as a source of disease for rich or poor.

If you are really interested.

Rustling Leaves said...

Kevin- Um, you are not supposed to have a family, silly. Get with it, that's what abortions are for.

chrisnavin.com said...

I see a dystopian, dysfunctional future, with many numbered boxes.

Who needs marriage, the suburbs, stable employment and good schools?

Progress!

wyo sis said...

Like eggs in our little carton, socks in a segmented sock drawer, file cabinets of people. So much easier to control if we all stay in our designated spaces.
And, of course there will be palliative care until we conveniently die to make room for the next worker bee.

Rustling Leaves said...

We are planning on moving one more time (hopefully just one) before we settle somewhere. We have eliminated all areas dominated by sustainable clusterfuckification agendas. In other words we are looking into cities like Houston that are development friendly with a large supply of affordable comfortable family sized houses.

bagoh20 said...

Maybe I'm weird, but when I watch one of the syfy movies about being the last man on earth, I think: that would be awesome. OK, a small amazon colony living on an island somewhere with no boat technology, would be needed, but that's it.

bagoh20 said...

Wouldn't there be the constant smell of ass?

chrisnavin.com said...

And I don't need good reasons to get on board the hip, green, urban future.

Just give me some write-ups in the NY Times showing a 40 year-old urban cat lady in a shipping container and I'm sold.

chrisnavin.com said...

Mr edutcher:

We'll have no more jails, but these boxes will house a racially, criminally, and economically mixed community overseen by the housing board, which reports to the Dear Leader.

Progress!

Moose said...

Its kinda cool in that I always wanted a pied a terre - in a cool big city. This might the only way you could afford one.

Funny thing is - this'll result in the normal unintended consequences. Since you'll be able to squeeze in more people, the market will absorb them and then crank up the costs of *all* housing as a result. This will not, in the long run create more affordable urban housing.

Christy said...

Haven't studies with rats shown that ovedcrowding makes them violently crazy?

When I moved into my first house, renovations meant that all my living room and dining room furniture was crowded into all the other spaces for a couple of months. The cramped space truly did make me nuts.

Why I can be happy in a 177 sq ft cabin on a cruise escapes me, but there it is.

Seeing Red said...

I read the comments. No one ever thought it's their laws that are forcing them into shoeboxes?

The East Coast is more cramped than we flyover states. Rural? Color me surprised when we drove thru NJ cornfields & saw western wear stores.

Seeing Red said...

Give me land, lots of land, with the starry skies above, don't fence me in!

Carnifex said...

Sometimes I am astounded by the lack of awareness possessed by people. When I was driving a semi, me and another guy lived in a space the size of a bathroom. And you live like that for long periods of time. One sleeping while the other drives.

I just chuckle at some of the assumptions that are made about how people live. A parking space to myself, at that time would have been extravagant. Give me a bed, a toilet, and an outlet, and I can survive quite comfortably. If people were more in control of themselves, 2 can easily live like that.

Ps.

Try hot bunking on a submarine for close quarters. That will test you, and your humanity.

Bob_R said...

Anyone read Asimov's The Caves of Steel lately?

Carnifex said...

You can buy heated lunch boxs at truckstops that plug into a lighter socket. You can bake cookies with them, or make a roast. We had a microwave too. Popcorn, and rice, fish, once a month we'd go to Wal-mart and buy groceries. Because the other guy was lucky at slot machines we had 2 refridgerators!

Everything's kept in a bag on your bunk, and you do laundry twice a month. Showers when you can(sometimes not often). I've done worse things.

jimbino said...

I'd say you're living in the fourth dimension if the footprint of your house is 8x10x16 feet.

Alex said...

Welcome to the coming Obamavilles. You will be allocated your "houselet" and be happy.

Joe Schmoe said...

Thank you Michael K. I am interested in reading that. I always enjoy your posts.

Bruce Hayden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bruce Hayden said...

I too live where there is a lot more space then people - right now in Montana, where it is 100 miles to a WalMart in either direction. Moved here essentially from N. Nevada, which is probably worse. US 50 from Carson City east has a small town every 50 miles or so, and you rarely see any houses between them. Called the "loneliest road" for a reason.

This is extreme though - a lot more of our population lives in suburbia, where most have their own yard, often have houses far larger than their parents did, and far larger than if they lived in a big city.

The problem is that a lot of our intellectual "elite", and esp. those running the Democratic Party, are urban oriented. They like big cities. That is where they thrive. Sure, sometimes it is because they have managed to leech enough money off everyone else to live well there, but not always. The problem is that this sort of close-in living is at odds with the dreams and wishes of a large majority of Americans. They like their space and their privacy.

The danger of these urban elitists is that they seem to try to impose their beliefs and preferences onto the rest of us. And, as a result, we have seen huge amounts of money squandered by the Democrats over the last several years on mass transit, green energy, etc. Esp. egregious in my mind is diverting money from gasoline and diesel road taxes from paying for much needed road repairs to pie-in-the-sky rail projects. When the money isn't being borrowed from China.

Much better for me, than to spend my life living cheek to cheek, is living where I can see maybe 2 houses, and get beyond seeing any houses or people in a 5 minute walk.

BTW - heard a theory the other day on why rural people are nicer than urban people, and esp. in the biggest cities. The theory is that we are likely to have to deal with people we meet again, whereas a lot of the people that the average urban dweller sees in a day they will never see again. Plus, a bit more mutual dependency outside the urban areas.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

heard a theory the other day on why rural people are nicer than urban people, and esp. in the biggest cities. The theory is that we are likely to have to deal with people we meet again, whereas a lot of the people that the average urban dweller sees in a day they will never see again. Plus, a bit more mutual dependency outside the urban areas.

I think there is something to that. In a very small town, like the one I live in, you must be careful when you are saying things about other people, because you are probably going to be talking to a relative or friend. And your conversation is SURE to get back to them.

I've also noticed how in the rural stores and other public places, people just easily pick up a conversation with total strangers. Joking and laughing with each other in the check out line. Something you would NEVER do in a big city. In those areas it is "eyes front!" "don't look anyone in the eye" "mind your own business".

McTriumph said...

Progressives believe in remaking society in the form of an ant farm, so what's surprising about this.

Sam L. said...

A Minuteman Launch Control Center has a walkaround space of 5' x 25'. No windows, though some do have pictures of windows. Surrounded by "land, lots of land" that the capsule crew can't go to until they're relieved.

And there's the perk on knowing you can blow some people to Hell.

Dante said...

A lot of people spend a lot of time looking at a computer monitor. It's a window into the world.

If I were young, and wanted to save money, I would live in that environment.

If, heaven forbid, I were on welfare, and was sucking up other people's work, I would want to live in that small area too.

Aridog said...

100 sq foot "pod hotel rooms?" Bah...try the capsule hotel rooms.

Larry J said...

I got out of the Air Force for the first time in 1982 to attend college full time. Money was very tight and I didn't want another male roommate, so I bought a used camper. It was listed as 23 feet long but that included the hitch and rear bumper. In reality, it was maybe 19 feet long on the inside and less than 8 feet wide. It had everything I needed at the time: bed, kitchen, place to eat, a small bathroom and privacy. I lived in it for 8 months with no ill effects.

It all depends on the floor plan. Campers are very space efficient and are a viable option if your funds and needs are modest. I'd never consider forcing anyone to live that way but it worked fine for me.

Larry J said...

I got out of the Air Force for the first time in 1982 to attend college full time. Money was very tight and I didn't want another male roommate, so I bought a used camper. It was listed as 23 feet long but that included the hitch and rear bumper. In reality, it was maybe 19 feet long on the inside and less than 8 feet wide. It had everything I needed at the time: bed, kitchen, place to eat, a small bathroom and privacy. I lived in it for 8 months with no ill effects.

It all depends on the floor plan. Campers are very space efficient and are a viable option if your funds and needs are modest. I'd never consider forcing anyone to live that way but it worked fine for me.

Bob_R said...

Is that bigger or smaller than an officer's cabin on a US Navy ship?

tim maguire said...

If i were single, i might do it. But as a couple only if i am setting up a divorce. And children? No way.

Leigh Fellner said...

My partner and I currently live in a Long Island 20x20 foot cottage in which we rattle around; we're looking for someplace smaller. Both of us have owned city houses in the 3K sf range, so it's not like we've been unused to space. But when you reduce your stash of stuff down to what you really need or truly love, we've found that tiny is more comfortable. Everything has its place; our compulsion to collect is turned into selectivity (and setting priorities - e.g. when I now buy sweaters it's cashmere or nothing, and only in colors I don't already have); and we're able to give each other "mental space" while being in the same room together. So: don't knock it till you've sincerely tried it.

RigelDog said...

Nothing intrinsically wrong with having essentially a studio apartment in an urban environment. The problem I have is that this trend is suddenly a hot topic and I fear it is motivated in large part by an anti-human attitude. One commenter to the linked article oozes disgust for Americans and affluence and acquisitiveness. She applauds the micro-apartment trend because it will force us greedy folk to give up our pursuit of material goods. She ends by saying that it all makes her wish for a major economic downturn.