Spaces For Living Issue
We live in a world of binaries. We are, it seems, forced into choices. We are either at work or at home; a space is either public or private; we are in the city or the countryside; this is either inside or outside.
The inside-outside dichotomy is best seen in small projects. The projects in this issue (VH house; Artists Retreat; Ray of Light and Window Houses) are each distinctive in what they say are the thresholds between indoor and outdoor spaces.
From the private to the most public, this binary comes to the fore in government housing. A commentary on housing in Hong Kong highlights how, in a city where indoor space fetches a premium, attention is lavished on shared spaces within housing estates. The goal here is to create a shared identity and a sense of community. In the case of Hanoi, we see the shift from traditional to new typologies, resulting in a transformation in the way the city feels and looks.
Perhaps the most interesting example of binaries is in the Main Feature by Matias Echanove and Rahul Srivastava, co-founders of urbz, India, who speak of how people in (what is disparagingly called) slums, live out their lives in two spaces.
This issue suggests that solutions for the housing sector in Asian cities are often right before our eyes, that they need not be expensive or complicated, that they need intelligence and a little compassion for the lives that people live.