Instant urbanism:

How the "One-Plus-Five" extrusion box is shaping American Cities. /1

The notion of “character”…when applied to architecture or neighborhoods, usually carries with it the connotation of visual impression and delight.

i.e., Cute details which inspire your parents to choose certain houses or buildings to appear in their vacation photo backdrops /2
The underlying simplification of “character” here being that any form of architecture can be distinguished solely by its visual elements and style — and thus easily swapped out based on these considerations. /3
Not denying that an ugly or thoughtless "facelift" can destroy the historical character of a home or building.

Ppl that unscrupulously rush to violate the tenant of "Thou shalt not destroy good old work." /4
However, easily spotted visual or decorative elements are only part of the story. /5
Neighborhoods described as having "character" are usually ones that were constructed in the pre-disposable era (i.e., before the 1950’s) and - more often than not - were carefully crafted in terms of livability and materials, and optimized for human/environmental interaction. /5
Design and construction standards that brought together solid materials and the concepts of proportion, light and space—in ways that would work positively with human psychological needs—vs. actively against them. /6
Modern buildings that are poorly designed and built - are lacking “character” because they aren’t actually designed or optimized based on centuries of well-understood human environmental needs and patterns. /7…
Instead, they’re built to meet the requirements of developers and landlords, and other entities that actively profit from “growth for growth's sake”. The longevity or habitability of these spaces is not their concern. /8
Instead of falling into rhetoric traps around the word "character"... /9
It's time to take a serious look at what makes architecture and construction both durable and desirable, and how this design ethos—rather than planning primarily for "profit and growth"—can be brought forward. /10
Along with how to diffuse the increasing amts of surveillance tech being added as a "feature" of the latest new construction and planned communities ... /11
... as, in this case, you are no longer observing and maintaining the status of your environment—your environment is observing and maintaining the status of you. /12
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