The secret life of buildings

Today I was thinking, what if we lived in an alternate universe where buildings were never designed to stay in one place. Yes, a building would be a single or multiple family dwelling, but it would also be a vehicle, a kind of self-propelling communal caravan.

Cities would form spontaneously as buildings came together in critical mass, and then they would drift, as dictated by the mysteries of time, fashion and economic circumstance. A person’s address would be a dynamic thing, an ever changing variable of lived experience.

Some buildings might wander south for the winter, others would cluster together in solidarity. Perhaps they would travel in packs, a pride of abodes drifting across the landscape in slow and regal splendor.

Coincidentally, this evening I saw an episode of “Fringe” that took place in an alternate version of our universe. As you can see in the picture below, our well-worn trope of the well appointed Yuppie kitchen has been selectively modified. The happy couple draws their fine wine from a box, their expensive steak from a can.


As I watched this scene, I couldn’t help wondering whether their building would migrate south for the winter.

3 thoughts on “The secret life of buildings”

  1. Yes Sally, I am familiar with supermodernism and the writing of Augé. My post was about something distinct from the examination of airport lounges, shopping malls, and other “non-places” that emerge from modern trends in travel and consumption.

    I was discussing a particular alternate-universe fantasy. Try to have fun with it. 🙂

  2. Whether the people move through buildings or the buildings move through people, the principles of being transitory seem similar….

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