26 Sep 2007

suburbia

the brief talk at the Czech Center on Monday proved to be a far more exciting and interesting experience than i first anticipated.


First of all, the project itself. It all started when Monika and I were talking about advertising, as we sometimes do, until we reached advertising for the new residential projects. I complained about how annoyed i was to see those huge advertising outdoors brilliantly showing a sort of "promissed paradise", when in fact the reality of many of those residential neighbourhoods was far worse. And she brought into discussion "The end of the suburbia", a documentary she wanted to screen anyway during one of the Documentary Mondays. So she invited me to somewhat "open" the screening by making some points about the differences between advertising and reality in today's new suburbias. I talked to Raluca about it and she proved willing to join me on field with her camera, to look around and take some pictures of the new suburbias.


The more we got into the subject, i realised that the initial thought was kind of redundant. There was no point in simply showing that reality is not like in the commercials, cause that's a sort of a truism. Just like there was no point in simply attacking one residential project or another, because it was far better to simply show people how many of the new suburbias actually look like, as well as what potential problems they have. We talked about how buying a new house in one of the new suburbias didn't mean just buying a piece of land, it actually meant far more than that, and each person should evaluate the context of that piece of land before making the aquisition. Together with our guests, we discussed about the need for urbanistic regulations, as well as potential problems such as the developer, the surrounding environment, traffic conditions, people around, utilities, facilities or deceitful advertising. And we tried to get a bit into the core of this "Monopoly" (the game) standard of living, discussing how we could make people aware of what they should be looking at before becoming the inhabitant of one of the new suburbias. People in the audience also brought into discussion examples from the Czech Republic, Germany, Sweden and New Zealand. And this is how everything actually became the starting point of an extensive study we'll carry out during the next year, one that looks at the new human typology and lifestyle present in the new suburbias, as well as at the development and evolution of these suburbias.
The video below is the trailer for The End of Suburbia, a very interesting case study brought to the Czech Center by John Ketchum.


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