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This ranged from making their homes more comfortable such as the case of the homeless of New York to making their homes more secure such as the case of Antonelli’s Grace Under Pressure. But the profundity of the meaning of home is best illustrated by the experience of the city dwellers of New York who managed to create a home out of a cart when they opted to live in the streets than in an institution. There, the city dwellers in New York showed that home is not just a physical structure or a dwelling but rather a place of comfort where one can be “at home”. There, the cart dwellers of New York illustrated that comfort does not only mean physical implements nor devices nor machines, but rather a place where one can be at ease with his surroundings. They opted to call a cart home where they can barely fit to live rather than stay than in an institution with all the amenities and provisions but does not treat them as human beings. The cart dwellers of New York came first in the discussion of the expression of home, its design and its importance because they demonstrated the basic concept of what constitute a home; that home can be still home even if it cannot house or even if it is not a house. This is very important to stress because we always equate house with a home and the cart dwellers of New York demonstrated that it is not the case; that they are not synonymous with each other. You can “house” a person or a group of person such as what the city government of New York did to the homeless people of New York but you cannot just automatically make them feel at home and so they left. A house or structure has to have several components before it can be considered a home and a mere structure does not suffice to make it a home. Had we inferred home to be synonymous with structure or house, it would be incomprehensible why the homeless of New York City left the institution. The structure was imposing that could withstand any cruelty of nature. It is also secure from the onslaught of the outside world because it is guarded. Above all, the facility is free and its residents are assured of a steady supply of food and provision. Despite of all of this, the homeless of New York still left the facility. This is quite incomprehensible because it is not the nature of man to gallivant. His body is frail and meant for domesticated and sheltered stay that could become easily vulnerable to the elements. Unlike the beast whose body allows it to hunt when it roams around, man’s body will succumb to the elements when it is not sheltered. Yet, the homeless of New York preferred the uncertainty of the street rather than stay in the government run facilities. Close examination of the facility revealed why the residents left. True, it provides food and shelter but the condition and treatment of its residents made it far from being a home. “City-run shelters-though they provide food and respite from the elements-are dangerous and unfriendly places that impose a dehumanizing, even prisonlike, regimentation on residents. Guards routinely treat clients as inmates, allegedly denying them food for the violation of rules. Some shelter residents are abused from place to place for food, showers, and sleep. Charges of violence by shelter security guards and clients are common2” This report only revealed that people will not endure shabby treatment just to have a ...Show more


Topic: 'Home' and its evolution or expression in design. Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.  Home, home, sweet, sweet, home!  There's no place like home, oh, there's no place like home1! -John Howard Payne Perhaps the essence of home was best captured in this concluding poem of John Howard Payne that there is no place like home…
Author : ansleyrath
Contemporary discourse in design
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