“Housing Literacy”

post_01_img_01.jpg There is a word, “Housing Literacy”, which refers to the ability of designing your own house. It does not refer to the professional skills but the ability of imaging your own preferable residential space and conveying it to the professionals and the architects will accomplish the design for you. You do not have to image a specially designed house, by “Housing Literacy”, but just regarding “house” as a common sense.

Recently, more and more people have paid attention to the “House Literacy”. They have shifted their attention from focusing on the brochures or exhibitions of new houses to renovating the used houses with reasonable-price in big cities.
Come to think of it, no one has ever taught us how to design our house, no matter in school or by our father or grandfather. Since family structure, community form, working mode, communication ways and knowledge on house have been rapidly changing for decades, it is difficult to distinctly and accurately definite “house”, and teachers or, of course, parents’ advices won’t help too, at least within a long period.
In addition, we have paid more attention to “the price of land” rather than “the quality of house” due to the constant increase in the economy of postwar Japan and the land, furthermore, the operation of real estate highly depended on financial industry which focuses on the land. As a result of it, there have been many similar types of 2DK or 3DK in Japan, and there is no space of architects and designers to play their roles.
However, the situation is not what it used to be. The increase of Japanese economy has stagnated just like the smooth flight of an airplane after it arrived at an altitude of 10,000 meters, and now “house” has been focused on recently instead of “land” as a commodity.
Thus trend shows that the people who emphasize ‘Housing Literacy’ would try to find a used-house, and reform and change it to fit their lifestyle, instead of just buying a new one. It is popular nowadays. Generally, people may not be satisfied with the pattern of finished house, but they also think that it’s a pity to reconstruct it soon after buying. Correspondingly, the used-house has its own advantages. As time goes on, the environment of community becomes more and more comfortable due to beautiful landscape and complete supporting facilities, which make the house in such community livable. And what’s more, you could reform the house as you please and there is no doubt that the house after reform will become sightlier and more comfortable.
Such a trend can also been seen in the traveling industry. It is common now for people to design their own itineraries and purchase cheap air ticket rather than to apply for a package tour, which could be called as “Travel Literacy”. This trend is more and more popular among people. Similarly, such literacy is available for the life or life journey. It is so inspiring, isn’t it!
House, our residential environment, contributes greatly to our life style. Without a good house, our life could even be miserable or poor. People’s attention to it would bring a new light to the depressing life literacy. Therefore, I hope to find and strive for designing such “houses” that are dramatic and could more clearly and vividly reflect the refinement and maturity of life.