What they were thinking
NO MAN’S LAND: What were they thinking?
It’s a common question when confronted with de-natured environments
During the ’50s and ’60s people were haunted by anxieties brought on by the Cold War, Sputnik, and a world that was becoming less and less predictable. When nature–which is naturally unpredictable–disappeared from built environments, such deprivation was generally regarded as an inevitable side-effect of “progress.”
Machines and technology (see the GM Tech Center) were seen as a means of making life more controllable, and therefore a way to reduce anxiety.
De-natured offices, classrooms, conference centres, shopping malls, public plazas and suburbs thus became the norm.
The current medical cost crisis has created an urgent need to accelerate the re-naturing of our environments. Sixty years of unhealthy design norms need to be remedied ASAP.
By 1961, an occasional tree would escape the march of progress.
– Sharon VanderKaay