Thursday, March 26, 2009

McDonald's- would you like a side of fountain of youth with that?

Yes, I already posted today. But I wanted to share something I found highly entertaining. And it was either post, or fold laundry. And I can't drink a latte while folding clothes so here I am.

I read an article in the WSJ on a couple practicing "transhumanism" by way of architecture. Their basic premise is we age because we are not challenged, or something like that, and if we could live like we were always a toddler our bodies would also respond to the constant stimulation and we could live indefinitely. Apparently, we get too comfortable with our surroundings and die- death by boredom. I wonder.

Did a caveman die because with flint he no longer needed to sit and rub sticks together? Did the pioneers die because they got to the end of the trail, built a house, put out a cozy bear skin and got comfortable? If only they had known that not needing to constantly adapt to their surroundings would be the death of them, they might not have feared disease, marauding warriors, frostbite, starvation etc. They would have embraced them with joy and then, died.

But not to worry. Just because we live in a society that builds stairs with even spacings, bed room floors without a slope, windows at eye level, and tables with four right angles doesn't mean we can't enjoy the life giving benefits of a Ronald McDonald Fun House. Mr Arakawa and Madeline Gins have built living spaces, for adults and children, that will keep you guessing where your next step will take you. Maybe into that pole coming down through the ceiling, possibly into that dining table that looks like a really bad shop project, perhaps into the door jamb built for a 3ft person, and with the textured, lumpy, and uneven floor who knows. I'm guessing the ER.

So get out there. Take Grandma for some therapeutic play at your nearest fast food restaurant. Be sure to get some time slithering through the chutes and slides, crouching and crawling her way back to her 20s. Who knows. Maybe it can reverse the effects of the biggie sized grease burger and fries you just ate. Or at least the direction they were headed.

Well unfortunately, we may never get to see Mr. Arakawa's plans for hotels, villages, and playgrounds come to its full potential. Apparently, their plan has been put 6 feet under, death by investing with Madoff. But I am sure they can appreciate the benefits of unpredictability.

Oh well. All things come to an end, good or bad, naturally or not. If you want to check out some of the buildings- they did complete a set of lofts in Japan-and some people do live there- click the link below. click through the lofts and hotel sketches. It will take you back to the wacky room at the Children's Museum.

I guess I should be thankful for the obstacle courses the kids provide in my living room. Or the constant interruptions during a meal. And the never being quite comfortable , sleeping perched on the edge of the mattress. They were only trying to help.

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