This afternoon, bored of studying, my friends and I aimlessly started to drive around our town (I never claimed I was environmental). My friend Miki is the exact opposite of me, social-wise, so while I’m content to stick to my few good friends and stay home on Saturday nights, she knows everyone and is always at a party. She was driving, and so began to drive us past the houses of various kids in our year. As she pointed out where classmates I’ve never spoken to reside, I was suddenly reminded of one of my favourite quotes from The Fault In Our Stars:
The weird thing about houses is that they almost always look like nothing is happening inside of them, even though they contain most of our lives. I wondered if that was sort of the point of architecture.
You can’t tell anything from the outside of a house. It’s just bricks and glass and various garden ornamentation. As Miki informed us who lived inside each residence, I tried to align the building with the stories I had heard of the name. The thing about people is that people are never uniform, never boring, never able to be read by just a glance. People have stories and reputations and heartaches and life that you could never imagine just by looking at the shell of their house. Houses hide so much behind their deceptive outer-walls.
I started to wonder what people think when they drive past my house. I live in a nice street, which I suppose brings assumptions, and then if those looking know who I am and that it is where I live, they have their own opinions of me to add as well. But just glancing at my house, nobody would be able to guess anything about me. They’d see the basketball ring, and assume a relatively young boy would live there, the big balcony and guess we’re people who like entertaining, the flowers in our bay window and think that we care about appearances. All of which are correct, to a degree. But there is no signs of an eighteen year old girl. Nothing that screams “I’m a stressed HSC student, get me out of here!”. Unlike my brother’s room which has a window at the front of the house, my room is a granny flat in the backyard, non-existant, for all intents and purposes, to those driving by. If you were playing a guessing game about who lives in each house, the chances of someone correctly identifying my existence would be slim. Once inside my house, I am everywhere. From clothes and shoes and books scattered across various surfaces, to a study filled to the brim with HSC work, to my favourite foods filling the kitchen, I cannot be ignored once the facade has been broke through. But from the outside, I am invisible.
I realised how true that is for houses, and began to contemplate how much the same can be said for people themselves.
Like Hazel says, I wonder if that’s sort of the point of (our personal) architecture.
frangipani princess xoxo