The Designosaur Story

04: Place and Localities

On the way back to the site, I wondered how I could restart the conversation? I mean, I couldn't just come out with, "Hey, you're a Designosaur, right?" But then I remembered the theme of liking jewellery and make-up. To me, that sounded like my best chance to get his attention. So, I stopped a few feet in front of the Designosaur and pretended to read a book. (yes, every architect ALWAYS has a book in his bag. Every now and then I would look at the Designosaur and simulate my best admiring facial expression. After a few moments, this caught its attention...

Designosaur (formerly CDB): Hey, it's you again. How was your walk?

Me: Hey. Yes. Hmm, good to see you again. It was good, enlightening, I think

Silence - I continued to make silly facial expressions (Embarrassing, I must admit!) And after a while, the Designosaur asked:

Designosaur: Are you okay?

Me: I... I just wanted to say: You have beautiful eyes...

Designosaur: Oh, thank you. It's triple glazing, with an extra solar control film. That's where the colouring comes from.

Me: It's beautiful. Although I can't really see inside - because of the extra solar control film. But anyway... there's a lot of glass - ehh, eyes on you. Hot!

Designosaur: Yes, it's literally hot! The sun kills me sometimes... And then there's this climate change thing. It's getting warmer every year. Anyway: I have this nice cooling system. Super nice. Look at all these pipes and ducts.... amazing, isn't it?

This was my chance to change the subject - and get rid of my stupid expression! I asked:

Me: Okay, wow yeah... nice. Anyway, how come you ended up here? I wasn't expecting something like you here in the Anthropocene.

Designosaur: Oh, well... I just came. I mean, it's no big deal. It's more or less the same here as it's been for the last 11000 years or so. I like this stable, constant, endless place. The climate might be changing - okay - but... everyone just seems to love me and my shine!

Me: Hmm, yeah, you're probably right, everyone is pretty used to you and for many it's hard to imagine a world without you. But I don't get your "stable, constant and endless" thing.... I mean... is that true? Hasn't this place changed? I think it’s changed because of you. And it's constantly changing now because of you. And there are other localities involved. Not just your building site.

Designosaur: Wow! Hold on a second. I'm not responsible for what happens in other localities! I wear this beautiful, glamourous jewellery and make-up, placed perfectly on my facade. And as such I fit perfectly here, on this site!

Me: Okay? And what about climate change? In terms of sustainability...

Designosaur: Well, I'm trying to adapt. But this whole sustainability thing is also kind of annoying.... For me it's about space, not sustainability!

Me: Ohhh... maybe space is about sustainability?
Me: Oh... maybe space is about sustainability?

The Designosaur turned away, pointed to another Designosaur and said:

Designosaur: Look at that beautiful piece of architecture over there. It's blended perfectly with its surroundings. Amazing urban planning! It looks like it's a natural part of the environment, doesn't it? It fits perfectly in its place. That's architecture, that's sustainable.

Me: Yes, I like it. But...

Designosaur: And - to talk about me again - I have a seal of quality! I officially have a sustainability double platinum standard with an additional green diamond star! That's top level!

Me: Okay wow. Do you need a quality seal for your stability and purpose?

Designosaur: Em. No, that's stupid! Of course, any building has to have an undeniable stability and the use has to be fulfilled.... otherwise, it's just not architecture... or at least very bad architecture!

Me: Okay, you got my point!

Designosaur: What point?

Me: Never mind... was probably just one of my confused thoughts.

The Designosaur didn't respond to that. The conversation stopped and I had time to let my thoughts sink in. I wasn't sure if what I had said made sense. While we were both silent, I drew something in my sketchbook.
I tried to get my thoughts in order. The Designosaur was obviously only aware of one building site, other localities don’t exist for it. Yet we can no longer speak of a stable, continuous and endless place. The place and our relationship to it have changed - should the buildings too?