The Concept of 'Home' and Its Evolution or Expression in Design Name University Date More than a roof above one’s head, a home transcends beyond the structure and even defines the core of being of its inhabitant. To define a home as a mere structure just as Heidegger defined a bridge to be there without factoring its circumstance, as merely existing only in its entirety and without consideration of its purpose is to fail to comprehend its nature in its entirety (1971)…
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The importance of home cannot be overrated. Even those whom we consider as homeless does in fact, contrived home to whatever means available to them with that their resource and circumstance could provide. In fact, home can be better understood in their deficiency and somewhat desperate condition which is a tremendous irony. In their plain conditions, it is easier to contrast what is their motivation of a home that we may easily discern what constitutes a home. These city dwellers which did not have the means to have their own homes were of course thrown out the street amid the frosting cold and the vagaries of the season. Sure it followed that the city government will provide shelter to its destitute citizen either for welfare and electoral purpose. But it is here we will understand that home is not structure, nor size, nor edifice, nor the sufficiency of provision. It is more than that which this paper will explore. But for the moment, suffice that we will identify what it is not. These putative homeless of New York could not have been homeless had it chosen to stay in government facilities. They left the facilities and chose to be homeless because these; “City-run shelters-though they provide food and respite from the elements-are dangerous and unfriendly places that impose a dehumanizing, even prisonlike, regimentation on residents. Guards routinely treat clients as inmates, allegedly denying them food for the violation of rules. Some shelter residents are abused from place to place for food, showers, and sleep. Charges of violence by shelter security guards and clients are common” (Lurie and Wodiczko 2009:54). In effect, these city dwellers were really “exiles in their own city” and only became homeless by choice opting to have “gaily decorated carts” as a means of transport and home than the established facility of the city due to the harsh condition impose to them by the institution that made it a penitentiary. They preferred to get by through the uncertainty of scavenging than putting up with city run shelters where foods are used as a carrot stick. This is not to glorify homelessness nor scavenging, nor the running away from government facilities but rather to stress that a meagre cart that can barely accommodate a person and absent of facility and provision can become a home compared to an imposing edifice that treat its inhabitants as inmates where violence and abuses are common. Perhaps, the inclemency of the streets and season or the precarious nature of getting provision of an unwelcoming street can become more tolerable than an unfriendly and dehumanizing institution. The homeless of New York only proved that home is not a place, but rather where the heart is or where you are comfortable with. Home does not have to be diminutive as what the cart dwellers of New York opted. It can also be functional and as elaborate as Heidegger’s Building Dwelling Thinking (1971) that can feed the soul. Unlike the homeless of New York who has to make do with make shift carts, home for Heidegger is not just a place to sleep and rest but also a
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