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Phenomena and Me

I must say, when I think of phenomena, frameworks, clockworks, and the built environment shaping us as individuals, my perception of these subjects becomes very broad. I see things on a larger, more interconnected scale.

There is no doubt that that which surrounds and gives us shelter has profound, often unnoticeable affects on who we are, how we grow, and who we will become. How this happens as a whole is what I consider to be phenomena.

Let’s break down phenomena to reveal the interconnectedness that drives it. Several frameworks are at play here, the first being the economic framework. The unfortunate truth is that individuals with similar economic standing generally hang around each other. They generally share similar beliefs, values, etc. It is this tendency that directly affects our next framework – the social one. Social frameworks determine where we live, how we live, and yes, what we live in. (disclaimer: it’s really not this simple…but close) So depending on what kind of web you’re weaved into, the buildings you occupy may be much different than, say, a less-fortunate person in a developing country. It’s really dependant on many factors. Where are the clockworks? Add reproduction, and this cycle never ends. Children will continue what they were raised with.

But why does this matter? I could sit here and list all of the conceptual ways buildings can affect different people, but what it comes down to is our subconscious perceptions of our surroundings, and ultimately, we end up back at values.

For example, I grew up in a moderately affluent economic framework. The people occupying this system like a little distance from the city, and good schools. The resulting social framework is one that is slightly conservative, and tends to build row upon row of large, traditional homes. Pick a floor plan from a catalog. Out of this phenomenon come people like me.

I take the home I live in for granted, even though I work hard to afford it. I take the safety of my neighborhood for granted, as well as my health, education, etc. I’m not proud of these admissions, but I do recognize them. I am a product of my built environment.

The way I see the world may be completely different from a child born to a poor family in Ethiopia. Someone in this situation probably appreciates a dilapidated tin roof, as it’s better than no roof.

I think of things like these, and start to second guess whether I really need to add that second bath to my house, or should consider saving for a granite counter top.

But then again, a billionaire in California might wonder how I could possibly live comfortably in only 1700 square feet.
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