The Problem Familial bonds today are strained by the fundamental idea of the nuclear family which supposes that the condition of inhabiting a home together and being raised by the same or common individuals nurtures qualities in the members that allow them to connect and sustain relationships. Interlocking this is Locke’s proposal from the Second Treaties that fundamental to human…
My ideal family is one that focuses on communication and spending time together. It seems that most problems families have nowadays stemmed from a lack of communication among members. Oftentimes, people don’t really stop and listen to what other people are saying or give the opportunity to let other people speak and most people speak to respond and…
My ideal family would be a community made up individuals who desire to live sustainably and self-sufficiently though recognize value in living amongst a small community of neighbors. The members of this small community would each have their own interests and skill sets which are largely-self taught and continue to develop regardless of whether or not those around them share…
In conceptualizing my utopian house, I considered the connotation of the word “house” as opposed to “home”. I found that in my mind what a house lacks is the meaningful occupancy and environmental/interpersonal cohesion which I associate with a home, aspects which are defined by the way a space is occupied, and so in working on this project I aimed…
My utopian family relies on a common goal which is maintaining and making use of the safe space to grow the individual. The emphasis is on supporting the development of each member so that everyone may continue into the rest of life knowing moral behavior and cooperation. My utopian family is loosely based on blood relation but relies on the effort and cooperation of the family members for its stability. This family is made up of two parents and at least two children. The two parents share the role of the primary caretakers of the family while the children support them in those roles through cooperation and use of their own skills to do things for themselves. The parents support the children in learning necessary skills like cooking, cleaning, plumbing, driving, etc., as a part of this process of growth that the family mutually supports each other in. Other people (children or adults) may be brought in if agreed upon by all members of the family(not only the parents). It is important that all the family members are willing to play a part in nurturing, teaching, and encouraging that new person. The family holds itself together with solid relationships and cooperative care in order to build good moral behavior. However, familial love is not unconditional and my model of the ideal family does not deny that. Members of the family are bound to leave due to the natural occurrence of dispute and argument leading to broken relationships or unsafe and immoral behavior. Family members leave and come back, this is the natural state of the family and the home. The GOAL of my utopian family is to minimize that issue by creating a safe space that facilitates good relationships through cooperation and peaceful interaction by making it a habit.
The rules/goals of the home:
- Peacefully respect all family members.
- Facilitate and encourage growth and understanding for yourself and others.
- Cooperate with one another.
- Be truthful/honest
The model of my utopian family is made up of two parents and at least two children, plus other members young or old that the family brings in. A two-parent household is ideal because it can ensure the financial stability of a household although other members who stay in the home past the age 21 contribute financially according to their income. Ideally, there is a minimum of two children in a home in order to teach the children how to share and live alongside someone their own age. Everyone in the home has their own room and shares a bathroom with only one other person. The kitchen is fully accessible to everyone capable of operating in it safely. Children old enough are taught to cook for themselves to minimize the amount of cooking that the parents and other family members have to do while allowing the child to understand adult life outside of the household. The aim of this structure is to provide equal care to the individuals of the house and further their development as people and as members of a larger community which is the world.
The utopian ideal I want my house to embody is that of post-scarcity. My ideal home would provide sources for sustainable energy, ample private garden space, some chickens/ other livestock, and a water treatment/ compost center. I would ideally want my sustainable energy system to be shared with my neighbors, so that everyone has enough to power their homes. For this reason, I would want a large lot of shared solar panels in the back of my property. I believe that a home can only be utopian if everyone’s needs are sufficiently provided for, but I would like my home to have the design means for me to mostly sustain myself.
My family, who would live in this house, reflects how I would chose to live a utopian life. I don’t want children, so I did not design spaces for them. I am someone who needs a decent amount of privacy, so the public spaces and private spaces of the house are clearly divided. I would likely choose to live in this house with a partner and several pets. As I would not be in this house alone, I wanted to design a space where motion throughout can be relatively fluid, and functions/ designs of rooms can be altered when needed to reflect my changing taste or the choices of my roommate or partner.
Because I believe that living rules between people should be an open compromise, I don’t want to delineate specific rules for a roommate that they must follow. Instead, I will list requirements for adopted pets (likely dogs and cats).
- Is the animal a rescue?
- Are they up-to-date on their shots?
- Have they been neutered or spayed?
- Are they a mixed breed? (pure-bred animals tend to have medical problems, and I don’t want to encourage breeding practices that cause harm).
- What were their circumstances like before this, and would they be likely to adapt to life in this house?
- Do they get along well with other animals?
- Do they have any dietary restrictions/ illnesses?
- Do they tend to be more social or independent?
- Do they suffer from any past abuse or trauma?
- Do they enjoy the indoors or outdoors more?
The downstairs of the space is the social space. The house is designed so that it is very easy to move between indoor and outdoor space. The indoor courtyard is both a garden and social space. The upstairs is the private space, but it is also possible to move between indoor and outdoor spaces via the decks overlooking the courtyard and the screened-in porch. The outside of the space is mostly natural, but it has a few key features that make it sustainable: a grey water treatment center, shared solar panels, a small range for chickens, and a shared compost center. It is roughly one acre away from the surrounding homes in order to ensure privacy, but not too far away to be isolated. Ideally, my home would be situated about two miles away from town, a short bike ride.
The goal of this design is to try to integrate the outdoors and indoors as much as possible, create a fluid and malleable space, and create enough resources to sustain one’s own living and potentially share with neighbors so that energy, food, and resources will remain abundant and people in the community won’t be lacking necessities.
The most important part of an ideal family is the bond that holds the people in it together. Its members must be held together by mutual trust, respect and concern for each other’s well-being. It must be a connection that cannot easily be broken. No squabble or petty insult is a threat to the bonds that tie this family together. For these bonds to form the family cannot be too large, perhaps thirty people at most. Everyone must know each other well. This bond allows for the family to be a harmonious unit of people that live together both respecting the needs and wishes of the individuals and of the family as a whole. The people in the family can be any age as the relationship between the members of the family is the most important factor. When all members know each other well enough to truly understand how to make all feel at home in the family. It is also important that membership within the family is completely voluntary, everyone is there because they wish to be. The family and the house that it lives in (because this project calls for a family and a house the implications of a family not living on the same house will be tabled) should serve as a kind of stable base for the people within it. It should support them and provide a secure, comfortable and happy place to rest. The family is a partially self-contained unit that serves to support its members. It is important that each member of the family is willing to help the others and actively looks for ways to do so.
One of the most important features of the house is the separation between the personal spaces and the communal space. A family cannot be an all-encompassing feature of an individual’s life. They will likely require, or simply desire, a space of their own over which they have control. This separation of the individual and the communal can be seen as something of an architectural manifestation of the importance of satisfying both individual and group needs of the family. The function of the robot is in many ways to prevent a clash of individual wants and group needs. No individual need ever do a task which is necessary but undesirable. The robot can do it instead. The separation of the individual from the group is not total though there are not locks between the communal space, and thus the rest of the family, and the individual spaces precisely so that the family must be trusted to respect the individual and their space and so that they can override the individuals desire for seclusion if they think it is necessary. The family must be trusted to act in the best interest of its members. The inclusion of a garden is in part to reinforce the idea of the family being partly self-sufficient and in part to provide fresh produce. An important feature of the common area of the house is that all of its parts must serve some kind of common function. It is never a part of the house for just one or a few people but for all people in the family. The existence of these common spaces also allows for regular interactions between all of the members of the family that will maintain the bonds between them. The guest rooms are there so that guest can stay at the house without having to impose on the space of any of the individuals in the family. Another important feature of the house is that there is much room for each individual and each family to create a space that is suited to them. Families and people can be very diverse and it is important for the family and the house to be able to take many diverse forms to accommodate that. Finally as the family is a partly self-sufficient unit so is the house. It is completely unreliant on its surroundings and its only interactions with them are through the comings and goings of those who live in it.
Rules of the house
-Do your best to make this the best house it can be for the family. Make sure that everyone always feels welcome and safe.
-Do your best to improve the lives of everyone in the house. Help each other as much as you can.
-Respect the spaces of individuals each person can set the rules of their own spaces as they wish and these rules should be respected.
-Respect the communal space it is there for everyone.
-The robot can only do one thing at a time make sure that it is using its time in best ways possible.
The ideal family, logically, would be the family that most adequately fulfils the roles allotted to it. So, what is the role of the family? Well first, the family exists, as we now, as the first social relationship/bond that people find themselves in after they are born. It usually consists of those who are genetically related to you, but it is not limited to that. One could be adopted for example. So, if its not genetics it must be something else that binds you to the family. And that relates back to the purpose of the family, which is to socialize the newest members of society, within the confines of the bubble that the family is, in preparation to be an individual in larger society and the world. Ideally the family will instill the values that will lead the individual to live a “virtuous” life. So, what is this “virtuous” life that the family is to facilitate. A virtuous individual is one whom is true to themselves and one who does not shirk away from the trials of life, nor who merely accepts it but instead it is those who when offered the less noble easier path they do not hesitate to take the more difficult one.
The ideal structure of the family should consist of two paternal figures a father and a mother. Multiple children, around three or four, would be optimal because with one child they do not have siblings around their age to socialize with and with two it is possible that the older will dominate the younger child. The actual physical space should consist of all the amenities need for survival. The home itself should be modest and not luxurious as to leave room for the desire to improve and strive for more. The actual structure of the family and the home only play a limited role though. What is most important is the social relationship between its members. Healthy social relationships means a stronger family, a family that can fulfil its obligation to socialize its members.
My ideal family set up stems from a sort of DIY form of creation and assembly. By this I mean that I envision an organic, social formation of a family that both contains an element of mutual interest and choice to be together, as well as randomness and chance. It in no way would necessitate nor exclude biological relations, and different blood-related groups of people can co-inhabit the space so long as they viewed themselves as part of the same entity as the other members of the household. Everyone would share a healthy degree of codependency and inter-reliance, and there would be an emphasis on care, reciprocity, love, and respect. I think it is important that a family shares a sense of identity mostly in the context that they exist in relatively tight knit ecosystem(the family/house), in which everyone is valued and shares responsibility in regards to collective survival, well-being, and comfort. Other than that, I also think family members should invest in getting to know each other member on a personal, individual level so that they are able to best support and coexist with each other based on a deep knowledge of their unique chemistries and mode of inter-personality. My family would ideally be situated in a larger community where nature, cultivation/exploration of the outdoors, and sustainability is a significant component of everyday life. The family members would be critical of their own histories, the history of the land and larger ecosystem they inhabit, and conscious of their act of coming together to form a familial unit. Lastly, everyone or at least the adults in the household would ideally be queer and/or creative, and have a strong understanding of social and environmental issues and their place within them. I think these qualities would make for a more accepting, comfortable household and greater community. Aside from mutual interest fueling the familial assemblage, the community would have the desire to take in and nurture other beings and allocate them to households where they would be most compatible.
Name, age, pronouns:
Where do you come from/currently live and what’s your experience been there?
Describe your past and familial background.
What do you make? What’s your creative process like?
Do you have any other co-applicants/members that you intend to bring with you to live under the same roof?
What’s your love language?
How familiar are you with the local environment, and what is your experience in gardening/foraging?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
How will you make sure to contribute fairly to the maintenance of the home and care of family members?
The DIY aspect of my family would also be reflected in the physical layout of the home. I imagine families in the ideal society as reinhabiting pre-existent structures and spaces and making it their own, with the ability to create new infrastructure as they see fit. There would be a strong sense of belonging and intimate connection to the greater community or land that one inhabits. My floor plan is supposed to reflect an older house that has been adapted to fit the needs of the household and organic development of the family living in it over time. Many of the windows have been redone to let in more sunlight and see the outdoors. There are differently sized bedrooms to fit the needs of different preferences and allow personal spaces. Walls on the second floor were built to create more bedrooms, and the attic was adapted to be another communal area for creating. The house would contain objects and furniture that were either found, salvaged, or passed on through others, or they would be created by people in the family or community. Each household has access to a large gardening space, as they are free to use or cultivate the land around their homes without any state hindrances.