• Defining the Fun House

    by  • March 30, 2009 • Architecture, Fun • 0 Comments

    As a part of my, "What makes a place fun?" research, I have postulated the idea of the "fun house" as an actual home anchored in fun as much as much as some homes are designed to be beautiful.


    The question always is, "What is a fun house?"

    And while I am still working out a good theoretical definition to that question, here's a good practical answer:


    Yes, a house built around a skateboard ramp.

    Interesting (to me at least), is how people talk about this particular "fun house"

    • "The result of the client’s request is a curved form interior, which “set the whole house as well as the inhabitant’s life, into motion”. — Architectural Review 
    • "Converting your house into a 'skateable habitat' is one strangely cool move." — Gizmowatch 
    • "As a kid, I was obsessed with Pee-wee's Playhouse. As an adult (at least according to my pricey movie stubs), my refined tastes would prefer The Ramp House, a 'skateable habitat.'" — Gizmodo 
    • "Speaking of things I would have wanted as a kid, take a look at this house: it's built around a gigantic indoor skateboard ramp. I absolutely love this guy's priorities. " — Dvice 

    What I notice here is a strong push and pull around the notion of fun. The Architecture Review comment, perhaps predictably, stressed some sort of formal design purpose or insight. But nowhere is fun allowed. Gizmowatch recognizes the latent playfulness of the space, but feels the need to praise it while marginalizing it as a "strangely cool move." Meanwhile, Gizmodo and Dvice make the most common move, by suggesting that while the place grabs the author's imagination, he must quickly put it into the category of childhood. The common theme, fun = foolish, naive and childish.

    And, perhaps most useful, were select comments about the house from Boing Boing readers. While many readers saw the house as a gimmick, an ostentatious display of trust fund excess or simply dangerous, a few other readers rose to the defense of the space :

    "Haha, I knew a bunch of boingers would be big downers on this. This just in: Boingboing readers have decided that having fun is irresponsible."

    "Dude, this is totally killer!! That's a frickin dream-house right there. Closing my eyes and ears to all of the bummer comments… ignorance is bliss."

    Conclusion of the moment, a fun house is a battleground around the concept of fun!

    Posted via email from buzzcut blog

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    Teacher, game journalist, researcher, PhD student, former comedian, current father.

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