MVRDV's suburban experiment in Ypenburg, completed in 2003. Haggen Island is a cluster of social housing units on a man-made archipelago. While the standard model of row-houses typically involves long strips of units with large thoroughfares in between, the architects decided to break up the units to individual modules and eliminate interior vehicular traffic. By only allowing parking and car-access to an outer ring-road, individual homes were given larger plots of land, and a network of pedestrian paths were created to encourage communal interaction that is child-safe. The separation between buildings also allows for more light, greenspace, and privacy for residents.
A small pallet of materials were selected based on cost and durability, and was uniformly applied to each of the homes. The use of a single material for each unit provides a bold abstraction of the archetypal suburban home, and helps create a sense of identity and ownership for residents. The development serves as a vocal opponent of traditional models of social housing by offering an alternative that emphasizes community, safety, individuality, and affordability.
On stage, as he smiles into the camera, using words to evoke some of the best sentiments within us, it’s hard to believe certain facts about him:
- Obama terrorizes innocent Pakistanis on an almost daily basis. The drone war he is waging in North Waziristan isn’t “precise” or “surgical” as he would have Americans believe. It kills hundreds of innocents, including children. And for thousands of more innocents who live in the targeted communities, the drone war makes their lives into a nightmare worthy of dystopian novels. People are always afraid. Women cower in their homes. Children are kept out of school. The stress they endure gives them psychiatric disorders. Men are driven crazy by an inability to sleep as drones buzz overhead 24 hours a day, a deadly strike possible at any moment. At worst, this policy creates more terrorists than it kills; at best, America is ruining the lives of thousands of innocent people and killing hundreds of innocents for a small increase in safety from terrorists. It is a cowardly, immoral, and illegal policy, deliberately cloaked in opportunistic secrecy. And Democrats who believe that it is the most moral of all responsible policy alternatives are as misinformed and blinded by partisanship as any conservative ideologue.
- Obama established one of the most reckless precedents imaginable: that any president can secretly order and oversee the extrajudicial killing of American citizens. Obama’s kill list transgresses against the Constitution as egregiously as anything George W. Bush ever did. It is as radical an invocation of executive power as anything Dick Cheney championed. The fact that the Democrats rebelled against those men before enthusiastically supporting Obama is hackery every bit as blatant and shameful as anything any talk radio host has done.
- Contrary to his own previously stated understanding of what the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution demand, President Obama committed U.S. forces to war in Libya without Congressional approval, despite the lack of anything like an imminent threat to national security.
In the end, Conor Friedersdorf sums up my thoughts like no one else: “Romney revels in bellicosity; Obama soothes with rhetoric and kills people in secret. To hell with them both.”
To hell with you both.