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The Hut and the Bonfire

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By Grappler199
Words 488
Pages 2
Tobey Plaunty

The Hut and the Bonfire
CM120
Fall 2012

The Hut and the Bonfire parable is an analogy to describe how social constructions have made new technological advances to control their immediate environment and create leisure and ease. This leisure and ease is controlled by providing dryness, heating, cooling, visual and acoustical luxuries. According to Banham the tribe in the parable would either build a shelter of start a fire, according to their customs. (Banham, 19) This would all depend on the previous experiences of the tribe and there culture which is what civilized nations still do. He says because of this architecture of cultures who build structures has been organized by the culture in a way that they previously live which is massive structure contained by walls, floors, and ceilings. This has been the basic form of a building for western societies for hundreds of years.
The mass of structures also plays another significant role in cultural demands for ease and leisure because it has thermal and acoustical advantages according to Banham. A large structure with thick walls is effective to collect solar heat and resisting the passage heat into the house. Alternatively the stored solar heat is released slowly from the walls keeping the chill of the night away.
The wants for ease and leisure have provided the running force for creating new technology and improving old ones. The use of window to let in the suns light and keep out wind and rain. A society’s needs to stay warm have come a long way from a fire pit to chimneys to stoves and finally central heating.
He goes on to say that because of these cultural expectations technology has a lag time between technology that is available and its full exploitation. Architects are wary of new things because they know if something goes wrong their customers will never forgive them for the inconvenience. A massive structure is a big investment for the customer. It takes a lot of money, time, resources to make a massive structure so they want it to last and be of good quality and usefulness. Like the tribe in the parable to make a shelter of the wood they found would take a lot of time so they would want their investment to pay off over a long period of time compared to the short term advantages to just burning it. As you can see social constructions and its ideas have shaped technological advances in controlling the external environment to create leisure and for the sake of ease. With these advances we have found been able to live in better comfort and have created more leisure time. We are able to stay dry, warm, and cool with the use of massive structures. These structures have been designed by architects who provide buildings based on cultural values and hopes.

Works Cited

Banham, Reyner. Architecture of the Well Tempered
Enviornment. Print.

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