Fences, Databases, and Clean Slates

by | Jan 31, 2021 | Change |

architecture changes the way we see

Moving into a derelict property comes with some ‘landmarks’ in place but crumbling. Buildings, fences, trees, and so on. These structures shape how you see and experience the space. The paths we walk have been shaped by these structures and also the areas of bad drainage.

When we moved in just over a year ago, we knew we wanted to grow vegetables so we needed to choose a space. It was hard to imagine the property cleared and the ‘ideal’ spot so we choose a space already fenced in. As the year went on, we learned most of the fence posts were rotten and the rabbits were everywhere.

This past week we took down the fence with the aim of replacing it, however once it came down the entire space felt transformed. Interestingly, it is only now that it is down that we realise we can choose to put a new fence anywhere we want. It doesn’t have to go back the same way. Now that it is gone, we are beginning to ‘see’ differently.

Architecture, our built environment, whether buildings or organisation charts or technology, shape our way of seeing. Sometimes we only ‘see’ differently when the structure is removed and we have a ‘clean slate’, however other times our imagination is up to the task.

It’s not difficult to experience this with buildings which frame our view. It’s harder with our organisations where the structure is less tangible. The thing to remember is that architecture has a permanence to it. And it influences where other things go, how we move in and use a space. how we interact with others. This is true if it is a building, a fence, an organisation or a piece of software.

And here’s the thing. It’s easy to change the colour of a wall or the front door. Just like it is easy to change the design of a webpage or your logo. Changing the foundations of the building, an organisation, or the structure of a database is much much harder.

I’m off to figure out where to put the fence…

Photo by Jan Canty

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