Low Tech

2009/08/05 § Leave a comment

It seems that talk of “authenticity” has begun to make it’s rounds in these here parts lately. With talk about sub cultures being true to some lifestyle (or brand,) everyone is in on having “real” experiences, “real” food, “real” clothes, etc.

It’s quite intriguing, for in this country, what exactly is authentic? Take, for instance, a barbeque I was lucky enough to be invited to the other night: I was speaking to a French gentlemen about how incredible the process of American barbequing is. He was confounded by the time, smell, and taste of those meats sitting in the smoker. Insisting that nothing came close to this in any western european country, he hit on an important point. Barbeque might well be one of the only truly authentic “American” foods.

A certain trend has erupted here in NYC over the past five years, and that is the old school look specifically perpetrated in the restaurant scene. There are more and more new places that seek to transplant the consumer 100 years back, where 3 or 4 layers of brand new paint may create something that looks like an original Brooklyn soda fountain, where old tin ceilings are reconstructed to add layers to a purposefully constructed history. Basically, there is a trend in the use of expensive materials to make spaces look like they had been there forever, and selling it as “authentic.” So again, what exactly does this mean for us as we search for our own expressions?

For starters, the projects below demonstrate a wonderful, functionally driven aesthetic firmly entrenched in place. Materials are totally local, not marketed to be. These low tech structure are ecologically conscious because they have to be.

Soe Ker Tie House in Noh Bo, Tak, Thailand by TYIN Tegnestue

From the authors, “Through the course of the last year TYIN has worked with planning and constructing small scale projects in Thailand. We aim to build strategic projects that can improve the lives for people in difficult situations. Through extensive collaboration with locals, and mutual learning, we hope that our projects can have an impact beyond the physical structures.”

Yes, these are pissers made out of car tires.

Safe Haven Bath house in Ban Tha Song Yang, Thailand by TYIN Tegnestue

All images above come from the always fascinating Arch Daily.

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