Sure, the box is efficient, easy to calculate and build and requires less skilled craftsmen than other forms. It maximizes the profit per square foot; and uses up every inch of the land that, itself, was demarcated with exclusively straight lines.
They are quick and cheap to build, suiting the demands of rapidly growing cities and industries, yet with an aesthetic half-life that lingers long after their welcome.
The thinking behind the box is a relic from the industrial era, and from times-gone-by; where limited contemporary structural understanding favored straight line construction as being the most stable and safe.
Yet even deep in the amazon jungle, the Yanomami can create, with limited means, a ring house.
The anti-organic, box building imposes a harsh delineation from the nature which long past generations feared so much; yet is now, ever increasingly, being sought as a soothing antidote to the stress of the contemporary city.
Nowadays, we have the technology, the knowledge, the know-how, and the talent to build any form we like. Yet, in the majority of cases we choose not to. Any five-year-old can make a good job of drawing a box; yet so many contemporary buildings do not show any advancement on a Lego aesthetic.
Do those who commission buildings have some responsibility towards the people who will use and occupy them?
Even forward-thinking, tech firms who pride themselves on unconventional, innovative office interiors, and work practices, fall down on resorting to rudimentary geometric forms, approximated mainly through straight line components, for their structures; such as Apple, Google and Facebook.
The human character is to be curious, inquisitive, creative, adventurous, complicated. How can a lifeform so complex benefit from, or be inspired by, occupying something so rudimentary and unimaginative as a box?
A box space just plain saps the joie-de-vivre of its inhabitants with its dull dependability, its predictability, and conformity. Not to mention is lack of humor, natural beauty, mischief and magic.
Sure, they are efficient, these machines for living; they work well for the industrial purpose they serve, be it factory, office, or cheap (or indeed very expensive) housing; but what could be more dehumanizing than putting humans in a machine?
Let us bring the humanity back to buildings, not only for the occupants. Let’s give the architect beautiful curves and dramatic angles to play with; let’s give the engineer a satisfying, complex challenge to solve; let’s give craftsmen a realm to showcase their mighty talents.
And, let the cities be full of wondrous, organic, natural, humane, sculptural forms that make people shout “Wow!” and gasp with awe, at every turn; where the occupants are excited, challenged and inspired by their environment.