Multiple Meaning By Ariel N.

Valerio Sky high Looking into the future need not look futuristic with glass shards, metal scraps, iron slabs, tin foils, asymmetrical shapes, drab colors, or what much of Hollywood films project. Tomorrow is not Armageddon. Should dingy images of a nuclear holocaust aftermath preoccupy us instead of dainty realities that bloom, grow, and prosper with our nurturing hands? Why instill desperation instead of hope, fear instead of courage, desolation instead of happiness? I seem to share these thoughts with designers of high-rise buildings who employ the elements of nature as testimony of man's desire to pursue a vibrant lifestyle. Observe how condominiums have evolved from mere edifices looming gloomily in the skyline to exquisite artistic renditions of human abode. Computers are here to stay and robots will continue to evolve but all these are meant for man's employ, not for humanity's enslavement. MacLuhan formulated the concept of a global community (structured and planned), not a global tribe (unstructured and unplanned). Toffler's plastic economy seeks to restore man's control of himself and his environment, not to diminish it.

Isaac Asimov's 500 books and 9,000 letters on science fiction and popular science do not espouse a negation of humaneness. The renewed tendency among urban planners and real estate developers to integrate architectural designs into culture-bound lifestyles drives home the point. Zen gardens, sky gardens, green walls are not new indeed, tracing their origin to the majestic Hanging Gardens of Babylon, but their reintegration into our postcolonial life definitely spells the difference. If this persists, the myth that property developers are anathema to the environment might soon dissipate.

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