Mid-Century Modern housing designs vs children

Home improvement Q&A, pictures and news fro Mid Century Modern Homes and Houses(NOT for Real Estate)

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Planner Dude
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Postby Planner Dude » Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:46 pm

love this line about the floating stair case:

(Hey, aren’t these just a bunch of IKEA Lack shelves nailed to a wall?)

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babyblue65bird
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Postby babyblue65bird » Tue Apr 09, 2013 7:00 pm

So maybe Neutra's book is really called "Survival (of the fittest) Through Design"
Where are we going & what are we doing in this handbasket?

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SDR
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Postby SDR » Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:54 pm

Saw this on another architecture site, but the discussion there devolved into a discourse on Modern vs Traditional. Yawn. I'm interested in the phenomenon, formerly confined largely to arty European or Latin American residential work intended for publication, but now spreading (it seems) to domestic architects, namely the omission of handrails on stairs.

I'm as arty as the next guy, and appreciate the minimalist urge that this practice suggests. But -- isn't it still the case that the majority of household injuries involve the staircase ? Anyone can lose their footing on the stairs, no matter what their age or condition.

Frank Lloyd Wright was an early adopter of this particular minimalist move; it is hard to find a handrail in much of his early work, at least. He seems to have harbored an antagonism toward the random diagonal line -- the hipped-roof pitch excepted, of course.

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egads
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Postby egads » Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:58 am

This discussion reminds me of being on a MAK tour at Case Study house 22:

http://www.stahlhouse.com/

Someone asked Mrs Stahl about bringing up kids right next to a steep cliff. She said "Oh we told them to stay away and they did." In fact her daughter and granddaughter were living with her there at the time. I think the granddaughter was about 8 years old then.

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Joe
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Postby Joe » Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:46 am

silly blog article. another attack on Modernism. Breeders beware.

Planner Dude
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Postby Planner Dude » Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:54 am

egads wrote:This discussion reminds me of being on a MAK tour at Case Study house 22:

http://www.stahlhouse.com/

Someone asked Mrs Stahl about bringing up kids right next to a steep cliff. She said "Oh we told them to stay away and they did." In fact her daughter and granddaughter were living with her there at the time. I think the granddaughter was about 8 years old then.


yeah, our house is on a lot with direct access to a large canal that connects on both sides to the Detroit River. My wife was worried at first, when we looked at the house, but I told her it is probably safer than where I grew up (two houses away from a 7 lane arterial road) and I was fine.


You need to teach your children to respect things that are dangerous and continue to talk to them about it and "watch them".

Our house also has an exposed stair case to the lower level. The kids could climb all over the 3-foot high railing and crash to the bottom, but they don't.

They know what is safe and what isn't and I watch them to ensure they continue to remember what they learned.

There is no substitute for good parenting.

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SDR
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Postby SDR » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:18 pm

That's how it's always worked, with children -- in my experience. Now we've entered a new phase of paranoia/obsession, or something, and people seem to believe they're entitled both to complete freedom and to complete protection from harm -- and the hazards seem to multiply. Plastics of all sorts are now seen as threatening. Asbestos in tiny amounts, or in place and undisturbed, are somehow seen as poisonous. Allergies abound. Suspicion of science (as an extension of commerce, I guess) is spreading -- abetted by viewer-hungry media ? Teachers and doctors are trusted less than before, apparently.

None of that changes the fact that stairs are inherently hazardous, in my view. Children aren't the only victims: old people, or persons with disabilities, should be able to count on handrails for assistance on stairs.

SDR

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johnnyapollo
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Postby johnnyapollo » Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:01 am

Everything changed with TV (and now gaming) became the baby sitters while both parents continue to persue their own paths (careers, interests, etc) instead of spending time parenting. Suddenly everything became dangerous as the focus left the family concept.

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deagna
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Hysterical!

Postby deagna » Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:29 am

I agree that the style of parenting was quite different and one that we embrace in our home today. Of course, we have a Cliff May and thus have averted the dangers of staircases and indoor reflecting pools but we didn't even childproof the cabinets when given a window in which to do so. Our son is 2 now and the thing that's always worked best is watching him and setting limits. I actually feel a little inspired raising him in this home knowing hundreds of families have done the same over the last fifty years and it seems to have worked fine for them!

Thanks for sharing that article! I have seen houses like those and thought to myself how dangerous and impractical some of those things are. How very experimental the 50s were that they'd try just about anything with complete disregard to practicality. I sort of love it.

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Mod' i-fy
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Postby Mod' i-fy » Tue Aug 13, 2013 9:19 pm

This was a very funny read. I always wondered about that stuff to with some of those artsy designs for the filthy rich. Like others have said just watch and teach your children. I would be more concerned for my visitors though, maybe show a power point slide on how to navigate the home safely otherwise I'd constantly find myself telling everyone to watch their step.
"Where words cease modern speaks" - Mod' i-fy


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