The world has been advancing faster than one would ever thought as we can see in the past few years. The spur of touchable screens, customized apps brought to the information flooding in our daily life. To some extents, boundaries of things have been blurred. Now one pans around the googlemap while finding his way, be the first one to obtain discount vouchers via apps, shop online and get your goods delivered to your doorstep. See - we need more spaces than ever, ironically not the physical space (well on the larger whole, sharp population increase still causes spatial & resources demands) but a virtual one. Feel tired stalking on Facebook? No problem get yourself refreshed in the Google +. But why exactly did we sign up in the first place?
- We have come to a point whereby consuming our own needs is indispensable. Just like my urge to share with you in my personal cosy little e-space here, someone else is tweeting and chatting away on Facebook.
Now retailers are cracking their brain juices not to send the best sandwich-men to the bus stations but how to reach us from the seemingly intangible wireless network. I know this sounds cliche. But what are we talking here? The space. Retailers hunger for a new space - the virtual space as much as they wish for a real premise in the neighborhood plaza. The magic of mathematics further proved them right, they needn't risk any of their assets.
And this space emanates from us - the consumers, for our response on their tactics. A perfectly sound economic model.
Perhaps Maslow's hierarchy explains this better. We are always moving up the pyramid. We need shelter, therefore we built the houses. Now we need a medium of expression and consumption, so we constructed the virtual space.
Our needs for physical spaces have certainly made an impact on the culture. We know meaningful old houses were torn down to make way for the new alien-looking ones. Think about this: Putting ourselves in the shoes of tourists, we often assume that we need to cater a handful of hotel spaces for them so we are profited from their arrival. They are here to see our culture, our history, the everyday life that we are living with. Now that we have torn down every row of shophousess, the Wembley cinema at Noordin street, 春满园 and places, just to make sure the incoming tourists enjoy maximum comfort. Why beating our own noses? definitely not for pleasure huh.
The capitalist called it the demise of old buildings, gone are the days of poverty and backward when investment makes wonders. Policy makers nodding away knowing top-down control is a plausible move. They too, envisioned their version of futurists Penang.
Maslow was right, the society needs security too.
While Noordin street undergoes its Plastic Surgery to be the new mini mid-valley, I do question if we are creating History? or simply deleting the Social Memories?
On one hand we are craving for virtual space, on the other hand we are forgetting the physical space.
Someone once said, Historic buildings are quite often sick too. So then they need to be removed.
Architects are not Doctors, they fell sick too.
we are ostriches...