Yesterday, The Infrastructurist posted an interesting article on the ineffectiveness of the stimus bill in supporting small eco-business growth in the Midwest (St. Louis, to be exact). The company featured specializes in painting roofs with a reflective white coating. We all know the benefits to this simple conversion: less absorbed sunlight = cooler summertime temperatures = less energy dedicated towards cooling the building.
Here at Mockitecture, we are interested in fads. With the "green" movement in full swing, what would happen if eco-businesses were funded to the max full of taxpayer dollars!? Would mark would they leave on our unhealthy, over-consumptive lifestyles? Like a parasite, they would certainly target and invade the epicenters of consumption: suburbia's sprawling shopping centers and beloved McMansions.
In a culture dominated by image and simulation (e.g. a suburban house screams, "I am a palace, not a cheaply constructed box."), this "white roof" thing would take some getting used to. After all, these houses sport faux wood shingles, simulated clay tiles, and an assorted selection of eye-pleasing colored asphalt shingles. But let's say this painting company, pumped full of steroids ($$$) by Uncle Sam, started white-washing entire suburbs. What would happen? I present to you, the Non-Roof:
50 years from now, we may look back on this silly early 21st century "stimulus" era as a time defined by acts of anti-architecture or anti-design in general...where massive resources were hastily channelled into retrofit projects that ignored original design intent and logic altogether. These follies of our time - catalyzed by a desperate investment in "infrastructure" by a desperate government - have the ability to change what is socially accepted as "normal." In the end, we are left with a curious image of paranoia, identity crisis, and paradox.