Monday, May 5, 2014


Upside Down Houses

At first click, I thought the article I was reading would be about some new ecological benefit of constructing houses floor first, roof bottom.


"Around the world, a number of groups looking to draw tourists have constructed upside-down houses, complete with inverted furnishings and decor."

Constructing a tourist attraction...theory education stirring....

"As a bonus, all of the interior shots are interactive -- click on them to flip the view and see it "right side up"."

I deeply appreciate the quotations around right-side-up. Inverting the house, at least in the caption of the photo series, supplanted the standard construction enough to merit theoretical quotation marks.

Baudriallard, anyone?

The trend of constructing inverted houses supplanted the actual flipping taking place, so that the standard construction became the "theoretical".

I can't. Even. Why...?
Note the caption:"Laborers work at an upside-down house under construction in Fengjing Ancient Town, Jinshan District, south of Shanghai, China, on March 17, 2014. Workers are putting the final touches on this eccentric tourist attraction built at the "China Folk Painting Village"."

 Ancient town? 
Folk painting village? 
Screw that, let's build a house upside down and see if we can get tourists to throw money at it.

This seems almost, somehow, racist.  As if countries only believed their most extreme, exotic, and bizarre features were tourist worthy... but perhaps that is a stretch.

Still, such a construction makes it seem as though the country that made it feels it has nothing else to offer, and needs to be ridiculous. 

Constructing a house "upside-down" and then proceeding to furnish it as if the floor were the ceiling and vise versa keeps the standard house building conventions intact, but then says, well look at THIS! It's OPPOSITE! But is it really?

I think the truly upside down idea was to build something new and anti - folksy in Ancient Folk Town. 

Out of the four locations of inverted houses, only the Austrian house looked endemic to it's local. The other three reflected no architecture or distinctive characteristics, other than being "upside-down". 

Not to point at the urinal and say that it's not art, but these are not true inversions. I don't even know what these are, other than simulated "architecture"to draw the tourists, supplanting local building methods. Except Austria. They probably were just looking for a reason to use theoretical quotation marks. 

I hope theorists walk into that house, say hmmm, and the builders jump out and say, "EXACTLY". 

1 comment:

  1. This....I can't. Truly. I don't understand the appeal of this, and the worst part is...there is so many people out there that would pay to be a part of this...that would pay to go inside this house. I would be interested to know if anyone in this class or out there in the world would be interested in seeing these upside down houses? I just cant imagine being interested in this...Turn a dollhouse upside down and look inside? Is it the same kind of effect?This isn't even one of those situations where it's a copy of some interesting, historical place/artifact it's just kind of stupid and meaningless. It would be different if like Edith said, it were some sort of eco thing...but it's not so I am just not understanding...I guess EXACTLY is what's going on here and we just aren't theory based enough?


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