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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On Pocket-Sized Things

We love miniaturize things. Good things come in small packages, they say. Our cell phones, computers both laptops and desktops are getting slimmer and smaller literally every six months and yet pack more power than ever before.

Classic literature is no stranger to size issues. Lewis Caroll's Alice in Wonderland and Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels are two titles that come to mind.

Perhaps we are-unconsciously or not-are obsessed with size from the dawn of time.

Comic book heroes are also prone to this trend. Minute heroes have always been one of the staple of superhero genre since the Golden Age, from Doll-Man to the All-New Atom.

Marvel's Hank Pym (pictured here as Yellow Jacket. This guy uses so many secret ID that will give any new readers a headache) and DC's Ray Palmer (you know, The Atom) are the premiere masters of miniaturization in their respective universe. Both often carry their costumes and arsenal of crime-fighting gadgets in shrunken sizes only to blow them up to their normal sizes when needed. Both of them can also shrink themselves and comic book writers throughout the ages play this as an advantage to their position in their respective teams-both often plays the role of undetectable wild card when facing dangerous foes.

While Dr. Pym and Dr.Palmer can alter their size at will, Japanese legendary manga DragonBall (which, oddly, i have never been a fan of) took this concept even further. Fictional company within the title Capsule Corporation not only can shrink handy, portable gadgets (and persons) like the heroes above but can also shrink food, vehicles, and even houses to size of a ..well, capsule and only need a drop of water for these products to return to their normal size.

Think about it, capsule-sized house.


These days it's still just a science-fiction dream. But think about it.

When that day comes that we can shrink our houses into our pockets maybe the concept of 'hometown' needs to be redefined.

Maybe our psyche will no longer posses the desire to be 'anchored' to a certain place as a hometown.

The government or developers may need only to provide land for these capsule homes to pop up and perhaps the usual building utilities like piping for waste management and the like.
Maybe you'll never need to leave your house, as you can keep it in your pocket.
Maybe we'll all become nomads.

Will there be no more territorial dispute and the consequently no more needs for countries after all.?
I doubt it as our concept of what a 'place' is and what a 'space' is probably will not change. At least not a lot. We will still tend to personalize everything to differ what's "yours" and what's "mine".

In short, when this happens our very concept of architecture will definitely change into something more portable. At least for most of us who are not homeless.

Believe it or not, this concept is not that fat-fetched. Just check this link.

Yes, the truth is catching up with the fiction.

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