3. Lifeboat

[How to live] with the same [5] strangers in a lifeboat for one week.

What am I going to write about, naval architecture? (I think I need to save that for number two hundred something.) As an earnest requirement for aspiring architects this one seems silly, but as a thought experiment it offers more. What would you need? Shelter from sun and rain, and from the sea. How and where do you defecate? How many of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs are required to survive one week? Would you need love and a sense of belonging? Can you last a week without any self esteem? Lots of design firms have a passing resemblance to something out of ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ – design schools even more so – which can deny a young student/employee/intern an ounce of self esteem for months or years on end. [I have and continue to battle with depression, and the thought of spending a week on one life boat with five strangers fills me with many anxieties but offers little hypothetical time or space for depression.] One criticism of Maslow’s hierarchy is that it reflects qualities of an individualistic (read western capitalistic) society but not the qualities of a collectivist society. Perhaps an audience of non-western aspiring architects would not need today’s lesson in cohabitation.

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