Family mobilization, multiplicity of personal meanings, emotional turgidity, stress, problem problems … in short, a true crisis. These are just some of the aspects that come into play when someone has to move house, build a new one or decide to remodel an existing one.
Because homes say much more about us than we think and fulfill more functions than we think. Even the fact of moving or when they are under construction also has a role. Next, we will see. Let’s go deeper.
The house, a safe place of attachment
The house is an important reference in our life. In our childhood, it welcomes us, gives us affection and protects us. And during adulthood, it affirms us and gives us security, it establishes us in a place and makes us have roots.
We usually look in our house for a reference of secure attachment. How many times do we long to reach it! As if it gives us that affective warmth that we need so much and wraps us safely and calmly. Home sweet home (“home sweet home”) as the song says …
At a general level, it is usually given a protective sense and it is not for less: the first houses of primitive man were caves that not only gave heat, but also protected him from the inclement weather and predatory animals that put his life at risk.
The house is a great mother who takes care of us and gives us warmth. Thus, it is logical that moving or changing homes is very mobilizing. In principle, because leaving the place where we live is a loss and as such is distressing.
Therefore, the mourning for the lost house is one of the main mobilizing topics when it comes to moving. Someone who moves loses his protection to later acquire a new one, but if in addition to moving it is a matter of building or remodeling, the situation worsens.
In addition, the house also expresses our internal world, our affections, beliefs and values and this can be observed in its architecture. Its design, according to certain parameters, reflects this and reveals desires, restrictions and fundamentally a lifestyle.
Favorite places in the house reflect who we are
Where does the family put the most emphasis? What are the most privileged places? In which room is each one more comfortable? Everything carries more information than we think.
For example, there are more social families that give importance to sectors focused on sharing with friends, relatives, co-workers, etc. They are those who choose spacious rooms to place L-shaped armchairs or large windows to a garden. In fact, this social typology is also related to the playful families that favor gambling.
On the other hand, other families escape sociability and opt for a kind of ostracism : they give more importance to the privacy of the bathrooms -with whirlpools-, desks, libraries, giant TV screens and even a small balcony where they can have breakfast. It is, for example, those couples who love to eat in bed or watch a movie.
Bathrooms, kitchens, living rooms and other places in the house
The intimacy of the intimacy, thus could be defined to the bathrooms. In fact, there are people who spend a lot of time in them: those who use them as a reading room and even place a magazine rack in them or listen to music and even put a Scottish shower or a large hydromassage.
On the other hand, there are couples who live together, but sleep in separate rooms with separate bathrooms. Hers, for example, is a rococo bathroom with pastel colors and scented scents, while his is a minimalist bathroom, austere and with a Franciscan simplicity.
For other families, the kitchen is the main place in the house. They are those that make good eating a cult and have large cupboards and tables, an island in the middle and a prominent refrigerator plus a large refrigerator.
Also the emphasis on the intellectual, makes the desks have relevance. Rooms for reading or research; large bookcases with comfortable armchairs and large windows, etc.
Others have a gym-like room: with equipment, treadmills and bicycles because they are sporty families and need their weekly dose of physical exercise.
As a curiosity, it should be noted that families that live on appearance put ostentation in the front. Gardens, ornate gates, bombastic gates and a long etc. They boast of millionaires, despite the fact that the house is not large inside or does not have top quality materials. Of course, there are also families more congruent with their lifestyle, needs and home design.
The architect is a family mediator
Each family puts into play its scale of values and its style. However, when a house is built, the architect is the receiver of ideas, but also the advisor, the guide, the suggestive. In fact, one of the fundamental tasks of the architect is mediation.
The members of a family do not always agree and deliberations, disputes and even discussions are held in front of the architect. It is the typical example of the complementary pairs of couples: while one spouse is social, the other is a hermit; one is intellectual and the other playful; one the athlete and the other sedentary.
These polarities, which in life are possibly complementary, when designing and building become an obstacle: which are the places that are going to be privileged?
Differences can be understood as complementarities or antagonisms. As long as complementarity is accepted in a couple, everything is in order, but if the differences are understood as oppositions, games of rivalries and escalations will be established, and other power dynamics that lead to catastrophe.
These differences can be activated against, in the construction or remodeling of a house, and it is the architect who becomes the arbitrator, judge, psychologist and mediator of the dispute.
Beyond the disputes about the new house and how to move
Two spouses whose relationship falters in some of their flanks, faced with the fact of building or moving, it is possible that deep conflicts not overcome are possible. It is not the construction itself, but this is the trigger, the firing pin, that activates the shot that hurts the relationship.
On the contrary, many couples during a remodel, needless to say a construction, get together. Although it is paradoxical, many people divert the focus of the conflict and place a carrot that works as a distractor to go forward, while the work lasts.
Other couples separate, leaving the work in half, it is those buildings that are sold and the real estate seller tells us the sad story of the couple who separated before finishing the construction. Others escalate by upping the ante for disqualification in an attempt to impose personal ideas.
There are also those who place the architect as judge, who must raise his thumb or not in favor of life or death like a Roman emperor. Some spouses let the architect decide and then join together to criticize him or even one delegates to the other and when the decision of that other is carried out, he disqualifies him. Or they stay united almost against the architect and when the work is finished they last a few months together and separate.
However, not everything unfolds in a setting of notable neurosis. There are functional couples and families who enjoy the new company, who contribute ideas, who love the process and who make each decision a breakthrough in the construction. It is a joyful process and when a decision is discussed, it is done with respect and empathy.
Be that as it may, building a house and moving are a crisis that can damage the family and couple system and perhaps turn into a problem, because each member can have different perspectives on reality and generate a significant level of stress .
Thus, the architect is a fundamental piece, who must have tools (not a pencil, a computer, a meter, etc.), but clinical and mediation tools to make interventions that allow the couple to combine criteria or directly send them to a psychotherapist to help resolve the conflict that has exploded.
In this sense, the architect either catalyzes the conflict or stops it, although he should not assume such responsibility, because then each architect should do training in clinical psychology or work with a therapist on his team!