We went. We saw. We did not bark.
Firstly we should say right up front that we understand that Barkitecture is a fun event to raise funds for a very worthy cause and not something to be taken too seriously as architecture or design — but just imagine if it was taken seriously, just for a minute.
Houston’s best Barkiteture pieces confirmed what we already assumed: The houses were built for people’s pleasure, not dogs.
Just like Haute-doggy-couture, the dog houses from the most winningest to the most dead-pan, were categorically designed and built for the viewing and aesthetic pleasure of the owners. Why are we surprised?
We’re pretty sure that if the dogs were actually engaged as real clients with real needs and life styles the designs would have gravitated towards the non-dog house. Dogs, for the most part care about the simple things in life: food, sex, and territory — not astroturf, not glass doors. The honest truth is that, well, a dog will for the most part sleep, hang out and seek shelter under almost anything. And this reality frustrates the entire production of design. In addition — how do you design for two clients? The one who will bid on the winning design for hundreds of dollars to fund a worthy project and the other ostensibly “real” client who for the most part simply doesn’t care? More over, why were these houses judged by people? Shouldn’t there be some kind of canine’s choice award?
Is it too much to ask for this animal architecture project to extend beyond the commercially acceptable? We hope not. We feel that the living environment of “Man’s best friend” after all deserves a little more consideration.