"Simplicity, clarity, singleness; these are the attributes that give our lives power and vividness and joy." ~ Richard Halloway
Imagine that in your left hand, you hold a bottle of very low cost wine... and in your right, something like a Willamette Valley Pinot or a Napa Valley Cabernet. The similarities are obvious enough; 750 ml of fermented grape juice, in glass containers. They have roughly equivalent alcohol levels, weigh about the same, and will both pour out the same amount of wine.
The bottle in your right hand costs many times what you would spend for the one in your left. But in this scenario, few among us would ask "What's the difference". We know right away if we are drawn to the low cost option in one hand or the high quality in the other. This may or may not be a question of wine snobbery, but mostly it is a question of choice. What do we value? What are our intentions?
Choices we make when we create buildings are far more singular, significant, and long lasting than any day to day purchases. When we make choices about our built environment, we are making a substantial investment to shape that environment, and willfully influencing the quality of life of many others, over an extended period of time. I love hearing William McDonough ask the question: "How do we love the children of all species, for all time?"