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Usually architects and artists seeking immortality by creating great works of art that will outlast them. But Madeline Gins and Arawaka, a husband and wife team of architects, have created a house that is designed to give its occupants a kind of immortality. The New York Times reports :

In 45 years of working together as artists, poets and architects, they have developed an arcane philosophy of life and art, a theory they call reversible destiny. Essentially, they have made it their mission — in treatises, paintings, books and now built projects like this one — to outlaw aging and its consequences.

“It’s immoral that people have to die,” Ms. Gins explained.

And how do you keep people from the immorality of death?

In addition to the floor, which threatens to send the un-sure-footed hurtling into the sunken kitchen at the center of the house, the design features walls painted, somewhat disorientingly, in about 40 colors; multiple levels meant to induce the sensation of being in two spaces at once; windows at varying heights; oddly angled light switches and outlets; and an open flow of traffic, unhindered by interior doors or their adjunct, privacy.

All of it is meant to keep the occupants on guard. Comfort, the thinking goes, is a precursor to death; the house is meant to lead its users into a perpetually “tentative” relationship with their surroundings, and thereby keep them young.

It is all quite remarkable, as is the architects’ frank assertion that they should win the Nobel Prize for this work. Reading about their philosophy and its fruit, I was reminded that despite the bumpy floor, the multiple levels, and the bright colors, the house and its designers are still made of dust, and unto dust shall they all return. From this inevitable return, they will need a greater savior than their own genius, no matter how exotic its creations may be.



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