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what a house should be - part five - or what it's not

First, it is not a product.

Second, it is not a function of the architect's ego.

Third, it is not a function of the bank's commodification

And last, it is not a machine. When LeCorbusier first said "a house is a machine for living", machines and technology were seen as liberating, not the soulless leviathans that they have come to be in popular imagination.  He didn't mean by this that it should look like a machine, even though his early designs certainly had a marine- or machine-like imagery.  He meant that it should be designed to exactly meet its function.  A blast-furnace looks the way it does because it makes steel.  No added flourishes, no anachronistic stylings.  His manifesto was likewise one of liberation, shedding the baggage of so many Victorian drapes and over-wrought iron.   So a house is not a machine, because "machine" has become too loaded a word.  But it should be as liberating and certainly as finely crafted as LeCorbusier's original humanistic vision.