This is very reminiscent of how some people use the internet as well. I can think of personal examples where Google apps and services were forced upon workers at companies who didn’t want them and weren’t comfortable with them.
Similarly we went from the creativity of MySpace to the corporate strictures of Facebook and Twitter that didn’t give users any flexibility or identity. The connective value was apparently worth just a bit more than the identity, so we went there, but why not have it all?
I’ll have to find the reference, but I saw an article with a book reference in the last year about the life of buildings and that well designed ones could stand the test of centuries in their ability to be redesigned and repurposed from the inside out if necessary.
An interesting thing about IndieWeb is that it is designed and built for people to live with and within because of the eat what you cook principle.
And really, this stems from the fact that buildings aren’t designed by the community that uses them anymore. The community barely factors into the design, even. Buildings were designed to serve a specific purpose, dictated by the higher-ups with the money to purchase the land and fund the development of the building. Again, quoting the article, Unless they are an uber-wealthy client, users of buildings rarely have much input into the design process. Students do not get to say what kind of school they would like, office workers do not get to say whether they would prefer to work in a glass tower or in a leafy complex of wifi-enabled wooden pagodas. … But that rupture means that architecture becomes something imposed upon people. It isn’t participatory, and it doesn’t adapt in response to their needs. It’s prefabricated, assembled beforehand off-site and then dumped on the unwitting populace. We are not meant to live in modern buildings; they are made for people who do not poop. 1
links: gentrification architecture identity communities participatory architecture