We live in an age of widespread ideological relativism. We understand that there are individuals with their own individual perspectives in this life, and more and more we have come to appreciate the many different kinds of thoughts and opinions from different people of different backgrounds, especially being so easily exposed to these perspectives on the internet.
We see cultural relativism everywhere. We constantly remind ourselves not to judge the behaviors and practices of individuals from another culture because these behaviors and practices can come from motives that we might not understand from our own perspectives.
We see the evidence of a highly distilled form of relativism in marketing: gum that changes flavor over a period of time and works differently with different people, body deodorant that changes scent over a period of time, removable faceplates for cell phones and video game consoles to allow individuals to express themselves through their gadgets in colors, designs, and more.
Future architectural designs reflect these underlying conceptions as well. Eventually we will see skyscrapers that consist of pillars of rotating units that allow the occupants on each story to change their respective views whenever they want.
Glimpses of relativist thought can be seen in the growing modular industry’s recognition of the benefits of flexibility and change in commercial construction especially.
Modular building methods are the cutting edge in construction. As opposed to hard construction, whose structures can be seen to “crystallize” into functionally rigid units that have to be broken down, cleared out, and rebuilt when they are no longer useful, modular construction involves the endlessly varied arrangement of universal parts to be “put together” into flexible structures that can be rearranged, relocated, or taken down with minimal effort.
Modular builders understand the diversity of today’s businesses on a national and global level. What works for one business owner might not necessarily be the way to go for another. On top of that, businesses have to constantly change and grow to survive in this changing world. As businesses change and grow, the structures that support these business’ daily processes will have to inevitably change and grow with them. A modular building has this capability.
A modular builder can work with a business and design and build what that particular business needs. Not only that, but the modular building that ends up being built can easily be relocated, rearranged, or expanded upon to suit the changing needs of the growing business.
Modern modular construction is a big nod to the differing needs and desires of separate individuals.
Is relativist thought a good thing? My opinion is yes. As time goes on, and as our globe becomes smaller and smaller during this age of information and international commerce, we will find ourselves in an environment that is growing in diversity and perspectives. Relativist thought offers a flexible solution to dealing with all of the different perspectives and opinions and needs of different individuals. With relativist thought, we can modify our perspectives and methods on the fly to accommodate individuals of different backgrounds and needs as they present themselves to us. When this mode of thought is applied to all the various aspects of our culture: our products, our food, our buildings…then more and more individuals of varying backgrounds will be represented in this growing global culture of ours.
Modular building is a great example of this when it comes to modern construction.