Why are new suburban houses so bloody big?Posted: November 21, 2016 Filed under: Uncategorized 1 Comment
It’s a commonplace observation that new detached houses in Australia’s outer suburbs are much bigger than in the past. The interesting question is why
Why are new suburban houses so bloody big?
Alan Davies has mentioned the term “McMansions” in a few articles and criticised the use of the term by Tim Ross in the ABC program ‘Streets of your Town”. However, I am not sure that either understands the origins of the term. Although Radio National’s Phillip Adams told me that the journalist and author David Brooks claims the term as his own, I think it is more likely to be an offshoot from ‘The McDonaldization of Society’, a book and concept introduced in 1993 by sociologist George Ritzer to explain “the process by which the principles of the fast-food restaurant are coming to dominate more and more sectors of … society …”. Quality becomes secondary to predictability, efficiency and standardisation. Applied to the housing market, all new suburbs look the same with the “spec-built” houses virtually being mass produced. They are designed to look as grand as possible for the price and features such as en suites are standard, and expected. However, house building companies have their range of registered/copy-righted designs from which clients can choose, and if one drives through a few newly developing estates, one will see the same designs over and over again. Standardisation, efficiency, and predictability of outcome.