Uprising against sameness 

In reaction to the sameness that surrounds us, bespoke is becoming the new norm.

It’s understandable why companies like sameness of a brand, a style, a look, taste or feel. Consumers love the consistency. Sameness satisfies our yearning for comfort, convenience and regularity in a world in which, at times, we feel we have little control over. Manufacturers love sameness mainly for the reason that it controls cost through simplification and repetition. In the built environment, developers love sameness much for the same reason.

Sameness can stifle creativity and destroy identity as much as it builds it. There are many tangible references that demonstrate people’s urge to breakaway from sameness. In her book Doing it Differently which is centred around urban environments, Kylie Legge references a catalogue of examples of the community desire to break out from sameness and questions “What makes a city? What makes a city interesting? What makes it worth visiting, worth staying in, and worth returning to?”

Kelvin Taylor

Kelvin Taylor

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Los Angeles is closing select streets to automobiles and turning them into people friendly urban plazas. The pop-up shop is an ever present feature of most modern CBD environments and provides an ephemeral retail offering that celebrates its temporary status through clever use of materials and innovative merchandising displays. In Singapore, a ‘box shop’ offers affordable micro-retail opportunities to market test new products.

Through natural disaster, Christchurch is a city that has been forced to embrace creative thinking and problem solving through doing things differently.

Late last year Christchurch City Council launched FESTA – the Festival of Transitional Architecture, aimed at engaging the community, planners and design professionals to engage with the city by exploring urban regeneration.

Sameness can stifle creativity and destroy identity as much as it builds it.

FESTA’s aim is to make Christchurch feel like a city again – buzzing with animation, excitement and street life.

FESTA embraced the concept of tactical urbanism where temporary installations transformed the public spaces across the Christchurch cityscape and helped unite the community, reclaim lost urban precincts and make them inviting and vibrant again.

The term ‘craft’ evokes ideas and feelings of something special, once lost but now regained. It’s an uprising against sameness and a desire to get back to real things made by real people using real ingredients or real materials.

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