Imagine walking alone for hours in a desert. It has been hours since you've last seen another human being and your mind is beginning to play tricks on you. You're desperate, tired and vulnerable. Finally, you see a city not far from where you are. Within an hour, you manage to reach the city. As you enter the city, you realize something eerie, something out of place. There is no sign of human beings. You take note that the houses seem quite modern, as do the stores, and there is no sign of abandonment as everything seems well kept, yet there is not a single person in sight. You feel uncomfortable.
Too often, do we seek comfort and shelter in the city. After being away, we return with relief because the city represents our comfort zone.
After a weekend of camping or backpacking in the woods, we return home and sometimes, one of our first thoughts is, "Civilization!".
Our comfort comes from familiarity, especially in our time of need, like a Starbucks coffee shop in a foreign country. If you were in the midst of being chased by a thief, you will immediately run to the closest home or store. That is what we were conditioned to do. But take away the people, and suddenly these buildings become a place of hostility. After the removal of humans, the whole city becomes desolate and we will think twice before entering a building, store, or home.
What is architecture without human beings?