Thursday, February 25, 2010
Loft Living in a New LIght
I think Gary Kachadourian was the most refreshing guest speaker we've had in the class so far. He wasn't representing any business or organization, and it was apparent that he was very honest without any outside agendas. I was shocked by how impartially he was able to talk about loft living spaces. Despite the fact that he is an artist himself, he spoke very matter-of-factly about the instabilities of artist loft housing. Rather than cursing speculation for creating cycles of housing instability for artists, he just accepted the fact that property owners would eventually want to kick people out and do something more profitable with the property, and accepted that all you can do is be thankful that speculation created the conditions for this temporary housing in the first place.
Kachadourian gave a list of reasons that property owners saw artist housing as an option for holding their property until they found a better deal. He mentioned that although owners make no significant profit, the artists treat the property well, complain very little, build and leave things better than they found it, and can fix problems themselves in addition to the fact that they bring new culture to the area that makes the property more valuable. Although it appears that creative people are basically exploited because of these positive traits, It's amazing to see that they are recognized by these traits in the first place. Despite the implications it has on housing cycles, it still gives me a little hope to know that artists are recognized for the good they can offer other than money, and to know that something other than money can factor into an owner's decisions. I doubt that many other social groups can boast that.
Before listening to Kachdourian speak, I would have agreed that it was unjust to raise rents or kick artists out when a good business proposition comes along. I still think it's very unfortunate, but now I at least can see both sides of the story.