Privacy and Security in Housing Essay

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Privacy and Security in Housing

Men has learned different methods of building roads, buildings, houses, bridges and highways but the basics of architecture and the purpose is still same. The roads are for travelling and transportation while the houses are to provide shelter, security and privacy to the individuals and families. Houses save people from bad weather, vulnerabilities and privacy issues. While the basic need and purpose is same, there have been extra necessities that arrived with time as the lifestyle of the people changed (Building Basics: Architecture, 2013). The needs of security and decoration have increased over time thus the people want their residential buildings to be designed with much more care than they used to be in past. The design of houses comes into mind as collection of rooms, sitting areas, balconies, courtyards and garages. While the windows, doors, balconies and courtyards give a feeling of openness in the house, these are also associated with the potential loopholes in the privacy. The feeling of belongingness is associated with houses.

Planning of housing

The houses in different regions are built according to their weather, climate, culture and social dynamics. In the cold regions, the houses are used to have sloped roves and facing directions opposite to flow of cold winds. While the sloped roves are needs, some houses use them for decorative purposes too. Thus the environment and taste of people have a great impact on planning and design of housing (A-Frame Home Plans, 2010). The houses are designed in a manner such that they are like the other houses in the area yet different, thus seeking distinction while maintaining similarity. It is like a Chinese house is built facing same directions to avoid winds like other houses in neighborhood yet the people will like their houses to be identified by its unique design and outlook.

The neighborhood design has impact on housing in terms of space as well as architecture. While swimming pools are part of houses in rich areas, the farms are attached to village houses normally. Besides the economic background, the social dynamics and culture also has an important role in the design of houses. The villages are normally areas where people have been living in the same neighborhood since decades. Everybody knows and understands the family relations of the neighbor. In villages, people treat neighborhood almost like families thus the design of houses are such that there are small fences round the courtyards and the walls are not built too high. This shows that the area is a unit where people are not really unsecure from each other. On the other hand, not only in cities the people live in small houses that are sealed through walls and doors, there are security systems, mirrors and alarms installed in houses that show that urban people do not trust their neighborhood as do the rural people. The reasons include that the movement in urban areas is intense thus people do not live in same neighborhood for too long on average. Thus the familiarity among people is low while the crimes are high. This insecurity reflects in the planning of housing in urban areas where not only rooms but even garages are installed with security equipment to secure the property (Security Assistant, 2012). The rural people and the people in less developed areas are found to have more interaction with their neighborhood. This might be backed by the leisure time they get to spend with the people around them. On the other hand, the lifestyle of the people living in developed and advanced countries and areas do not allow them to have enough time to meet and interact with their neighborhood. Therefore, the design of the houses is such that they are closed so that when the individuals are not at home, the houses can be completely closed and thus secured.

Attitude towards Privacy

Not only has the attitude of people has changed towards privacy in the 21st century, this change is confusing too. On one hand the attacks in UK have led to a public demand that the state should offer them more security, there is a contrasting demand of people that the federal organizations should not spy on them. Thus the people want to have privacy yet they want the lives and activities of people around them to be screened so that the people get to live a more secure life (Wertheimer and Vedantam, 2013). The people are attracted towards a life that is more interactive and where the people share their sorrows and happiness; they have a fear and insecurity that does not allow them to mix with public. From their passwords to the locks of doors, people are less confident if the services are secure enough or not. This fear is backed by the attacks on national security, the increasing number of street crimes and the increasing relationship breakings worldwide. People are less likely to believe the intentions of not only the neighborhood but also the friends and colleagues.

The insecurity and need for privacy is also reflected in architecture and housing planning of today. The people think that whatever they do might go public on social media sites or the web if they break up with a partner or fight with a neighbor (Dvorak, 2012). This thought has made them extra conscious. People like to design rooms, closets and everything that seems simple and does not communicate anything personal about them to others.

While there is an influence of criminal activities on the privacy and trust issues of people, the increasing globalization has affected the population dynamics of every country and specially the United Kingdom. This change in the population has increased diversity in UK and thus trusting foreigners is even more difficult than trusting those that have a common culture and social norms. The people of UK feel that their privacy is more at stake and thus they are more concerned about the security of their houses and places they could be living or staying. Rybczynski (1986) says that this sense of privacy evolved after middle ages when the lives of people started to balance and the sheer difference between the economic classes began to decline. Before that, the poor people could not have the concept of privacy and rather their lifestyle was such that many families used to live in a single house that put their lives on stake. But the economic development has changed many things. On one hand people like to live in better houses and have privacy and on the other hand they are also concerned about the security issues.

Effect of security on house planning

The security and privacy concerns have not only reflected in the mobile and internet applications (Hill, 2012) but also the designs of houses. Stone (2008) considers it a paradoxical approach that the people of 21st century have adopted. He says that man is too insecure that he would not like to share his contact number with the neighbor but is confident enough to offer his personal details and even pictures on the internet. He says that this confusion is evident from the web to the physical presence of us. Thus, it is found that the people are building houses that are built closely with other houses without leaving too much space between houses, yet these houses and apartments are logically far away from each other (Newman, 2013). The physical distance between the houses is less but there are too many security installments and privacy settings in a house that people feel hesitant to invite neighbors to their home frequently. The architecture of house is designed around parameters that ensure a sound proof system.

From design to the location of houses, everything reflects the value people give to privacy and security. The size of walls and direction of doors and gates also tell about the family privacy concerns. While there are laws that guide how homes should be built in UK, there are ways people can instill elements of privacy in their houses. Size of walls, design of balconies and enter exit points are a few of them. It should be understood that preparations for a secure house is a good thing yet it should not be too overwhelming to increase the cost of house multifold and make it unaffordable for people. The basic needs of privacy and security should be fulfilled and rest should be ensured through careful behavior. But the people are too insecure today that they make sure the design of house is such that their privacy is ensured even if at the cost of their comfort that comes from an open and big house.

Shaping Society

The economic, security and area requirements are shaping society in my opinion. When the houses where few, scattered, low walled and with small fences, the people were less worried about their privacy and was more welcoming. This, on the other hand did not mean that the people had low respect for the…[continue]

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