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Lester Limón, RA
425 Main, Suite 1
Cañon City, Colorado 81212
Ann Sussman - Cognitive Architecture
Dr. Michael Gurian, The Gurian Institute
Sage: [00:00:00] Welcome back to It's Not a Tiny House podcast where your host, Wyatt Reed and Barna Kasa talk about all things housing while working on creating a unique and affordable housing solution in rural Colorado. They cover everything you need to know, from city code to financing by interviewing experts and sharing their personal experience so you can have the knowledge to overcome the problems nobody else is talking about. And now onto the podcast.
Lester: [00:00:26] I am Lester Lemon. I am the founder and owner of P3 Communities in Canon City, Colorado, a full service architecture and community development firm. And I do a variety of projects residential and commercial. And the more money you pay me, the happier I am. No.
Barna: [00:00:48] I'm here to solve as many problems as I can, right? Is that it?
Lester: [00:00:51] Before I die. Yep, yep. Before I die.
Wyatt: [00:00:54] Coming to a small town. And for that, the individual, at least that we were talking about coming from a different culture entirely to a small town and then creating. I don't want to say imposing your will, but creating your project to be larger than you, right, and creating an image and a style and and having people continue to push that forward, and it's not just you as you're, you know, scaling at that point, right? And if it's the restaurant industry and you have having the same shirt color and having everybody set the table the same way, that's one thing. But having it so that everybody has an experience and there's a standard that's maintained that fascinates me. And like we talked about culturally. That's what that the individual that we're at least referring to as is kind of talking about. And how do you create something larger than yourself culturally? Not physically. I mean, you're an architect. I build stuff, so it's easy to build a building that's bigger than us, right? But a movement? A style or modus that that is outside of you, that that people buy into and go, this is how I'm going to live my life, this is how I'm going to, you know, operate in this, I'm going to move forward. That's what I'm starting with. Anybody have anything they want to feed in on that because I'm going to hit this taco after this and you're not going to hear anything but munching. I can move the microphone?
Barna: [00:02:24] I'm going to say it's not just him, it's his whole family. So he's got three generations. So, its not you. You know, if you're trying to start a movement,
Wyatt: [00:02:35] Talk to my wife, man, if I'm supposed to have more generations that I can, you know.
Barna: [00:02:39] I already talked to her about that.
Wyatt: [00:02:42] Yeah, that ain't me. I'm only half of that. And maybe even that, right? So it's just an interesting thing where you've heard this before, and we've all heard this before. Like, we do it this way because this is this is how we do it. But how do you have a large enough movement to go like, well, you know, like, I've said it before, right? That consistency that we talk about and we do it this way because this is how we've always done it. It doesn't necessarily mean that's the right way. Consistency is not an equal sign to correct. We need to move forward. We need new ways. We need to change certain things. And how do you do that without everybody getting mad and stomping all over your project? And, you know, just kind of muscling you out? Anybody?
Lester: [00:03:29] Well.
Wyatt: [00:03:30] Crickets?
Lester: [00:03:30] Well, no, certainly not inside my brain, because my brain is firing back and forth, back and forth, I think there's a couple of things, you know, from my perspective as an architect. I take what you say and I try to apply it to the projects that I know about and movements and things that I've seen during my professional career and even as my in my student career. And then I think about the broader theme of what you're talking about, and that is how do I create something that's that somebody wants to get on board with? And I think that's not just. Churches do that, for example. How do I how do I craft or corporate organizations, how do I craft a message that people want to get on board with? And that are people, and it's going to be my vision or a small group of people's vision about what this should look like and how it should operate in those kinds of things. Sometimes that gets translated into the architectural arena. But you know, in large part, you know, I know that we had touched just briefly on Barna, and I touched just briefly on on basically the evolution of cities in different areas and how they are a reflection of where they are in the world or the culture that they are a part of where their history or I mean and there's tons of things that I can talk about in terms of the built environment. So I guess the question I would throw back at you is this.
Wyatt: [00:05:10] Hit me.
Lester: [00:05:11] Is it your duty to as a as a creative person, not as an entrepreneur necessarily, but just as a thinker. Is it your duty to create or craft a vision that you want people to get on board with? Or is it your duty to come in and sit quietly and listen and look and observe what's already here and accentuate it? So do you. So you know what side of the fence is that creativity going to fall on because those are architecturally those are the kinds of questions that I have to ask for myself and I have to answer for myself is, am I coming in "Are you just going to give me a bunch of money and let me build something?" Or, do I need to sit and listen and and gather up what you're telling me and then create that?
Wyatt: [00:06:00] And you and I mean to speak to the creativity side of the conversation real quickly, you and I had kind of touched on that briefly. A couple of weeks ago, we ran into one another at a coffee shop and we talked about the basically the creativity that is this is asked of us. I mean, there's it's not endless, right? You can only be so creative, but it's contextual like you can. I can walk into an old house and say, well, we're going to do a bathroom in here. You can be creative, but there are boundaries because there are natural boundaries inside the box, right? And I think that speaks a little bit to your question. But or you know, the question back to me like that that gives you the ability to walk in physically, see something and know where the boundaries are. But when you're not inside of that and there aren't boundaries that are set up, they're going to be something else. It's going to be financially. You know, here's as far as you can run on the budget or it's going to be, for example, here this is as tall as you can build a building. This is as big as you can build a building. This is the style of building that you can build. There's a bunch of rules that are there. And as a creative person, if that's what we're choosing to let me approach this one as every once in a while, I have creativity.
Wyatt: [00:07:19] But really, I think it's desperation. And it's it's like, I don't have any money. So I got to figure out the best way to do this without any money. And that's where creativity has always come from for me. My mother and I talked about this because she's come from the same way. I said, we're creative, both because it was an escape route for us into another level. Like, it's desperation I needed to build the next ladder of the rung as I was climbing it. And that's been my the way that I do it. I don't know what I'm doing. I'm building a rung, going up the next one, taking a look around and going, I better build another rung. I better build another rung. I better build another rung. And that's that's where I come from. You know, from a creative process is like, well, we can go up. We start here. You work with what you have. You move forward. But it's not endless. So you'll walk in and someone will say, we want..
Lester: [00:08:14] Well, I think that it can be endless, though I think that there are there were plenty of times, especially in school in this group of young designers that I was that I was with. At some point, you have to stop. It's not. I mean, so there's two things I'd like to say. The first is rules can actually be very helpful because they give you some constraint. You're not just anything as possible and and then you're lost because you don't know where to start. So sometimes rules are OK, even if they're self-imposed, even if you say, I'm only going to do this to begin my process. But the second thing I would say is I knew lots of people, very talented people that if you didn't tell them to stop, they just kept going. And it's like, OK, are you going to land on a solution at some point or you're just going to keep going and going and going? And that's OK. In the right context. So. So sometimes it's. Sometimes you're self-limiting and sometimes other people limit you, but there are those times when you have to stop. I mean, you can always think of the next best thing and you can always do the next best thing or the next logical step or, you know, whatever, whatever you want to do. But but, you know, sometimes it's about knowing when to stop.
Barna: [00:09:38] So you guys are talking about rules. What if the rules are wrong? So we're talking our conversation has been like minimum square footage is OK. Or when we're talking about zoning, how all the rules that have been set up since basically the 1920s kind of like the suburbs, the industrial revolution, just how we're building cities since then, is wrong. And all the rules that have been created ever since then, it's kind of going away from where things were, let's say better. So cities were more walkable, less vehicle centric. Things were designed around people, not vehicles. So now we have these new sets of rules that I think I brought this up to you. The big question for me was, you're talking about the built environment. When does the built environment create culture? And then when does culture create the built environment? If you throw away your culture in 1920, because we don't like that anymore, and let's do something new and different, and now you're going against where your culture should have been. You've created a culture with the built environment for generations that is causing all kinds of problems.
Lester: [00:10:57] Mm hmm. But sometimes those problems aren't immediately apparent. And so it's not until you've got a generation under your belt that you go, Hmm, that was a bad choice. So it's I think that there is an argument on both sides or there is a position on both sides that can be that can be talked about. And one is that the built environment itself takes a long time to evolve. So if I change the rule tomorrow, you're not going to see a marked difference. For a generation, it takes a long time to evolve, it takes a long time to build. It takes a long time to live in. So if you you have to take, especially where the built environment is concerned, you almost have to take it generationally or in eras. Not in decades,
Wyatt: [00:11:50] Let's say more century.
Barna: [00:11:52] Well, no era. So after 1920, so after world..
Lester: [00:11:55] No, I'm talking. I'm talking Egyptian. Then I'm talking Roman. Then I'm the modern era. I'm talking about eras.
Barna: [00:12:04] Pre 1920 and then post like nineteen twenty is is what I'm talking about. And then kind of the 1950s kind of pushed what started in 1920s with modernism and how you just changed how everything looked and functioned because there was a building boom after World War 2? Right? So so you had a bunch of stuff pushed out pretty fast. So you're saying like things took a long time or take a long time? Yes, unless there's a catalyst that forces a rapid change, then then you're stuck in that thing that like started running going down the hill faster than it was before, because before we were just pushing the ball, you know, down the road and now you're on top of a hill and just let it let it go.
Lester: [00:12:48] Well, I can tell you that if if you're if this is a criticism of American development or the American city, if that's what if that's what this is, is a criticism of that modernism came from Europe. Modernism didn't did not come out of America. So modernism, the very first school of that was the Bauhaus movement. It was a rejection of the Victorian era and everything about the Victorian era. So you had that movement that that movement, the modernist movement, came out of the Bauhaus from Dessau in Germany. That's where the bathhouse school was. And this is out of the Ecole des Beaux Arts, which was in France. And those two were schools of thought and they were experiments of schools of thought in development. Not only. I mean, if you look at, for example, Washington DC in Washington DC, if you look at it in plan and see how it's developed as a city, not individual buildings, but how it's laid out, that's a European Victorian Ecole des Beaux Arts layout versus the grid, which is what we have everywhere else.
Wyatt: [00:14:03] Phoenix
Lester: [00:14:03] Right? So again, schools of thought and experiments and OK, this is how we're living now. How would we change how we're living? So to go back to your original question is do you create culture from the built environment or the built environment, a reflection of the culture? Both of those are true. But you also have a third option, and that third option is looking at the way we're doing it and thinking about how you can do it differently. And it may not be spurred on by anything other than a desire to experiment and to see, OK, where does this go?
Wyatt: [00:14:40] Well, but and I think I know where Barna is going to jump in because I'm and I'm going to do it first. We don't have the options, necessarily, and you could correct me on this.
Lester: [00:14:50] Now I'm only talking about built environment. I'm not talking about cultural.
Wyatt: [00:14:54] Sure.
Lester: [00:14:54] Ok. Ok.
Wyatt: [00:14:55] And I'm going to I'm going to circle back on that and go, if that's if there are these, let's just say there are these three. One of them is supposed to be experimental so we can see what happens, right? Cities aren't giving us zoning for experimental housing, so we can see what happens there, believing that the way that we've been doing things is the right way. And it's the only way they go to the literal rulebook very, very, very often and say, well, you can't do this. And the answer is no, and it's because it's written right here. That's why it's no. And and I take I take a little bit of an issue personally with that because I say what? I'm trying to create a smaller cultural living environment of a community over here. I'm not going to hurt anything. We're going to try and, you know, take away the car centric approach for a very small parcel, a few acres at a time. And let's see if people respond to that. I'm not going to hurt anybody. It's there by choice. Nobody's getting, you know, ushered into these things. We don't have the option in many places that says if you would like to have control and build your own built environment and create a cultural movement, we can't really do that without trying to game the rules or create a lot of financial spend in the form of a PUD or something, right?
Lester: [00:16:14] Well, and that's what I was going to go. I think it's a little disingenuous to say you can't do it because you can do it.
Wyatt: [00:16:19] It, but it's definitely economically they forced you to have money to be able to do so. Do they not?
Lester: [00:16:25] Well, I guess the the the answer you're looking for is for me to say yes.
Wyatt: [00:16:30] It's not the answer. I'm not leading you to. I'm asking. Is there a way to do it less expensively maybe?
Lester: [00:16:36] No, you can't develop any piece of land, whether you're completely underneath someone else's rules or you're trying to create your own rules without money, you can't do it. There's I mean, take take a vacant 40 acre parcel of farmland that has no infrastructure whatsoever and say and say, Well, no, no, no. But I'm saying any idea that you want to put on that 40 acres is going to cost you money to develop. I have to draw it. I've got to. I've got to lay it out. I've got to do property. I've got to do all those things. So any vacant blank piece of paper is going to cost you money, any anything. Now, does it cost you more money to be to do a PUD, for example, where you control everything versus I'm going to lay it out in a grid and I'm going to completely follow all of the zoning guidelines and there's going to be no questions and it's just going to pass right on through with with no with no issues. There's one cost more than the other? It shouldn't. If I do all of my homework in in the more creative one than I do in the less creative one. Am I going to charge you more? I mean, I might, but I the effort is the same. Whether I'm drawing curvy lines or straight lines, it doesn't really make any difference. So, so for example, The Truman Show has everybody seen that movie, Jim Carrey?
Barna: [00:17:57] Yes.
Wyatt: [00:17:57] I don't know that I remember it well enough.
Lester: [00:18:00] Well, but if you look in the background. And you look at all of the houses and all the streets and all of the buildings. That's a real development. That's not a movie set. Ok. That's a real development in Florida, Seaside, OK. And so if you thought that was a movie set, you're mistaken. That is somebody's idea about how to live, about the style of houses, about the colors of houses, about the street wits, about about proximity to each other, about living, residential and commercial or business altogether. You can. That's a real place.
Wyatt: [00:18:37] Yeah. Ok.
Lester: [00:18:39] And so that's that's what anyone can do. And that is an experiment. And if you thought it looked kind of kitschy, well, it's 40 years old right here, 50 years old, right? There are modern developments that you look at and go. Man that thing is, it's crazy futuristic. I'm sorry, 50 years old.
Wyatt: [00:19:00] Yeah, right. And that's the other thing about it,
Lester: [00:19:02] So so to to come back to your statement and your frustration with, you know, zoning regulations, if you want to experiment, the world is yours, how how do we do it
Barna: [00:19:16] As long as you have money?
Lester: [00:19:18] Everybody who develops a piece of property has to have money. Sorry, that's that's just the way it is.
Wyatt: [00:19:25] Well, that's true. Yeah, I mean, we've we've learned obviously that you got to have some juice to be able to do it. You were going to have to have money to buy a house. You're going to right? But the problem is that that house already exists.
Lester: [00:19:36] Now. I think what your frustration really is.
Wyatt: [00:19:39] Oh Oh.
Lester: [00:19:40] Oh I know.
Wyatt: [00:19:40] Hold on, everybody.
Lester: [00:19:41] No, it's not. It's not with the regulation. I really don't think it's with the regulation. Are the regulations right, wrong or indifferent? Barna, you were going to say, yes, they're all wrong. We shouldn't. We shouldn't be doing it. No, no, no. And I'm I'm I'm being facetious.
Barna: [00:19:55] A lot of them are.
Lester: [00:19:55] I'm being I'm being facetious.
Barna: [00:19:57] A lot of them are and I'll tell you why when you are done.
Lester: [00:19:58] But I think but I think that your frustration is there's not somebody sitting on the other side of the table that says, Let me help you do that.
Wyatt: [00:20:05] I think that. that you are exactly right.
Barna: [00:20:07] That's a huge part.
Wyatt: [00:20:08] That's a huge part of it.
Lester: [00:20:09] Yeah. Yeah, yeah. And when they say no and then they don't do anything else, that's super frustrating for me when I do it for a living right, when I go in and say but, but and I think I may have given this example in the last podcast, but literally there were a men's and women's locker room. In one of my projects. And they said you have to have accessible areas. And I said, OK, I have a men's and women's accessible there right across the hall. No, they have to be joined. Why do they have to be joined? They don't have to be joined. I'm as far as the code is concerned you have to provide the service right? You've got to provide it.
Wyatt: [00:20:53] Mm hmm. It doesn't say how.
Lester: [00:20:55] But when it was inspected or were not inspected, but when it was reviewed, it was no, these things have to be in the same room. It doesn't say that. Well, that's the interpretation that we have. Oh, well, OK. So today those things are all touching each other and they're all accessible from the same area. It's a different way to look at it, so I get frustrated, too.
Wyatt: [00:21:18] Yeah, and I guess it's one of those things where we create a rulebook and and part of our constitution did a really good job at leaving it open to interpretation. That was kind of the way that the United States came to be right. Like, we're going to write this and not pretend like we know everything in the future. These are the rules. These are the.
Lester: [00:21:35] This is the guidelines,
Wyatt: [00:21:36] Yeah, these are. These are the bullet points, right? But when it comes to building code, when you have one building official in one area and another in another area and they don't interpret it the exact same way. It is frustrating, and it's definitely not cost effective. And and that's when people come in and go, Look, I don't have infinite resources. We got a conversation at one point with a former city employee and said, can't you guys just go, you know, raise some money or do whatever? It's like, what? That's not how this works. The idea here is to see how little we can put in while maximizing a couple of key features, right? And one of the other things I have to ask about inside of this conversation, and this is only out of my own curiosity. The the phrase matching architecture. That we hear, OK, you're going to build an accessory dwelling unit, but it has to have matching architecture to the primary or the principle structure. I go.
Lester: [00:22:35] That's the first time I've heard of that.
Wyatt: [00:22:37] It's literally in the ADU code here.
Barna: [00:22:39] It's in the ADU code here. They added that.
Wyatt: [00:22:41] And we go, like, what does that mean? Because.
Lester: [00:22:42] I think it's arbitrary.
Wyatt: [00:22:44] Right. And there's an argument there. And now it's open to no, because, well, what percent has to be matching? The colors have to match. There's the roof pitch have to match does the matching architecture as one statement sounds good on paper to a lot of people. But for me, I go, well, what does that mean? Define matching architecture because if I drive around this small town, do you have any different types of architecture I can find?
Lester: [00:23:09] Mm hmm. Well, and I think that I think that if you were going to do a PUD, for example, and you really wanted to create Seaside.
Wyatt: [00:23:19] Yeah, controlled aesthetic.
Lester: [00:23:21] Where the Truman Show is. They control everything and they absolutely do. And if you love it, that's great. If you hate it, don't go life there.
Wyatt: [00:23:27] Don't live there.
Lester: [00:23:28] Right. So but yes, if you go into an existing neighborhood and say matching architecture, well, I think that's arbitrary. As a designer.
Wyatt: [00:23:39] I just wanted your opinion.
Lester: [00:23:39] No, no. I think that's arbitrary. Again, if you were if you were very closely controlling one neighborhood that's brand new, then that's one thing. But if you go into, you know, 100 year old neighborhood. Well, OK, there may be historic implications,
Wyatt: [00:23:56] Yeah, I could see that too and go, OK. These homes were built in 1902 to 1920. Ok, so you're going to hit the Victorian.
Lester: [00:24:03] But you. I think at that point, if you're going to if if your code is going to say that, then they should also have that be a historic district. That way, it's everybody walks in and saying, Oh, it's a historic district. I know the I already know that I'm going to have to build in this style. Yeah, and you're probably going to want to because that's why you're in that neighborhood, right? As you're in the Victorian neighborhood where everything is Victorian.
Wyatt: [00:24:26] But just throwing that statement out there because it looks good, it's like,
Lester: [00:24:30] Well, and that's that's where I say, that's where I that's where your frustration comes from. And that's why I say if somebody's not sitting at the same table saying, Oh, well, yeah, in this neighborhood doesn't make a difference, build whatever you want, just make sure it meets bulk regulations,
Wyatt: [00:24:42] Bulk regulations.
Lester: [00:24:43] Then that makes more sense to me too.
Wyatt: [00:24:45] Okay. Yeah, I was just kind of curious about that because it's like you've you've you've done this longer A and you've done it in more areas than I have as an architect now. I've built in a lot of areas, but most of my work again controlled inside the box.
Lester: [00:24:57] I've been all over the nation.
Wyatt: [00:24:58] And yeah, and and I've had a good fortune of doing that. But I'm doing remodels right. I'm not doing roof pitches, I'm not controlling any of the exterior aesthetics. Maybe I'm doing like trim and repair and those type of things, right? But I'm doing a bathroom remodel, that kind of stuff. Well, the box is already there. So the extent this never encroached into what I had to worry about until definitely more recently when people go like, well, we just don't like it to be a box. Ok, why? Why don't you like it to be a box? It's a waterproof box that meets all bulk requirements. In fact, it exceeds. And so can you tell me why you don't like that? And I think that's where
Barna: [00:25:40] I can maybe tell you based on what I've been trying to. Well, I have a whole list of things to bring up, but you just keep talking.
Lester: [00:25:47] That's true.
Wyatt: [00:25:47] I wasn't talking.
Lester: [00:25:48] That's true.
Barna: [00:25:50] All right. So I don't know Lester, if you've read, I haven't read it. I just listen. I just stumbled upon her work through a couple of the podcasts I listen to. She was on StrongTowns Ann Sussman and cognitive architecture, where they did a bunch of studies of how a human being responds to older architecture versus newer architecture, and also studies of how World War One basically affected people who were at war. And they came back and they basically had undiagnosed PTSD, which causes their own slew of of mental health issues. And then those people came to be in power or in control of architecture and and planning and all that other stuff. And that's when things kind of started changing in the 1920s. That's kind of her her thesis and how the modern architecture our eyes are, are not or are actual or very ancient brains aren't happy about what they're seeing. They're not seeing faces in buildings. They're not seeing the detail, they're not seeing the front door because in modern architecture, it's hidden even in the the style of houses I like, the nineteen fifties. They literally built decorative concrete block walls to hide the front door, you know? So how a lot of things have changed since then? So somebody with a box that's a house made out of a shipping container, to a lot of people, subconsciously they'll look at it and just not like it. Period. Like you can explain to them that, hey, it's a financial model that works, it's something that the community needs. It's the most efficient, durable, sustainable, blah blah blah. They don't care because their brain has already told them, I do not like this because it doesn't have a face, because it doesn't have the things that they're used to or that they just subconsciously like. So is that why people don't like what we're doing?
Lester: [00:28:00] I listen to the podcast that you sent me, and I'm familiar with Ann Sussman's work in that regard. The cognitive architecture piece, I think that in in her thesis, and I'm glad you called it a thesis. I don't think it's a textbook. I don't think it's definitive. I think it's an idea that they're exploring. I think that's the way all of us do it. We all explore ideas and so bases it along with her. I can't remember her cohorts name in that. The co-author and he was the one that was, I think Miss Sussman is the is the designer and the other gentleman is a psychologist or a brain science.
Barna: [00:28:41] Yeah, he's he's got a PhD. She's an architect.
Lester: [00:28:44] Right. And so it got me to thinking about a lot of things too. And if we had had this podcast a week ago, I probably would have had a footnoted paper to to give to you. But to answer your question. Why do people like and not like things regardless of whether it's architecture, you could you could put art in front of somebody's sculpture or paintings or things that are representative or things that are abstract and people gravitate toward them for different reasons. Colors, no colors, lines, no lines, curvilinear versus linear. So architecture is much the same way. Do our brains respond? Obviously, brain science is going to tell you that as infants, our brains respond to faces. I mean, in in fact, just recently, they had talked about whether or not the masking of COVID was going to have a tangible effect on infants born during that time period where they weren't seeing in public this mass of faces like they're like their brains need to see in order for in order for human development to stay on track
Barna: [00:29:54] Yeah, they need that feedback, of like did I do something right or wrong.
Lester: [00:29:55] Expression, right. Because if you smile at a baby, the baby smiles back. And so, so. Is there an actual brain response, absolutely, there is. There's another gentleman whose name is Michael Gurian and Dr. Michael Gurian, the Gurian Institute. This is literature that I read about a long time ago, and they're still around and they have a podcast or not a podcast, but they've got a newsletter they send out once a week, too. But they study structural brain differences, developmental differences and structural differences in male and female. So from the very earliest age and how you treat the two genders differently, both in learning environments and in social environments, just because that's what the brain does. And so if you want further reading on sort of the cognitive side of what do brains do and how do they take things in and how do they interpret things? And that's I think that's a good place to start to. So Dr. Gurian the other piece that I equated with this same sort of understanding of the podcast and of what I think Miss Sussman is trying to get to two is how do you perceive the world? How do individuals perceive the world? And one of the things that I studied early on is a thing called Process Communications. And it was it was developed by Taibi Kahler, who was a doctor in Arkansas. I got to remember the university, but he talks about perceptions and people's perceptions, and we all perceive things not the same way, but with the same sets of brain responses. And some of us respond in different in different areas, but to all of our areas are the same. I don't need to get into it, but process communications is another thing that I layered into my own understanding of, of communication and interaction with other people.
Lester: [00:31:59] I work with groups all the time. And so it's, you know, I'm always trying to read the room, quote unquote, read the room and read the people and the personalities in the room. And these are some of the tools that I used to do that. So coming back to your question about, you know, do you do you not like container housing because of your brain? I think the simple answer is yes, but I think it's a very complex answer to give. Some people really, really, really enjoy Victorian architecture. I'm a take it or leave it guy. I, you know, I think it's I think the details are beautiful, regardless of whether I would live in it or not, if the details are done right. So I'm looking at different things. I'm not looking at the color I'm I may be looking at proportions, which again is like, do I see faces in buildings? I don't know that I see faces, but I certainly look at the proportions of things, symmetries or asymmetries, things of that nature. So that's but I also think that that's the way this is my own opinion. I guess everything is my opinion today, but because I'm not a I'm not a an expert on anything, but my brain is going to respond to things differently than your brain is going to respond to them, even though we have similar brains. In that we have the same evolution, we've had different experiences, but we're born with the same traits and in process communications I would say that we're born with the same perceptions. It's just that my base perception is going to be different than your base perception.
Barna: [00:33:35] Ok, I've so many more questions based on this. So based on her work, her thesis was that basically older architecture, your your mind or your eyes, you're basically your subconscious responds better to that than modern. Let's say that's the that is true, let's say. Does that affect how people in big cities feel versus small towns like Florence is very different than, let's say, Denver. Right. And just just the architecture just walking down the street, there's a there's a different feeling based on how the city was laid out when it was laid out, when it was built what the houses look like and what the commercial buildings look like. So when when people had the go back to like the rural reboot kind of concept is that if you're now, you have the freedom to not have to be in a big city because you can work remotely. People are choosing to not necessarily be in the big city,
Lester: [00:34:47] So there was a.
Barna: [00:34:49] Because you feel better like a lot of people who are here. They moved from big cities and they just came to this town and they're like, I feel better here. It's harder to define.
Lester: [00:34:59] Well, it's I think I think it's individually defined for one thing. I just want to I'm going to make a quick comment. You stick it in your on your sheet. And if we come back to it, we do. But the move from rural to urban to begin with didn't have anything to do with architecture. It had everything to do with economics. So when we you went through the 1920s in America, we went through the Great Depression. They used to mail children to other families. Right? I mean, literally the U.S. Postal Service used to hand deliver children right. We put them on trains to get them out of the rural environment, to get them into families that had more money.
Barna: [00:35:41] A shipping label, pinned to them right?
Lester: [00:35:43] Yeah, a little. A little tag. Ok. So it didn't have anything to do with economics. I mean, it didn't have anything to do with architecture. Certainly didn't have anything to do with with layouts of cities because.
Barna: [00:35:56] Because of economics at that point right.
Lester: [00:35:56] It was all economic. Yes, it was. There are jobs in the cities. There's industry in the cities. We need to be in the cities. Everybody moved off of the farm, moved into the cities. Now good, bad or indifferent. That was an economic change and we responded to it. Everybody responded to it. And I think every nation on the planet has had a situation like that. And so there have always been responses and I think. I'm I'm almost always going to fall back in this conversation to the fact that architecture or or our built environment is a reflection of something that has happened.
Wyatt: [00:36:37] It's a reaction.
Lester: [00:36:38] It absolutely is a reaction or it is just a snapshot in history. Ok. So, so, so to go back to your question, do I feel better in the rural environment? Some people do. Some people thrive in an urban environment. I think you're going to take a lot of the green architecture people, the folks that are really looking at sustainability and saying, I got to put everybody in one place because it's more sustainable. That way, I'm using less resources. If I put everybody in the Burj Khalifa, right? I mean, how many people does that thing hold? A lot. I mean, entire cities can be in that one building, right? Entire populations can be in one building and that that takes less effort, less energy, less resources than if you spread everything out, right? So that so there's always
Barna: [00:37:29] We've talked about that how a high-rise is more efficient than a suburban house in every case.
Lester: [00:37:32] Yeah. And so that's that is that's a that's that's a today issue. I mean, that is still we're still talking about, do we congregate in one place so that we can have walkable neighborhoods, that we can have public transportation, so we're not so spread out. So we're not using the resources that we're so quickly going through? And is that the way we're going to be or do we say, Well, gosh, I don't, I don't. I don't want to live there. I mean, I personally don't want to live in New York City. Been there, done that. Don't need to do it again. I like where I live now, but that's a personal preference. It might. Does it? Do I use more gasoline in a day than somebody that lives in New York City? Absolutely, I do. And is that an issue? It's going to be. It's going to be pretty soon, right?
Wyatt: [00:38:20] Yeah. Very well could be.
Barna: [00:38:22] So we're talking about extremes all the time. So we're talking about like New York City and then we're talking, let's say, the suburbs where everybody's spread out.
Lester: [00:38:29] Well, but you were Florence in Denver. You were Florence and Denver. Ok, so those are extremes.
Barna: [00:38:33] I don't consider Florence and Canyon City an extreme.
Lester: [00:38:37] Did I say Canyon? I meant to say Denver.
Barna: [00:38:39] You said Florence, but what I'm saying is, like Florence, I don't think should be an extreme. But even within Florence, the layout and where the rules are forcing things to go. I think is an extreme. Ok, so I think this town was designed around houses that were 400 square feet and now they're illegal. This town was designed around things that were walkable. Now they're illegal. This town was designed with and Canyon City too had neighborhood grocery stores. My street, South 4th Street and King City had two grocery stores. That street had two grocery stores. I could walk half a block or across the street and get groceries. Now I have to get in a car drive to the center of town, where there's four grocery stores next to each other because that's the zone we have to have those in. Right?
Lester: [00:39:29] But right now we're trying to. Right now, we're trying to do mixed use. So in in planning today, in planning, education and planning use, we're talking. We're trying to do mixed use communities where you do have residential and business in the same zones and compatible businesses, not a steel mill. And a daycare center right next to each other.
Barna: [00:39:53] When did we lose it and why did we lose it? When.
Lester: [00:39:58] Economics. I mean, if you if you the neighborhood grocery store got killed because of the supermarket. The supermarket killed the neighborhood grocery store period. Plain and simple, economically killed it.
Barna: [00:40:10] But when did the community then go. Why is the community involved in that business decision?
Lester: [00:40:15] They weren't. The community wasn't involved with it until they said, Oh, I need a supermarket. I can't have 4000 square feet from my neighborhood grocery store anymore. I need 20000 square feet. Where am I going to put twenty thousand square feet while I'm not going to put it in my in the middle of a neighborhood, right? So now I need to find a place to put it.
Barna: [00:40:32] I just fundamentally don't agree with that.
Lester: [00:40:34] I don't. I don't disagree.
Barna: [00:40:36] I don't agree that you need the forty thousand square foot because it's not 4000. My store is seven thousand. It's tiny compared to like a Wal-Mart or any grocery store. Were talking about forty thousand square foot or even bigger grocery stores. You do not need that. So my this whole thing came about because I just got back from Hungary. I was visiting family. I'm originally from Csongrad, a town of about 18000 people. It's been around 20000 for decades, but it is the so it's the size of Canyon City. It's more walkable than Florence, and I can walk out the front door. Look, one way there's a grocery store. Look the other way there's a grocery store. Yeah, I can't buy a T-shirt and groceries at the store,
Wyatt: [00:41:22] What about a lawn chair?
Barna: [00:41:24] That is even closer because there's a there's an outdoor furniture store on the corner. It's across the street flower shop across from them. What's right next to it? A house? What's next to it? A house next to it, a house next to it. Somebody's operating a commercial business in their house in their courtyard.
Lester: [00:41:41] Is that a process is? Is that a? Is that a result of lack of zoning? Now, before you answer,
Barna: [00:41:50] I don't know, is the answer.
Lester: [00:41:51] Take it. Think about that question that that city's older than ours by far.
Barna: [00:41:58] Yeah.
Lester: [00:42:00] So did it develop through a lack of zoning, and now that's a snapshot of what you have today and now we're finding through that lack of zoning, maybe early lack of zoning, I'm sure they have
Wyatt: [00:42:12] That nobody died because there was a commercial property next to a residential.
Lester: [00:42:16] Well. But now but now it's easy to to look at it and say, OK, well, you know, two hundred years later, this is way better than what we have, you know, in in Denver. Yeah, and there are lessons to be learned. But did somebody set out to design it that way? I mean, my instinct is no.
Barna: [00:42:35] No. So that's the thing. There's there's an organic growth to cities, right? So people,
Lester: [00:42:42] If they grow slowly enough, yes, OK. And that's another thing you need to take into consideration is
Barna: [00:42:48] There was no boom in Csongrad so that it never had to balloon to one hundred thousand people overnight.
Lester: [00:42:52] Correct. But and there are
Barna: [00:42:55] Oil was not discovered there.
Lester: [00:42:55] And there are cities like that in America where they literally grew overnight.
Barna: [00:42:59] Florence.
Lester: [00:42:59] And they and and so so there are lessons to be learned from both positive and negative. I mean, you know, zoning, one of the things about zoning and construction came about because of giant fires like London burns down and Chicago burns down.
Wyatt: [00:43:16] Proximity to the places and setbacks and I mean, access by fire department stuff. But my my question is almost always going to come back to the same question what is the perceived benefit of increasing minimum square footage requirements for everyone?
Lester: [00:43:30] I'm going to need some context on that one. So I don't I don't
Barna: [00:43:33] Answer is higher property values.
Wyatt: [00:43:35] Ok. So we used we used to allow smaller homes to be built. Otherwise, not every house in downtowns of most towns would have editions put on them because they started small and then they expanded.
Lester: [00:43:45] I really can't tell you, I really have. Well, hold on. I'd like to answer your question in in that to say, I really can't tell you why there's a minimum of square footage. I honestly don't know. I don't know why you would put a minimum on it unless unless, like you said, it's it's property values.
Wyatt: [00:44:04] Economics again.
Lester: [00:44:04] So if you go out, if you go out into rural Colorado right now and you go into one of their subdivisions, quote unquote subdivisions they are on thirty five acres,
Wyatt: [00:44:15] And we should know what that is for some people because they're not going to have ever seen that. I didn't see that until I got to the West.
Lester: [00:44:19] Yeah, you're on thirty five acres. I got plenty of elbow room, right? My thirty five acres. But my house can't be less than a thousand square feet,
Wyatt: [00:44:28] Let's say two thousand in some places, right?
Lester: [00:44:30] So. So I can't come in and put a 400 square foot house in my thirty five acres. And you think...
Wyatt: [00:44:38] But I thought this was my...
Lester: [00:44:38] ...that's ridiculous, because I mean, I'm not encroaching on anybody else, right? And in fact, there are some areas where you wouldn't be able to see my tiny home on thirty five acres. So I so I can't honestly tell you why there's a minimum. I know why there's a maximum, I do not know why there's a minimum.
Wyatt: [00:44:58] We talked about that in one of the earlier podcasts because I had gone into the county and I said, you know, I was thinking about doing a house about this size. And she said, well, the minimum square footage requirements like 450 in Fremont County and they had just and she's like, you know, we just dropped it. I said, That's great. What's the maximum square footage? And it was like, you got that look back like, what do you mean? And I'm like, well, that's just like not answering because the larger homes can be more dangerous. Harder to get out of. Harder to surf in place of a fire.
Lester: [00:45:25] Well, now they're going to. They're sprinkling.
Wyatt: [00:45:28] Sure. Which is ridiculous, again, from a from a cost to from a cost standpoint, that's going to be really difficult for home, for houses to be built, in my opinion.
Lester: [00:45:38] Well, they're still working on it, but I think that's being run by the insurance industry.
Wyatt: [00:45:43] Ok. And so back to a corporation or a group of them that says, well, you know, and they're not wrong. Sprinkler systems suppress fires. They probably save firefighters lives more than they save anybody else's lives. Right? You would think that a large home, let's just say
Lester: [00:46:01] Sprinklers, sprinklers really are about protecting property, more then about protecting rights. I mean, I mean life. Because you can get out of a building. But if I can keep the building from, if I can keep the fire from spreading, yeah, that's my goal. If I can keep if I can keep from loss of property.
Wyatt: [00:46:18] That helps me understand that I hadn't gotten there yet. And it's just one of those things where I go like, OK, let's say you have a six thousand square foot house, right? And a firefighting group has to come through and check every room. That's a lot of risk of life for people to go in there versus my go. I go, what's wrong with my six hundred square feet or 400 square feet? You can check that pretty quickly. It minimizes the potential damage.
Lester: [00:46:42] At 400 square feet. It's gone before the fire showed up. By the way,
Wyatt: [00:46:46] Yeah, fine, right? But also
Barna: [00:46:50] Because it is, it only cost me one tenth of what your house cost with the sprinkler system.
Wyatt: [00:46:55] Well, and then there's that. There's that discussion, right? Well, so can we.
Barna: [00:46:57] Burn it down? I'll build another one in two weeks.
Wyatt: [00:46:59] Can we? Well, no. I mean, nobody wants to, you know, roast marshmallows cause their house started on fire. I'm just going like, at what point can we have a conversation go unless it's 2000 square feet or greater? You don't need a sprinkler system.
Lester: [00:47:14] Well, they had that now.
Wyatt: [00:47:15] What is the square footage now for the sprinkler system requirement?
Lester: [00:47:18] I think you're getting up into the 4000 square foot range.
Wyatt: [00:47:21] Ok, great, right? So at that point, you have to have a sprinkler system.
Lester: [00:47:24] Well, so the code came out and said that. But municipalities or governments can. They do not have to adopt that. And so far, the builders associations and other groups have said, this is we can't we can't do this because, like you said, it's going to increase the cost of developing the house itself. Just construction. And the other side of it too, is the actual water resource it takes to have that sprinkler system available. I mean, imagine if you had,
Wyatt: [00:47:57] Does it have to go from the hydrant lines?
Lester: [00:47:59] Well? Well, listen, you're you're talking about being in the city. That's great. I'm talking about being out on thirty five acres now. All of a sudden I got six thousand square feet. And how much water do I need to have because my well is not going to cover that.
Wyatt: [00:48:11] Well, can't cover that, your looking at a few gallons per minute.
Lester: [00:48:14] So I mean, it's great if I'm in town and I get 6000 square feet because I'm hooked up to the city. Right. City's going to give me all the water I need.
Wyatt: [00:48:21] If your city has water.
Lester: [00:48:22] Well,
Wyatt: [00:48:23] Florence has plenty of water.
Lester: [00:48:24] It's got it's got way more water than my well, I can tell you that.
Wyatt: [00:48:27] And you can get it faster.
Lester: [00:48:28] So who? So who takes precedent and what rules exist for what they can you blanket statement 6000 or 4000? No, because we don't all live in the same place. We don't all have the same resources.
Wyatt: [00:48:39] And these guys can show, what, about 2000 gallons and that's it.
Lester: [00:48:41] And what if all of Dawson Ranch catches on fire? Do you think you got the water pressure for every one of those houses to have a full on sprinkler system going?
Wyatt: [00:48:49] No. Your are hosed.
Lester: [00:48:49] Does a municipality ready for that? Is your infrastructure ready for that?
Wyatt: [00:48:53] The infrastructure can't handle that kind of load.
Lester: [00:48:55] So these are all questions. Does does a sprinkler system make sense? Yes. I want to protect life. I want to protect property. So. So yes.
Barna: [00:49:03] But just you just said it's not to protect life, it's to protect property. So I want to go back to the earlier comment about money.
Wyatt: [00:49:11] Man, you're on the.
Lester: [00:49:12] Can you take this out of that section of the podcast, please? That way, somebody because somebody's going to roast me for this. But go.
Barna: [00:49:17] Were you talked about money? How like you have to have money to develop anything? You need to have that money? And because basically cities are not doing it. So a private individual or a company has to do it has to be a business or an individual that that does that.
Lester: [00:49:38] Development.
Barna: [00:49:38] So they they have to have deep pockets. Yeah, to do development, you have to have deep pockets. Now, if as a you know,
Lester: [00:49:47] Or Lots of pockets,
Barna: [00:49:48] As a, as a, as a capitalist, as soon as I start raising money, putting my own money into something and I'm building a business, as soon as that happens, I need a return. I'm not a charity, that business isn't a charity. You need a return on investment. Right? So there has to be profit factored in, employees factored in and then all the insurance and everything else that has to go with that is factored in. Now you can't create affordable housing. Now you can't be creative anymore because if I'm creative, all of a sudden the risk goes up and my margins could go down. And you look at your investment portfolio, you know, higher risk, higher return in theory, but you can also lose everything the next day. So everybody goes with let's do an index fund, and that's the way, really, it seems like the majority of the development has happened. We're building by the safest method possible. Every house has the same brick facade, same siding, same windows, same layout. Three sides are not designed. The facade is there, this many square feet, this many whatever this much grass. So a lot of the developments the same unless you're super super rich, then you can create an actual community that takes human beings into more of a consideration and community into a consideration more than what's my return on this building or this subdivision or this project? And I have a concrete example of somebody that did that and you have to be a billionaire.
Lester: [00:51:31] Well, are we talking about altruism? Are we talking about altruism or are we talking about capitalism?
Barna: [00:51:38] We are talking about two different things.
Lester: [00:51:38] Yeah, and I that's my point is I think we are talking about two different things because I can be
Barna: [00:51:44] Socialism is what I'm talking about not altruism.
Lester: [00:51:47] No, no, I'm talking about altruism. I'm talking about what if I am the uber wealthy? What if I am an uber wealthy person and I decide that I don't need a return on investment? What I need is to affect societal change in my arena, which means I'm I'm I'm just going to spend money because I have money to spend. I'm never going to, you know, hold on, just hold on for a second. So I've got money to spend. I'm never going to spend it all before I'm dead, so I'm going to go out and I'm going to affect change. So I'm going to build a neighborhood and I and I don't expect any return on it. Ok, so uber wealthy can do that if it's their altruistic, altruistic motivation. So but if I need return on investment because I'm running a company or I have investors that also want a return on their money too then I've got to temper altruism and capitalism right. I got to meet someplace in the center. And then at the other end of the spectrum, I've got no money, but I'm altruistic, meaning I want to affect change because I've been there. I've been, I grew up in that environment and and somehow I need to help make that better for the next person that's going to grow up in that environment. And how do I do that? So I'm not answering any of your questions, but I would like to parse your question a little bit to say, you know, what is the motivation? First of all, what's the individual motivation or the corporate motivation or the investor's motivation? And how do we get from from A to Z?
Barna: [00:53:23] I'm saying, with the exception of four people, probably in the U.S. and maybe 20 total in the world, there isn't enough money in any one person's pocket, an individual's pocket, to effect change on a large enough scale where it would affect the majority of the people.
Lester: [00:53:45] Oh, certainly not. So we're talking about billions of people.
Barna: [00:53:49] Is it? Yeah. Is it? Is it then the responsibility of our governments to effect change in a positive manner that because they yes, they have to be fiscally responsible too. But a City's charter isn't how much money we can make, isn't it, for the health and benefit of the city and its citizens?
Barna: [00:54:17] Isn't that isn't that the goal of the city?
Lester: [00:54:20] Health, safety and welfare,
Barna: [00:54:21] Health, safety and welfare? Ok, so where does a persons, I don't know, mental wellbeing, physical well-being created by what they're surrounded by factor into that? Instead of just policing and let's redo sidewalks.
Lester: [00:54:45] No, well, it's community pools, it's parks and recreation. It's everything that an individual would not put money out to do for the community to enjoy. So you're not going to go out and buy a piece of property and then say, here's here's Barnas Park. Unless unless you get again, you've got an altruistic motivation and you don't expect anything in return. You don't want any thanks. You don't want any money back. You're just saying, I'm dedicating this plot of land. It's right in the middle of this neighborhood and it's going to be a park. You're not going to go out and do that. I mean, there are some cases, obviously, but I mean, that's but that's the city's responsibility. The city needs to come out and say, OK, well, there has to be open areas. There have to be areas of welfare for everyone that lives here. You can't. I mean, I mean, how many how many neighborhood riots have there been? In different cities, because there's there is no welfare. And when I say welfare, I'm not talking about economic welfare, I'm talking about things that benefit our the quality of our lives living in the city.
Barna: [00:55:54] Yeah, I was looking at basically a neighborhood in inner city Columbus when I was first looking at first buying a house and its Old Town East in Columbus. It used to be the richest part of town, so we're talking mansions with carriage houses for one hundred and sixty thousand dollars, you know, or five six bedroom houses for seventy. And so I was looking down there and went down there with my mom and she's like, this is bad, like, this neighborhood is bad. And she she didn't want to get out of the car. She even know neighborhoods like that existed, basically. And we went there and I, you know, we were talking about it and we looked at a couple of houses and I was like, this is cool, I can fix it up. It'll be great. It'll be like a super nice starter home for not a lot of money. She was like, OK, where are you going to buy your groceries? Oh. Where there isn't a single store in this neighborhood, there's a liquor store and a gas station. So you have very minimal things you don't have,
Lester: [00:57:01] And we call those in in planning, we call those food deserts.
Barna: [00:57:04] Yeah.
Lester: [00:57:05] And so again, these are things where we're learning the lessons of of those areas and saying, OK, well, and whole cities, by the way, can be in a food desert. Especially rural communities, very small rural communities that actually lose their grocery store, whether it was a neighborhood grocery store or a community grocery store. They lose it because of economics. And that that becomes again, a food desert. So these are issues that are being addressed or being thought about or part of an academic exercise. But but they're but they're very real things. I mean, I belong to a group that talks about rural food. And how do we, how do we find the economics that support rural food so that we don't have those deserts? So you can have a desert in the middle of a city as well as an entire community. And so these are and we can find you and I can sit here and talk about 25 different things that are just the same. It doesn't exist, and it needs to exist and how do we help it to exist.
Barna: [00:58:15] You can't buy shoes in Canon City. How is the town of, you know, 18000 people and unless you go to Wal-Mart, you can't buy shoes.
Lester: [00:58:25] And then how is that being filled? Well, for the majority of the folks, it can be filled through Amazon. But that's not that doesn't help the minority of the folks that that can't that that can't shop that way, right?
Barna: [00:58:40] Also doesn't help the local economy. Well, this is this is my my issue with basically consolidation. The end result of capitalism is like five large companies ruling the entire world, including all the political structures. And everybody is basically you're either working for them or they're taking all your money like these are your choices. There's the end result of of unregulated capitalism, and we're in the stages of that where all the small businesses are kind of evaporating. That used to be in communities and they're turning into the one large building on the outskirts or in the center of town that is sucking all the money out of the community.
Lester: [00:59:25] Are we doing? Are we doing that, though? I mean. Yes. I mean, I understand your point. I understand your point. But. Is it one small business being replaced by a different small business? It's not that there are no small businesses because there are startups all over and business incubators all over, and there are small businesses, but they're different than than what you used to. Do you want a small business shoe store? Or do you want small business tech or do you want small business manufacturing? So there so. Are they being? It's a question. I'm not trying to make a point other than I'm saying.
Barna: [01:00:09] We're replacing. My problems were were we're taking what is a need and we're replacing it with a with a want. Our, and this is very obvious to me in in Csongrad back in Hungary. Ok, so what does a human need? You need to be outside, walk fresh air, you need to like there's a lot of basic physical things you need. What do we have now? We want fancy cars. We want a nice car, we want a nice house. We want this, we want that, we want a store I can go to and get all this stuff if I'm replacing my local grocery store, which fills a need with a candle shop. It's not the same thing.
Lester: [01:00:56] I would agree with that.
Barna: [01:00:58] A candle is a want, and yeah, a small business owner can make money selling candles. I don't care. I sell scuba tank racks. Nobody needs that. But people want it. But that that means you're replacing something that is important for your survival. And it was close enough to you that you could walk there, which is better for your physical and mental health as well. And we're replacing that with something that we want and thereby we're hurting ourselves.
Lester: [01:01:28] So the question the question I'm going to ask you then is. Whose fault is that? Is that is that the is that the fault of the culture you're living in. Or is that the fault of the environment you've built. So.
Barna: [01:01:52] That's why you are here. We're looking for the answer from you.
Lester: [01:01:55] Lets circle all the way back around. Well, well, I think it's a little of both. I don't think anything gets built if it's not based in a culture. Because I've got to have some sort of idea about how I want to live. And I and I and it's just not not just me, but the 10000 people standing around me to that all say, well, we want to live this way. So the built environment gets built that way. And so I mean, I can build Seaside, I mean, because I just use that as an example earlier, I can build Seaside. But after that one was built as successful as it may or may not be, I don't know. I don't check on its on its temperature or pulse, so I don't know how successful it's being. But I can certainly tell you that all Florida doesn't look that way. All of Alabama doesn't look that way. All of Louisiana doesn't look that way. So it certainly wasn't big enough that everybody said, well, we need to live that way. So let's go run right out and build it. So the question is, if you build it, will they come? Right. So if I say.
Barna: [01:03:03] But you don't have the freedom to do that, you well, that's that's my issue right now is that.
Lester: [01:03:07] I think you do. I would disagree with that.
Barna: [01:03:10] Without a ton of money.
Lester: [01:03:13] Everything takes a ton of money if you want to build a brand new city. Ok?
Barna: [01:03:19] I'm not saying a brand new city.
Lester: [01:03:21] I am saying a brand new city, OK,
Barna: [01:03:23] I've said that too, it would be great.
Lester: [01:03:23] Because that's because I need to have I need to have a core number of people. In order to make the experiment work, I can't do it with 10 people, I can't do with 100 people, I can't do it with a thousand people. I need 10000 people to live the exact same way in order for me to have an experiment. To say this either works or it doesn't work, and by the way, that'll be a generation or so from now. Where I learn the lessons of that ten thousand or that ten thousand person development. Right. And so that's that's been my that's my point is I I agree with what you're saying. I agree with walkability. I agree with sustainability. I agree with human health. I agree with with all of those things that we strive to do every day. But I don't get the opportunity to develop an entire city. There are lots of people who have done it, lots of very famous designers and planners have done it on paper and said, this is the way we should design a city. Here's all the zones. Here's all the uses. Here's all the people. Here's the here's the the amount of people we need to make it sustainable. Here's the resources we're going to use.
Lester: [01:04:38] We have all of that, but we don't have the money to build it or we have to start and build it over time. And the problem with architecture. And time. Is that it takes a lot of both before you see a result and before you can adequately look at it and say and critique it, I can say I don't like the look of container homes. But if you do a container community today in one generation, give us 20 years. Twenty five years. We're going to look back on it and say, how successful was that container home development? And regardless of aesthetics and what lessons do we learn positive and negative? But it took that long for us to learn anything from it. Otherwise, it is just as pertinent as as the cognitive architecture book that they just wrote, they thought about some things, they quantified the thing and then now we're discussing the thing, which is what that is for that whole exercise is for us to have this discussion and for everybody to have this discussion and to say, OK, what are we going to learn from it and how do we move it forward? I can tell you, well, not definitively, but I can tell you that everybody that researches something is on to the next thought before they've even written the first one.
Lester: [01:06:04] Right. I'm three thoughts ahead of what I can physically get documented and get published so that you can read it, but I'm already down the road.
Barna: [01:06:12] You're working on the next one.
Lester: [01:06:13] And everybody, everybody that researches something or thinks about something critically, whether it's architecture or whether whether it's community, whether it's culture, everybody that does that for a living or at least or even does it as a hobby. There are already two or three steps down the road by the time they're telling you about it, because I've already thought about it and it's led me to another thought, and it's led me to another thought the problem with using architecture as your dipstick. And I'm actually going to. I chose that word, by the way, as you're measuring, measuring tool. The problem with using it is it takes too long. It literally takes too long. That's why if you want to talk about modern architecture versus ancient Egypt, that's OK. Ancient Egypt was a couple thousand years ago. It's pretty well quantified and documented by now. So I can compare it to, you know, where we were the Renaissance. They're far enough apart. I mean, literally, there are still cathedrals being built today that started 400 years ago, and they're not yet complete. La Sagrada Familia in Spain, for example, is not yet complete.
Barna: [01:07:24] I know. I've been there.
Lester: [01:07:25] I mean, yeah, right. It just takes a long time. I don't think it's a I don't think it's a fair measurement. I don't think it's fair for people to say, I don't like container home because because you don't because you haven't had time yet to understand all of the implications of that.
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