HOW MANY OF YOU recall those vintage Volkswagon ads for their boxy yet functional minivans? Those old ads promoted the concept that a rectangular shape held "the most possible stuff in the least possible space. The VW's floor plan looks like any nice little room except that it has 8 chairs, 21 windows, 5 doors, and a high ceiling."
The VW van carried twice the cargo and passengers as the common station wagon; it was efficient on gas consumption; and cost less to manufacture and buy. The microvan was practical and made sense for an active family. Those creative ads successfully captured America's imagination in the 1960's and sparked new growth in the auto industry that eventually led to the modern SUV.
Boxes come in many sizes and shapes, and can hold anything as demonstrated by the FedEx, Amazon, and UPS delivery trucks that deliver goods to our doorsteps daily. In fact, those delivery trucks are box-shaped too, now that I think about it.
So you can see the logical extension of the box's utilitarian concept to our living space. Recently I've noticed some new homes are constructed like stacked crates, too. While it may be practical for cardboard parcels and stationwagons, it appears strange as a design for a stylish home. Certainly modern construction materials, insulated walls and windows, electric appliances, and vivid colors, etc. -- all make these homes unique.
So could these be a new trend setter? I'll let you be the judge. But I still miss the soft lines, subtle warm colors, and natural materials.
Let's leave boxes for other practical uses...