“Doors create an illusion of safety, a world of privacy. They are silent guardians of our physical world. I always wonder about the stories they could tell us if we only understood their language.”
~ Maria Lehtman
I am never in too much of a hurry to stop to capture an image of a beautiful door – or a rustic, old worn out gateway. I imagine the people who for decades and centuries have passed below the various archways. The lives filled with emotions and tumbles of life.
What could the doors, our silent guardians, tell us about the people who passed them each day. Do we realize that a door is as much a symbol as an actual physical barrier?
Taking a peek behind the veil of security.
Doors have had a significant purpose in preventing fires from spreading, closing out the noise and unwanted guests, human or animal. They have helped to ventilate spaces, to bring in light, to control the physical atmosphere. The oldest doors have been discovered as long as 5’000 years ago. For a discovery so old, it is remarkable how little innovation has progressed for doorways in normal housing. The smart buildings and industrial uses are giving doors new functionality, yet the original purpose remains.
What fascinates me the most is that doors have had such high symbolic value for the houses and their owners. The grander the door, the more it has called for aw and respect. When I see a wonderfully carved, old door I yearn to have a peek inside – through imagination if nothing else. A door is a symbol of status, history – a calling card.
With the arsenal, today’s industry has for the uses of war, espionage, and access through digital technologies it is amazing that doors still remain a safety barrier between the inside and the outside world.
Doors of the future – real or symbolic?
When we consider housing in general, we quite quickly notice that even with the most secure door you are still left with multiple windows – much easier to break through. And when we consider our digital economy we soon realize that a lot of the security is about people rather than material possessions.
Digital doors and windows are filled with loopholes. Our ‘homes’ are already online: banking, shopping, private lives, histories, legacies, creative work, patents, identities etc.
Our houses have moved to the multidimensional digital universe with endless amounts of doors and windows with more or less effective firewalls. Many have come to realize the that these are symbolic in nature – vulnerabilities exist everywhere.
An electronic home and identity are easier to break into than an actual building and typically hold valuables that are transferrable faster with less effort.
Where are the protecting doors combining architecture with external threats and cybercrime?
The fragile sense of security.
Whether we consider physical or digital doors and access – both are in need of major upgrades. Very little is done today to combine home and identity security. The common nominator is the person behind the door – we need to protect ourselves.
I am always amazed how the most basic requirements receive the least attention from innovative development. To give a simple example: electromagnetic pulses (EMP) and similar rays arrive on earth every year – our sun, or space in general, does not abide by normal weather predictions. If a strong solar flare can impact e.g. satellites circling the earth, we understand how much more harm a targeted EMP missile can do to electric devices in buildings.
I wonder, does anyone consider how it would impact the health of the people inside? We are not immune to electromagnetic radiation. The recent solar storms caused a number of people to suffer from e.g. sudden unexplained nausea, headaches, ‘brain fog’ and dizziness.
Our world is very different from the world when the first doors were created. We still need them for their traditional uses, but we also need a lot more development for the design and function of doors and houses in general: material and immaterial. Taking a peek behind the veil of security today makes you want to cross your fingers and hope for the best. I root for the designers who are out there thinking about the security of people, smart housing, and smart identity.
“She knocked and waited, because when the door was opened from within, it had the potential to lead someplace quite different.”