McMansions used to be one supersize symbol of the American dream, but these days many of our country’s most celebrated businesspeople see success more diminutively: in the form of a cabin. Preferably one on the smaller side, made of recycled wood, as technology-free as possible. Ironically, many of the cabin’s great champions are tech giants.
One such champion is Zach Klein, co-founder of Vimeo, whose Cabin Porn Tumblr blog garnered enough followers to warrant a book of the same name, one The New York Times has been musing over.
“The cabin and the shack are ideal launchpads for remarkable lives but lately they’ve become homes to aspire to—particularly for overburdened types whose acquisitive binging has made them want to purge,” the Times noted.
Think of these simple spaces as an architectural panacea. “Driven mad by status anxiety? Addled by technology? Bankrupted by consumerism? Then shrink your footprint. Go minimalist. Get free,” the Times said.
Sounds like trading one status symbol for another: moving from the image of wealth and grandiosity with the large McMansion to an interest in getting away from it all. Of course, the small cabin is simply another luxury for the wealthy who can escape to it when they please and then return to their other expensive housing. Instead of spending money to show that one can afford the wasteful use (conspicuous consumption), now it is more desirable to forgo the luxuries of a house for a short time to show that one can. And we could ask: what kind of world do we live in where people have to regularly spend large amounts of money to escape from their everyday lives?