A Question That Is Not A Question

‘Do you like my home?’ is not even a question.

One of my business partner show me around his resort house in Phuket one day. The house was fashioned in a modern-contemporary language, situated on a hill and look out into a serene ocean and mountain that embraced Patong Beach. It is definitely a very luxury house with 7 bedrooms, swimming pool with the ocean view, gym, SPA and everything else that you may think of, as for a luxury residence. Once he walked me though every single corner of the house delightfully, he was then asking the question.

‘As you are one of the top architect in Thailand, you have to tell me if you like my house or not?’

It will be much simpler for me to leave him with a sweet lie. But I choose to reply to that question, philosophically.

I replied that his question was not even a question. Asking someone that they like your home or not is equal to asking them if they like you as a person or not. My explanation is that a house is a different kind of architecture with a strong ‘notion of body’ of the owner. A house creating a direct extension of owner’s body, as if it were his or her own body. The judgment on the house aesthetically is similar to a justification on a person appearance whether or not they are handsome or beautiful, good or bad. It will simply end in a gentrification of beautifulness or a universal aesthetic, of which I do not believe in, on person nor architecture.

I will design a house as myself and the owner were both the context of the possibility. This gentleman’s house was design within the domain of his context, solely. So I have never been a contextual to this possibility. Making my judgment ‘like or dislike’ to this house will then be a comment outside the context of what exists. Like you would ask how good the fish shall fly. It was not even a real a question in the first place.

But the real question is why the question was asked in the first place?

As it has never been an authentic question, it is very difficult to give an authentic answer. Only answer he always wanted to here was that I like his house and that answer will endorse his confidence. Man need of what they lack. And that is natural.

Choose to answer without answering was then my tactical solution. ‘He try to act as if he smart’, he said. I reply that in fact I am really smart. And that lessen the realistically of the fact that all my response was real.

So we could all excuse ourselves to another conversation.

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