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Edition 6: A Window: Broken, Repaired or Not

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Page 7 of 301

EDITORIAL L incoln studied by candlelight on an earthen floor in a log cabin, lucky to have a window; broken, repaired or not. Achievement and great moral fortitude may, when nurtured, emerge from the most modest, even humble quarters. Not all of us have the rectitude of Lincoln. Social scientist James Q. Wilson's contention that so much as a broken window pane, unrepaired in a neighborhood, may eventually lead to decay, undermining the fabric of community, is a pertinent, substantially accurate and cautionary point. Often when my room turns slightly messy, full disorder sees opportunity and happily follows. Over the years a more contained, segmented if you will, disorder has contributed both to stimulating and sustaining creativity, as well as contributing to a sense of cozy place. Excommunicating the timeworn, antique and familiar is not what concerned Wilson. The stuff that sustains democratic civil societies did, and through the late thinker's writings will continue to do so in perpetuity. As society seems to be turning to shopping malls, pro sports stadiums, leisure complexes and computer screens, one hopes that neighborhoods of all kinds will not suffer increased neglect. Too often, the former embodies the brutal and thus the latter bears the consequences. The design community must join committees and organizations that foster sustaining a beautiful and well maintained urban, suburban or rural environment. This concern is as important to the citizens of Shanghai as it is to those in Milwaukee. Brutal environments lead to brutalized populations. HYLAND

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