Betsky Reflection –– Joy N.

To Betsky, the buildings and architecture are the “environment,” or more so his environment, as opposed to nature being Nescio’s. According to him, design and buildings are inherent parts of our humanity. Referencing the “polder model,” he says that to not reclaim land and build would be a “human ingenuity.” “First, it [the Netherlands] created itself physically, fighting back the sea and the rivers to make land” (12). Betsky speaks as if we, or our human abilities, are opponents to nature.

I think what’s interesting between Betsky and Nescio’s view, beneath the surface differences of their preference for manmade versus non-manmade/natural environments, is their view of overall human purpose. Nescio’s perspective is much more spiritual: he mentions God, finds peace in nature, and despises the vanity and superficiality of adulthood. Along with that, the parts of adulthood he loathes seem to be rooted in the structural, corporate laws of being an adult––much of which, take place inside buildings. Therefore, Nescio yearns for the past and admires nature and, I suppose, nature’s freedom. Whereas Betsky does not consider God, but sees humanity as a sort of god. This view is supported by his Dutch culture and cultural history. To Betsky, we have the human autonomy and necessity to create. So where creation to Nescio is God’s creation (nature), creation to Betsky is man’s creation (buildings/architecture). Both authors see beauty in each of their ideal “creations.”

I chose this photo of row houses in Georgetown, since I’ve always thought Georgetown’s architecture looks European; meaning that it’s quant and different from the rest of D.C. I think this is due to Georgetown’s own historical background, and that it hasn’t been totally revamped to fit a modern architectural style. The row houses are each individual––in height, color, or even material sometimes––yet adhere to a certain level of consistency since they’re adjoined, like in Amsterdam. This is similar to Vermeer’s painting View of Delft, that Betsky references, along with the more historic old row houses in the Netherlands.

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