Presenting the E-Window®

image courtesy proskypanels.com

Are windows really necessary in buildings? Is an LED panel that simulates a window an acceptable substitute? Some seem to think so, and they just might be on to something big. Come to think of it, there are many advantages to electronic windows over real ones. For example, they can be adjusted so it appears to be sunny outside when it’s really overcast and yucky, cheering up your day. It can even turn night into day, eliminating darkness from our lives. And if it’s a view you want a window for, the e-window can provide them all, whether of a city, a mountain, outer space, or under water. The e-window even comes with artificial intelligence so it knows what view will make you feel good; not unlike the way my Microsoft Windows always starts up with a beautiful photo of rugged mountains every time I turn on my computer. MS Windows sure is smart: it knows I would rather be hiking or skiing than sitting in my office. And if you’re one of those people who like to open a window to let in fresh air, the e-window even comes with an air conditioning unit in-behind that can simulate a breezy draught in your room. It even performs better than a traditional window, providing air that’s not too cold or not too hot, as well as not too polluted. What’s there not to like?

E-windows are a saviour for real estate developers, moreover, and that can only be good news. One of the challenges of maximizing the net-to-gross ratio of a residential building’s floorplate is the ridiculous legal requirement for all bedrooms and living rooms to have their own operable windows, which means every dwelling unit must have at least one exterior wall. This prevents mass-housing from becoming truly massive, and therefore affordable en masse. You know what really causes gentrification? I’ll tell you: the building code. But thanks to the disruptiveness of the e-window, now dwellings can be completely landlocked deep inside XXXL monster-buildings. Hey, fat is where it’s at. And think of the acoustic advantages: no more being awakened by the noise of police sirens racing to suppress an insurrection or ambulances rushing climate-change heat stroke victims (losers!) to the hospital.

Real windows will of course continue to exist, in case you’re worried that our cities might become filled with soulless buildings (as they say, “the window is the eye to the soul”), but alas only for those who can afford them. The exterior and fenestrated surfaces of an XXXL building will naturally become the most highly-sought real estate. This will greatly improve streetscapes, since those noise-emitting and unsightly windows of poor people (losers!) will now be entirely out of public sight and sound. Poverty will literally be ‘put away’; brushed under the luxury ‘carpet housing‘ occupying the XXXL rooftop.

Do we have to worry about the mental health of those who live without any visual, aural, or olfactory contact whatsoever with the real world and whatever is left of nature? No, of course not. Lots of people stare at computer screens uninterruptedly all day, and many of those people have become rich and successful. Traditional, old-fashioned windows are a completely superfluous architectural element that only old-fashioned building codes and out-of-touch architects seem to still defend. Let the market decide. The market is today’s shining light, after all.

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