I recently returned from a presentation by a countertop manufacturer for continuing education credit. He discussed how solid surfaces can now look like marble or granite for much cheaper prices. He spoke about benefits of seamless transitions, easier repairs and installation, etc. Someone even asked if this solid surface material could be made to resemble wood. He said the technology was coming.
This got me thinking.......is artificiality OK in architecture or our world in general for that matter? We now have artificial turf and plants, vinyl siding resembling wood clapboard, concrete roof tiles resembling wood shake, vinyl flooring resembling wood plank, plastic laminates resembling about any material you want, etc., etc. We have new buildings that look old and older people that look younger. Brunettes are blond and grey hair is never to be seen. By the way, most of what we eat and drink is artificial. It raises the question if this should be acceptable? Doesn't it just FEEL like somehow or other this is going to come back and bite us?
Of course there are pros and cons to everything. The artificial products briefly mentioned above do have some big positives -- lower financial cost and maintenance, less depletion of certain resources, greater durability and lifespan, etc. But what will be the catch? There is ALWAYS a catch! Could we be poisoning our bodies and increasing certain disease risks with artificial foods or from product off-gassing? Are we building a world where PERCEPTION of truth is replacing truth? What would be wrong with a world where very little is as it seems? It feels like a philisophical question -- one that I've not heard posed, until now. I haven't formulated my own definitive opinion yet, other than it just FEELS like we are headed in a dangerous direction.