An architects dilemma

An old lady and her cat were sitting in the warm autumn sun in a small village in the district of Tyumen, in Siberia, Russia. I made a quick sketch of her while we were waiting for our drive back to town.

We had visited a large 20ha terrain near the village, some distance behind her vegetable garden. We had made plans for a large factory there. It is difficult to underestimate the impact it would have had on her life. It would have disturbed the view from her house to the forest and marshes. Trucks and industrial activity would mean an end to the village being so quiet. She would lose the forest and grasslands where she had looked for mushrooms and let her goat graze.

On the other hand, a factory would mean work and money. The village was practically deserted, a lot of dachas and houses abandoned, most people under 50 had left to work in the nearby town. So maybe the village would get a second life.

But this was last year. In the meantime the financial crisis came around. Now for the big question: would she be pleased with the present crisis?


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