Something really very strange is going on in an area of Columbia. A city ordinance is requiring all outdoor furniture from chairs to sunshades to be the same on each building. Limits are being placed on every piece. So why is this happening? What does it mean for design in the area? We’ll be going over that for you as well as a little history lesson on when this has happened in the past as well. While not something completely uncommon it always causes problems.
For the moment it only applies to certain areas of the city but will spread throughout all of Cartagena. It’s being put forth behind the idea of beautifying certain areas of the city which have lagged behind in the past. Whether this will actually make a difference is quite unclear. It’s a copy of a similar plan that went through in the Plaza Flores of Murcia. Now everything looks pretty much the same in this area.
Fortunately ordinances like these are not standard anywhere in the world. They come up here and there but are most often the result of some agreement between a politician and manufacturer. It’s usually revealed later much to the frustration and anger of those who have been victimized by this. While this isn’t always the case it usually is and therefore many problems like this arise when corruption is a factor of government.
Of course all of this is just an educated guess from the other times in which we have seen this happen. However these ordinances almost never come across simply due to city beautification. Laws on trash and overall upkeep of buildings serve that. So although corruption may not be a part of this there is something else going on making life much harder for outdoor furniture designers in the area. Other areas have nothing like this.
It’s quite a problem because Brazil has long been known for their outdoor furniture. Having an amazing selection of wood is one big reason for this. They have some of the most physically impressive and resilient cuts of wood in the entire world due to nearby jungles. Many different people import pieces from famous designers to improve their own homes. It also allowed many different business owners to have an amazing look for tourists as well.
The final result if this goes on of this will obviously be Outdoor Furniture that looks the same all over the area. It will also mean a large amount of money for the company this is all bought from. It can really make or break someone’s fortune in this case as well. So there are many people who have a clear vested interest in making sure the situation is resolved in one direction or another here.
We believe that in time this restriction will be overturned when the entire story comes to light. What do you do if you have a similar ordnance? You should do whatever you can to fight against it. Designers and artists cannot flourish in such an environment.