Monotonous and unaesthetic architecture and design
Over-conformity in building design Unimaginative housing design
The structure of a building not only determines the appearance and feeling of it, it also influences the behaviour of people within it, their sense of well-being, or their lack of it. Ill-considered architecture and design can aggravate social tensions, depression and boredom. As a financial asset, buildings have to be readily marketable. Funding cannot be easily be obtained from financial institutions for innovative projects because of the increased element of risk. With high land costs and rising interest rates, the developer wants to get construction, especially housing, completed and sold as quickly as possible. The more uncontroversial their appearance, the speedier the planning authorization is obtained. The trend to conformity is also influenced by the conservatism and lack of architectural sophistication of the general public. People like what they are familiar with. Public greed also has a role in that houses are increasingly a commodity to be traded. Judgements on their appearance, efficiency and comfort are secondary to their potential secondhand value. Pride in good design is not a primary concern.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.