“Pastel Houses” appreciates the beauty of residential architecture traditions while remaining mindful of that necessity

Pastel Houses

Art zine, Martina Doom, 26 pgs, martinadoom.wordpress.com

Pastel Houses is a colourful art zine that illustrates different types of architecture from across the world, and it does so with healthy amounts of accompanying context.

The zine begins with an average, yet tately, colonial cottage. It’s the type that’s been romanticized to death in all your favourite books and movies. Flip a few pages and you’ll find a storefront with an attached apartment, all inspired by a love of Japanese architecture and Studio Ghibli films. I have no idea how accurate a representation this might be, but it’s a vision that Doom describes as “idyllic, simple and cozy,” while also noting that “not everyone can live in a traditional detached home.” Flip a few more pages, and you’ll find a Cambodian floating home. To the left, there’s a brief description of the historical moments and social issues that led to the development of these floating communities. Doom writes, “The sheer resilience, perseverance and hope of these people is so beautiful and inspiring. They found a way to survive, as well as reclaim their identities and right to safe lands.” Keep flipping.There’s a Croatian-style home, a tiny home, a mobile home, and more.

It’s easy to get sucked into consumerist daydreaming when it comes to thinking about houses. Buy as big as you can. You’ll grow into it. Buy new. You’ll work it in. The clichés almost recite themselves. This daydreaming often distracts us from the base necessity behind housing: shelter. Pastel Houses attempts to appreciate the beauty of residential architecture traditions while remaining mindful of that necessity, and of the various social attitudes attached to housing. Doom writes in the preface: “Pastel Houses may have been born out of my love for architecture, but by illustrating different types of homes, I hope to remove the veil that we so often hide behind.”

This is a pretty loaded mission statement. It’s probably a bit too much to expect from a zine, but Pastel Houses is working in the right direction. At the end of the day, it’s a nice mix of well-crafted drawings and mindful messages. Check it out.