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Get Back In Your Box

Author: Bill Barnett. Category: News Column - Property Report SEA. Posted: 18th Apr 2015

I was recently sitting in a residential design meeting together with an army of master planners, landscape artisans, a project management team and all manner of odds and sods.

We were tasked with creating an Asian entrepreneur's vision for a one-of-a-kind real estate offering.

After a revivalist-style kickoff session, which lacked only Tony Robbins and free-flow Red Bull, the enterprising fellow jumped to his feet, and on the way out of the room, gazed upon the consultants and uttered the tormentingly shallow line, "let's all think outside of the box."

Naturally, after a gracious twenty-second pause to ensure there was no imminent re-entry, everyone around the table burst into fits of laughter, and knowing glances were shared at the expense of the entrepreneur's overused and expired business slang.

But it's almost impossible to trace the foundation of where the term came from or why it even exists.

Creationists would have us believe the big man upstairs invented the earth and human race as we know it in just six days.

Did he get all of this from a box, or was he just working towards the weekend and the promise of a peaceful Sunday? Evolutionists, on the other hand, point to apes as our forefathers, but to my knowledge these creatures much prefer trees and natural habitats to the confinement of a box.

Going back even further to the prehistoric days of cave dwellers, could it be argued that these underground homes were in way box-like? Perhaps it's only linear thinking that has us all believing boxes have four walls and are standard in appearance.

But wait, what about rounded hat boxes, or long eloquent boxes for custom-made guitars, and even those candy heart-shaped glitter traps that only come out around Valentine's Day.

I'm happy to argue with anyone who is mildly interested that boxes have been given an entirely bad rap.

Look, for example, at what a shambles those clunky gift bags have created for Christmas.

The joy of unwrapping Pandora's Magic Box has been relegated to a grab and go, with instant gratification and sheer laziness are again to blame.

What's most concerning is the damage being done to millions of young minds by hip college professors and idealist tech thinkers who are constantly encouraging the youth to get out of the box.

But why? Is it really better to be on the other side, standing naked before an unforgiving, vicious and demented public; a place where you can't even hide from mad, stray mountain lions that'll rip your flesh from the bone before finding the nearest cave in which to sit out the 'me decade'?

Young minds and the future of humankind are being yanked away from the wellness, peace of mind and relative comfort of the box.

Even real estate has been skewed in such a way that form over function has been abandoned and self-imposed style has taken centre stage.

My immediate plans call for a return to the box.

You can all dwell in the darkness of the unknown, but rest assured, I have settled into the box for the duration.

If anybody needs me, open the flap �" I'll be there.

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C9 Hotelworks Founder and Managing Director Bill Barnett is a noted columnist, author and leading authority on travel trend, hotels and property.

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