And though it exists as a respite from the city, the villa ‘‘cannot be understood apart from the city’’ — its meaning derives from what it is not.
"So much out there in the world, and here in my home, is tactilely monotonous. Floors, walls, surfaces—all tyrannies of uniform texture. It turns out that our mental health demands forests, mountains, valleys, flowers, animals, waterfalls, and crashing waves! Be it a rug that’s also a work of art or cheapo, freebie swag, we need to populate our environments. We need a mess, a storm, a cacophony."
Sinclair introduces the notion of ‘eye-swiping’ – scanning the urban landscape for creative material. The term suggests the avaricious sweep of the flâneur’s eye, scooping up material for later transcription.
The flâneur is undirected and motiveless, in that his or her motivation is simply the desire to wander. The flâneur can be said to represent both decadence and impoverishment.
Flâneurs ignore the rush hour; rather than hurrying off somewhere, they hang around. Their very being ‘is a demonstration against the division of labour.’ They demonstrate the resistance of the daydreamer to the rise of industry and commerce.