Here's (above) a view of Parisian rooftops by the underrated (underrated in the USA, that is) Paris Match and New Yorker cartoonist, Jean-Jacques Sempe. I imagine that Sempe's work has special appeal for architects. In addition to his own great ideas he has a knack for stimulating ideas in others... a valuable man to have around.
Take these Parisian rooftops for example. They're so beautifully caricatured that they stick in your mind. Over time you find yourself wondering why ground architecture is so frequently inferior to what's on roofs and why can't we make better use of rooftops than we have so far?
BTW: what a seat that guy behind the big window has! It's a people watcher's dream.
Notice we're looking down at the diners, as if from a higher level. The diners can push aside the curtains and look out and maybe down at the passersby, and people on the higher level can look down at the diners. Do you get it? In other words, the Peoplewatchers themselves can be peoplewatched. It's an interesting idea.
Here's (above) a Sempe outdoor coffee house. Isn't it great? It takes so little to make people happy. Why, oh why, do we torture ourselves with inferior spaces?
I wish architects would spend more time imagining how cities can be made for fun. Wind, rain, snow and lightning are too often treated as obstacles. Maybe architects and engineers can transform them into opportunities for pleasure. A first step might be for them to read Sempe.