Housing Tarot: The Suit of Dingbats

Invented in mid 20th century Southern California, dingbats represent fire, energy, modernity, mobility, and the economy.

Look for the palm trees and the gray concrete sidewalks.

Accessory Dwelling Unit of Dingbats

A brand new modern backyard house comes with a matching doghouse. The fierce intensity of a bright, new idea.

Upright: Innovation in design, Precision, Famous architect.

Reversed: Untested ideas, Inflexible plans, Design errors.

Duplex of Dingbats

Two neighbors share an odd-shaped fence, following an odd subdivided property line. Handle nuance with care. Only ask the questions you want answers to.

Upright: Good fences make good neighbors, Clearly defined relationships, Exchanging meals.

Reversed: Odd boundaries, Pettiness, Food politics.

Triplex of Dingbats

A three-unit dingbat has two homes above and one home and parking below. Be intentional with your energy, preserve it for what is necessary. Get ready to put your gifts out into the world.

Upright: Economic mobility, Second chances, Dogs.

Reversed: Rootlessness, Precarious status, Friends moving away.

Fourplex of Dingbats

A four-unit version of a famous Modernist house. Rest, relaxation, meditation - a necessary retreat

to reset your energy.

Upright: Utopia, Retirement, Summer parties.

Reversed: Obsolete visions, Unemployment, Long hot summers of discontent.

Card artwork inspiration: Villa Savoye, Poissy, France

Fiveplex of Dingbats

Squatters of an abandoned apartment building prepare to fight off an eviction. Confict and destruction before regrowth.

Upright: Class struggle, Fighting back, Squatting.

Reversed: Crime, Disorder, Vandalism.

Sixplex of Dingbats

A flying saucer sits on the roof of a dingbat. Is it part of the decor, or is it real? This card represents success and victory. Who is the winner?

Upright: Space age, Technology, Retrofuturism.

Reversed: Vaporware, The downsides of automation, Uneven progress.

Card artwork inspiration: Dingbat pin by Juliet Eldred

Sevenplex of Dingbats

Often it’s nondescript buildings where - made possible by cheap rents - culture thrives. The courage to speak truth to power and the community needed to provide a security net if it doesn’t work out.

Upright: Adapting spirituality to modernity, Expanding the mind, Intentional communities.

Reversed: Turning back to society, Conspiracy theories, Cults.

Eightplex of Dingbats

A midcentury dingbat gets updated with a new paint job. Take the next step toward what you want. Step into your power and move forward.

Upright: Modernization, Reinvention, Turning the corner.

Reversed: Property flipping, Forgetting the past, Cutting corners.

Nineplex of Dingbats

Built at an angle from the street, is this building following an old railroad or is it rotated to catch a view or the winter sun? You have everything you need within you to walk through the fire into the unknown.

Upright: Low rent, Abundance, Moving in.

Reversed: Mass produced dullness, Waste, Moving out.

Tenplex of Dingbats

On top of this house, a bounce house. Chaos and depravity. Nothing is logical or coherent about this. Synapses firing everywhere.

Upright: Tactical urbanism, Excitement, Safety third.

Reversed: Code violations, Danger, Recklessness.

Mixed Use Building of Dingbats

This dingbat features a political billboard, calling for more homes to be built. Open-minded and excited, in a learning process.

Upright: YIMBY, Immigration, Food trucks.

Reversed: Things being temporary, Leaving home, Intense competition.

Card artwork inspiration: More HOMES Act and California YIMBY

Transit Oriented Development of Dingbats

An old subway car takes a second journey as a clubhouse on the roof of a building over a subway stop. Great ideas that need to work on follow through. Movement and communication toward action.

Upright: Jobs, Things happening quickly, Rapid transit.

Reversed: Struggling to make ends meet, Passage of time, Long commutes.

Card artwork inspiration: BART train car and LA Metro Wilshire Boulevard line

Dormitory of Dingbats

Making the most of a corner site, this dorm sits atop a parking garage. Find a way to get your ideas out into the open with care, creativity, and love.

Upright: Commuter colleges, Convenience, Casual relationships, Parking.

Reversed: A shortage of time, Misunderstandings, Air pollution.

Social Housing of Dingbats

Bread and roses decorate this large modern housing block. The fully realized manifestation of experience and action. The ability to share this wisdom with others.

Upright: Socialism, Efficiency, Bikes.

Reversed: Bureaucracy, Scarcity, Exposure to the elements.