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It is hard to come to terms with the fact that the reality of my work is embedded so deeply in the dialectical relationships between the self and the built world. It is often an aspect of ‘work’ and ‘tasks’ grossly overlooked that the creation of a building is offered as a medium which the pastoral and the sublime call forth our desires, fears, hopes-everything external serving to evoke what lurks inside each of us. Within this context, building has been used to serve many purposes- political and aesthetic hierarchies, cultural and economic possession- but what about design as inquiry? Can it be a navigational tool – a vehicle for understanding what lies beneath our inheritance as an individual?

Even a mundane and uninspired project holds deep roots as a rough coordinative frame to investigate “Place” as the privations and memories of the finished result stand as an object and a way of looking, an essential part of determining someone’s experience. Within this context of Place, buildings are an idea and an experience in which I am creatively involved-where important issues of identity, familiarity and orientation are inseparable. I cannot help but grapple with the deeper implications of the lines my pencil meets on this trace. I cannot overlook the place this set of sketched up line work will evolve into. This process is critical in getting the sense of time intended for each piece, for the imaging of the residuals in the who and how of use.

These fragments and glimpses begin to disclose a metaphorical vocabulary of possession, my map to an incomplete understanding of the place recalled and refigured. My work can only offer the incomplete as the finished result – using abstraction as a kind of negative, involving a sense of compromise, withdrawal, and the deprivation of what is intended and ideal and what becomes reality. The representation of design is always the idea as well as the captured essence. The conceptual-general, particular, ideal-challenges me to think about the nature of experience and the chipping away at the intention in favor of the implications of what will become an inhabited space.

I grapple with the liveability. I grapple with projecting onto paper and eventually into space how someone else will live and use the place. I grapple with aspects of this evolving design that would bother me nearly every day as I use this building. I grapple with things I want to change but fail to find a better solution within the constraints of reality and perimeters of this development. I grapple with making compromises simply to make the space work when it feels less than ideal.

These simple sketches show my mind working and reworking what on the surface is a simple four-unit cottage project. If only the eraser marks and reworked layers of trace truly revealed the implications of their purpose.

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