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Reflections on Direction and Path

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  • Michael Schilling
    September 4. 2008 Reflections on Direction and Path First of all, I think that our team did a pretty good job given the constraints we faced. There are of
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 4 8:53 AM

      September 4. 2008

      Reflections on Direction and Path


      First of all, I think that our team did a pretty good job given the constraints we faced.  There are of course an infinite number of solutions to this project.  The weakest portion of our project I think was ensuring that each team member grasped and held on to the vision.  We seemed to have consensus, but as is often the case, it can be fleeting if the shared understanding is tenuous. 


      I also think that our documentation (program) was incomplete (I take responsibility for not pushing to include the missing information about our brainstorming process).  We only listed a small portion of the ideas we generated.  Had we articulated them all, and the complete rationale for our final direction, we could have better stayed on track.


      Our final structures I think are elegant and interesting, so we were successful in that.  And I believe that they are partially successful in creating path – I think of them now more as the whitewashed rocks that line a path to the beach instead of anything else, and I do like that [unintended] notion.


      I’ve been thinking a lot about the believe that our final installation 1) relied on the success of other installations and 2) had to wait to be installed until the other projects were complete.  I agree with both points to a certain extent, but in the end, a path, in the built or natural environment, has to use the existing elements.  We created an installation that had the flexibility.  Second, the success (or failure) of the other installations isn’t a concern to me (personally)…  there are still paths to the beach on a foggy day, or you move through a gallery even if you don’t like the artwork…


      The courtyard presents challenges that any site faces.  The most significant for me, personally, is “dead” space.  I think of a house in a yard – there is almost always one side of the house outside that is not used.  Maybe it’s because it’s too small, the light is bad, or there is nothing there to keep you from just passing through.  The courtyard has similar areas.  “Area and Domain” did an excellent job of opening a space that was previously unused.  “Inside/Outside” unfortunately created a new dead space, although unwittingly helped create a “path” for our team, but it’s really quite hidden… 


      From a construction perspective, the hanging, angled “ladder” above the courtyard is graceful and well-crafted.  Given additional time to refine the lengths of each of the wood pieces would make it truly spectacular.  The “room” created by the “inside/outside” team is also really interesting and draws the eye.  It’s weakness is that it avoids “outside” all together.


      Michael Schilling


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