Entry #2

Thursday February, 13

During my snow day, I looked more into the resources I collected from Professor Drake. I read some of Maya Lin’s work and her goals. She guarantees that the viewer  becomes aware of his, or her, surroundings.  According to her, she “creates places in which to think, without trying to dictate what to think.”. I also looked into more of the minimalist works to get a better understanding. All of this  has some value to them, but I seem to get lost in all of it. So I sat on the couch contemplating “What are my goals with this project?” and “What am I trying to say?” The major theme is re-wilding our relationship with nature, or at least have a better relationship.

Afterwards, I drew blanks until the idea came  to me; “maybe if I start by being outside, then maybe I can get clearer ideas.” So I sat outside and looked at the snow fall throughout the neighborhood and wrote down my goals. In my notebook, I started with the extremely vague theme of Man’s relationship with nature. Then I wrote down the subthemes I wanted to relate. They are the following:

  • Human Arrogance
  • Apathy and Empathy
  • Humility/Modest
  • Modest & Modern

Human Arrogance

Earlier in the semester, I spoke to my mentors and one of theirs concerns was that my thesis seemed flawed. My thesis suggested we need to allow nature to come into our space and give back to us what it had to provide, such as food and some shelter. With this idea, I looked into minimalist architecture that could be used to support vegetation, but can also be the outer shell of existing architecture in urban spaces. I also revisited the stacked plated buildings as well, suggesting the notion that our cities should have buildings dedicated to plant life, like in the project in Milan. Intellectually, the work itself was interesting, to let plant life live in a building of its own, but the reason for it seems off. The truth of the matter is that nature has power over us, and regardless of how we treat it, it can still last longer than us. The extinction of the dinosaurs, and nature’s survival is living proof of that. So, I had to re-think my direction. At a show that recently opened up at Greenhill, I met Mark Iwinski, an artist based in Western North Carolina, and April Flanders. Iwinski made an interesting comment while we were at dinner. I told him about the project, and he replied, more or less in the following words, “Here is the problem is knowledge. As you learn and collect more knowledge, there is this assumed responsibility that you must do something with it. The other issue is when you make decisions based off the knowledge you have. If others do not have the same knowledge, your decisions could be misunderstood. People can also react negatively based off that misunderstanding.” After speaking with him, I had an idea. Through multiple forms of media and stories, such as the remake of Clash of the Titans; The day the earth stood still; A.I. Artificial Intelligence; and so on, there is this theme of “power struggle”. Whether it is a struggle between man and their creation, with nature, or with God/the gods, the overall message of those stories seem to revolve around the idea “There are things ‘out there’ that are still greater than man” and I find it important, as we progress; in technology; culture; physically; mentally; Spiritually; etc, that we still show some respect to the forces that once humbled us in some way. For this project, it makes sense for us to give back to nature. Instead of viewing Nature as just a resource, it is better to view it as the “host” of this planet that is letting us stay for a while, and by destroying so much wildlife, we are messing up the furniture, the walls and anything else in its house.

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