Future Landscapes


I have glorious thoughts, I do,

but they dissolve when combined with internet these days.


Well it's true!


Some days I'll just be reading and suddenly burst out 'I want a hamburger phone!' and it's all very brilliant, and plans are made, and hamburger phones are discussed, and, then it all ends in a boring sentence like this.


But I was reading a book, and for the first time in blogging history I am going to quote from it because it is... I don't know. Encouraging? Relevant? Inspiring? Depressing?


It expresses the feeling I have sometimes about where life is going after graduation. Particularly the bit about being glandy.


"What are you going to do with your life?" In one way or another it seemed that people had been asking her this forever; teachers, her parents, friends at three in the morning, but the question had never seemed this pressing and still she was no nearer an answer. The future rose up ahead of her, a succession of empty days, each more daunting and unknowable than the one before her. How would she ever fill them all?


...'Live each day as if it's your last', that was the conventional advice, but really, who had the energy for that? What if it rained or you felt a bit glandy? It just wasn't practical. Better by far to simply try and be good and courageous and bold and to make a difference. Not change the world exactly, but the bit around you. Go out there with your passion and your electric typewriter and work hard at... something. Change lives through art maybe. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved, if you ever get the chance.


-One Day, David Nicholls


Well I do have direction, I know what profession I would like to work in. Or at least what profession I am educated for. More and more I find the direction of my interests swerving into other disciplines. 'What about designing SYSTEMS, hm, that's really something that can make a difference!' ...my mind sometimes wanders... I get interested in things that have nothing (conventionally) to do with 'architecture'. Like swales and water flow and littoral zones and the effect of Swan poop on nutrients in freshwater.


Should I be in science? Should I be in engineering? Should I be in landscape design or urban planning rather? No, no. I feel that all the things I've studied have helped me and that had I studied engineering, science, or landscape/urbanism, I wouldn't have the same perspective I do now on.... whatever it is that I do.


How very masters-degree-ish! I don't even want to call myself an architect, or what I do 'architecture.' Not because I feel unqualified, but because I think it's not descriptive enough. Or too descriptive actually--it gives people the wrong impression.


'What do you do?'

'I'm an architect.'

'Oh, neat, so what do you think about [x new building] in [X Location]? It's a feat of architectural wonder!'

*cough* 'erm, I'll just... yep' *sidles away*


I don't know how poncy this sounds, but buildings obviously matter to me, just not in the way they used to. I don't see opera houses and museums and that sort of thing as the epitome of architecture anymore. I am fascinated by the things that people connect to every day in the city. Infrastructure, parks, casual urban spaces, suburbs, bus stops... parking lots... you know. The boring things?


Well this is all coming out strangely, so hm.


I guess I feel that while landmark architecture is important, people feel more connected to cities that have really good 'other stuff'. For example, if you lived in Paris and someone asked you why you liked living there, you probably wouldn't say 'Because of the Eiffel Tower! And the Louvre! And x other monumental and important buildings!' It's likely you would say something like... 'the style of life, the parks, the public transit, the scenic streets, small cafes and shops, etc.'

So there, I think architecture is more about 'the style of life' and how cities accomodate this, and it's not so much about making a really awesome facade on a new library, [though it is cool to have these things...] because those aren't really the anchor points of our connection to the city.

Okay, I'm done now!