Thursday, May 21, 2009

Day 18 - Michael Meo shares his thoughts...

A student's thoughts, as he helps to build a Pacific Rim Friendship Park in the Philippines:

Construction does not have to be the end of a design process. It can be instead the expansion of the design medium from word, drawing, and model to earth, steel, and cement.

We have not moved from “design to build”, or to “build from design.” Rather, we have started on the next phase of the design process.

In this phase, we give the land a new voice. It speaks to us in ways that it could not have spoken to us in our pen and paper explorations. Our ideas and plans have been pressed into the land and our experience of that that union of earth and idea then begins to pull, twist, and inspire a new growth of our original plans.

Those minute transformations, many of which cannot be felt in graphite or ink, are what help to ground and propel the park we are building. The very language of the term “design build” seems very appropriate for what we have all been experiencing.

No precedence is given to either process. Nor is there a division of the two words.

***Michael Meo is pursuing a self-designed degree that combines architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning with a focus on social and environmental suistainability and the socialization of public spaces at Hampshire College in Massachusetts.

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