The discipline itself calls for redesign: a watchful eye for footprint, a care for crafting, a concern for the culling of resources, the ethical provision of dignified shelter for those in need of architects in their corners.
A stay at the Rural Studio, in addition to other experiences, has transformed a cinematic interest in space and one’s moving through it into an architecture of greater social responsibility, while fostering the master-builder role—beauty, physicality, ethic.
As a bean sprout growing up in Bakersfield, California, I would ride my bike through dirt fields, burrs compromising the pneumatics, spending summer afternoons in resting residential construction sites. The idea of suburban sprawl, from which Bakersfield suffered and suffers greatly, was unbeknownst to me. I do remember thinking these studded shells were worlds away from recognizable homes, before the stucco: serving as new burial grounds for found objects, retreat from the sun, a chance to walk through walls, my first encounter with Pink Panther insulation. This was the beginning of seeing a kind of making, bigger than would fit in the hands, that moved slowly, incrementally, lived for a while in its undone state.
This was the behind the scenes footage, the making of, the first time-lapse movie of how a house is made.
And I was mesmerized.
(Bakersfield: 1939 Dorothy Lange & 1953 Loomis Dean)