Wednesday 1.6.10

The Conference of the Birds - Photos by Sean Airhart/NBBJ Seattle

I took a sack of sunflower seeds, an ink stick, some white paper and 4 brushes to the roof deck. I wanted to invoke the birds. I filled the wooden cover of my sumi-e set with the seeds and stood back. With very little prompting, they came. White and black birds, some with long beaks, some with hunched backs, some were tiny, some were slow moving. There were 30 or more in the flock, flitting about the bamboo, on the ground, among the slivers, discovering slow winter bugs.

Workplace Design: Strategies within Business Organizations

At noon, I attended a continuing education presentation offered by Arnold Craig Levin, who’s defending his MBA thesis. Pizza and salad were served and meant to be consumed during the presentation. I wonder if in Europe, where Arnold is taking his degree, it is standard procedure to mix food with business in this way?

I listened closely and heard Mr. Levin say if design and strategy are not linked, the intended result will not come. I wonder then, what are the limits to what a design structure/space can do, all by itself? Nothing? I imagine a grotto when I see the depressed, circular lawn in front of the Seattle Courthouse. All by itself, this space does something, I think, but what? What does it truly do without our shared history, myth and language? Perhaps it does nothing. Only put a person in it and they will give it story, story based on story, based on story... that will sprout new meaning but hark, hark back to something.

Rowing Home

An occasional reckoning, a backward glance—To port! To starboard! Watch ouT!—closer and farther from our supposed destination. With swervy allowance, we go. It’s easy to see your flaws when you’re looking backwards. Where have I gone? Is it where I thought I’d go? Does it matter? O, how filled with direction I was this morning. How focused. How seldom I considered the dangers of my single-minded going. The goal! The goal! How, in this model, does one learn to trust? How does one mistake their way to new destinations?

I am rowing, that means working backwards on the water. It is dark when I cast off. I come into a rhythm. I learn to trust the way is clear. The wind ruffles the dark water. I look to starboard and see I am on a carnival ride. A swarm of clouds plays on the water. I'm on a condensed and curdling Milky Way. I look ahead, which is really behind, and see I’m not going anywhere. It’s all a joke. I’m stuck. And this work I’m so seriously pursing is nothing. Hah! A muscle in my left hip plucks itself.

No comments: