It was a beautiful day today. Who wants to be in the middle of a (nearly deserted) marketplace? Louis and I decided to head out into Powderhorn Park on a scouting mission. I’ve been thinking about some sort of simple, architectural intervention in the park for some time. For years I’ve imagined some sort of shack, tucked between the trees on the hillside overlooking the lake. But, of course, that sort of undertaking would take maybe more effort than it would be worth, in that it very likely would be knocked down / taken away quite rapidly.

But, why a shack? Why anything? In thinking through what to build and why, I can’t help but go back to my general rules of thumb of publication, whether a book or a shack in a park: What is being said will inform how to say it. All too often I think we start in reverse when we are considering forming a public around desire. We think about the ways we already know to do things. We wrote an long essay, we publish a book. We see injustice, we make some signs and protest outside some civic building. But maybe that’s the exact opposite way to approach things? While, in the end, we may end up at the exact same location, starting at that long ago pronouncement of Josef Alber’s, of form following function, is spot on. The vehicle that moves your ideas around, and populates itself around your ideas, should always be in service, and not driving, the message.

I’ve always been particularly enthralled by the deceptively simple forms from Ken Isaacs How to Build Living Structures book.

Ken Isaacs; Super Chair from How to Build Living Structures (1974, Harmony Books)

In thinking about Isaacs Super Chair I can’t help but consider The Diggers “Frame of Reference” as well. Somehow they seem melded together in time and attention for me; a way of seeing, a place for reflection…

And so, in considering some sort of structure for the park, and if this sort of transparency and lightness were part of it, what would people be reflecting on? What would a structure – with reflection as its intent – serve that the natural space and beauty surrounding it doesn’t already?

Well… lots to consider.