Wonder Wednesday

Here’s a wonderful take on the Exquisite Corpse art exercise, done through dance!

I love the wordplay in the title too, taking a twist to the french to return aliveness to the name.  Very cool!

(Exquisite Corpse is a group art piece where one person begins a piece of art, and exposes but a sliver to the next artist who adds to it, who then also covers up most of their work for the next artist to add to it in turn.  Want more?  The Art Assignment has a great video about it that — as you might guess from the name — includes an assignment for you to take on:

Give it a try!)


Philosophy Tuesday

One thing I really enjoy is asking people what they are passionate about.

It’s not a common question, and sometimes it can take a little bit of prodding before they are able to answer.  At other times though, people will launch into exuberant sharing even without being asked, talking for minutes upon minutes before feeling apologetic for having, they fear, rambled on.

But no apology is necessary.  It is a delight to hear.

“Whole-hearted listening is the greatest spiritual gift you can give to the other person.”

“…if we would only listen with the same passion that we feel about wanting to be heard.”

— Harriet Lerner

There is a lot of talk “out there” about speaking strong and letting the world hear you and hear about you.  But there’s always the other side of the equation that isn’t mentioned or considered as often and yet we should and need to think about in at least in equal amounts.  Because for every speaker there has to be at least one listener.  More often it’s a whole group, which means that to really build passion we ought to spend more time listening than speaking.

It isn’t just a matter of speaking with passion – we need to listen with passion.

And it is that space that invites unexpected outpourings of enthusiasm and joy, no prodding needed.

It is a space we can create by listening for the gold and watching as vitality, possibility, and connectedness all blossom.

Architecture Monday

Like petals unfurling, this cancer support centre pinwheels and juts outwards from its central core to create an assembly of sculptural forms.  Nestled between old and new, it creates its own rhythm that befits its special role in the caregiving continuum.

Besides the curvy shapes, it is the manipulation of brick that first catches the eye, with its plays of protrusion, triangular inlays, and segments of strikingly white brick.  The brick also speaks to the original art nouveau-style buildings bordering the site, tying the two together in its playful manner.  The building also sports a couple of leaf-shaped gardens, festooned with equally-leaf-like metal trellises.

Inside, the complex and interlocking geometries continue in the vertical direction as well.  Light filled and with views out towards the surrounding gardens, the vibrant rooms are abuzz.  Rooms and levels interconnect, heightening the sense of support and community.  Grounded with plenty of wood and soft materials, it’s exciting while remaining affirming and without going too far to become flippant.

Splendid work.  A lovely space during difficult times, it sets aside any gloom to provide respite and verve.

The Kálida Sant Pau Centre by Miralles Tagliabue EMBT

Philosophy Tuesday

Einstein is reported to have been very much enamoured with compound interest.  While it is unlikely that he – despite the memes floating around – ever proffered any highly quotable declaration on the subject, compound interest is quite a potent thing.  When the growth of something builds upon its previous growth, which then builds further upon that growth in turn, the results pile on real fast.

So it goes not only in the world of finance and savings accounts but also when it comes to all realms of self-cultivation, and in several ways.  For starters, as we develop our mindfulness and work to create clearings from old (and usually unintended) patterns, views, and straightjacketed ways of being, it becomes easier to do more of the same.  With less crud in the way we move more quickly, discover insights more quickly, and develop ourselves more quickly, further compounding our skills in mindfulness and in the arts of living and being in the world.

Even greater are the specific, measurable, as lived results that, as we create those clearings and unleash our agency, power, freedom, self-expression, and peace of mind, naturally show up in our lives.  All those things that we want build up on themselves, creating a compounding train of ever greater results and ever more of what we want.  And when something goes awry – for that is inevitable – we’ve got both the mental/spiritual clarity as well as a nice foundation upon which to remain mindful and thus able to deal with it with proper equanimity and while never denying our humanity.

And humanity is the pinnacle of this compounding greatness.  For just as easily as we can see how the positives in our lives can and do compound, we can easily recognize, get present to, and be willing to confront that negatives can also do the same.  A bad break here can all to readily lead to further bad breaks and downward spirals.  It may have happened in our lives, it may be happening now, but even more than that, it can happen to any of us.  And with that realization we can forestall our judgement about ourselves and, especially, about others.  When we see people down on their luck or struggling or acting out of sorts, who knows what paths were compounded from years ago?  Who knows their starting place?  Who knows what compounded itself downward?  And the same goes in the other direction too.  A single break or a position of privilege quickly pushes these two realms apart.  Neither our nor any one else’s position on the economic/social/etc ladder is ever a pure reflection of either morality or worthiness.

With this in mind we get to synthesize and compound all of the above, taking agency and working on self-cultivation to build ourselves and our lives (and the lives of those around us) while never losing sight that chance and happenstance is never far away, influencing outcomes and ready to put a thumb on the scale.

When we look at our designs for ourselves and the world and when we look at what we want to create and leave behind, we can ask “what do I want to compound?” and go from there.

Architecture Monday

Something a little different tonight… a nice little canopy over an EV charging centre.

There’s a lot to like here, not the least of which is the repeating star shaped columns that lend a rather elegant flair.  Intended to be modular, these tree-like columns can be arranged and attached in continuing sequences to make larger or smaller shelters.  From there, the canopy itself (continuing with the tree motif) is a playground to create patterns of open areas, letting in light and views and spaces for additional trees to grow, while also supporting a planted roof for additional greenery and green-ness.  Best of all, it’s made of wood and grass and besides being tactile and inviting it is crafted from certified forests and can easily be disassembled for re-purposing or even re-use someplace else in another guise.

Neat and nimble, a utilitarian structure given attention to become a boon and a welcome place, quiet, restful, and clean, to spend a few moments for one’s car to sup on sweet sweet electrons.  Awesome stuff, I’d totally welcome stopping there for a charge on a road trip.  And it has a swing!  A definite in the plus column, and just what we might expect from the firm who was also responsible for this amazing kindergarten

Ultra Fast Charging Stations by COBE

Architecture Monday

Can you see it?

To say this building nestles into the landscape is pretty much an understatement.  Built on a farm and overlooking a conservation park, this lodge hotel of only five rooms presses itself into the adjacent landscape, using its undulating wood roof and low profile to blend into the glacial plains.

Come around to the front side and the building and the wood roof slats pull apart to become a screen, sheltering the generous windows that let the views soar. Equally graceful lattice arcs down from the roof to shelter and delineate a patio of sorts.

Wonderfully whimsical and enticing.  Best of all, despite being a luxury “destination hotel” it never attempts to call attention to itself and dominate the area.  It knows where it sits and celebrates it.  Nicely done.

The Lindis by Architecture Workshop