between here and there

Remote Studio: A Program of Artemis Institute

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Artemis Institute Remote Studio


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Remote Studio: Basic Philosophy of the Program

Willow Wall

Before you arrive, I want to give you a little bit of context on this studio. I assume everyone has reviewed Remote Studio on the Artemis Institute web site. If not, you should. You will be better prepared to learn and discuss the more you understand the program. Read some of my essays on the website if you have the time. In brief, the Remote Studio and its format are developed out of ideas for teaching design from previous experiences and my PhD research. The program is an alternative to the abstract-rationalistic and scientific organization of teaching that pervades university programs. The course sequence will be orchestrated through hands-on, first person experiences from which each of you will gain unique and personal knowledge. One of the primary focuses is to help students re-engage with the rest of the world and the intuitive intellect. It is my belief that a good way to proceed is to provide students with inspiring and unknown environments, where their expectations have not been specified with “what to expect” lectures, and pragmatic projects. I also believe that the best way to understand your ideas is not through mock or “virtual” projects, but through hands-on immediate projects that are the intentional result of your imagination and reflections. We will discuss these ideas at length during the semester.

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With these interests in mind I ask you to understand and accept that the studio may not always run smoothly, not only due to the nature of this type of educational model, but because of the context of real life: clients, weather, materials, people, etc. Certain dates will be scheduled such as the trips, but the itinerary for the trips will not be completely delineated. Sometimes the weather does not cooperate and we change the dates of hikes. The small individual project schedule (called vessels) and reading will be fairly well determined, but are always subject to change if we decide they just are not serving us best, or discussions need to be shifted to accommodate clients or weather. If you are some one who requires notification of a complete plan this studio process may put you on edge. From this experience it is possible you will learn something new about yourself. It is important that studio members communicate well with one another, this means good communication with me and anyone assisting you from the Artemis Institute. If we have good communication we will learn the most from one another.

 

If you are reading about Remote Studio for the first time learn more at : artemisinstitute.org


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The Magic Within Us

tetons

tetons

Remote studio starts tomorrow. I take a last summertime drive along the Tetons – a Sunday drive as a matter of fact. The pace is slower through Teton National Park than along the highways, purposefully slower for the wildlife. For our safety. Slower for our souls if we choose to let the pace seep into us. Parked along a Snake River overlook I watch the sun moving westerly across the blue sky. In a few hours the Tetons will be bathed in the pink light of sunset that I have grown to love. The seconds of magic light from day to night. We all have this magic within us if we choose to recognize it. To see the world in another way than we see most days. To gift ourselves the day. To hear the tires on asphalt as a type of music with pause created by the space between cars and the overtone of wind as it moves past ears. Magic music….

I am thinking about magic and the inner vision that the students bring with them when they come to Remote Studio. Their vision, their magic, is manifest in the things they create while here. Mostly we see the magic in the work that comes from their projects for the semester. These explicit creations mark the way they see the world, become the marks of their reality. These things they are asked to share with others, with the community. But for me, it is not only the vessels and the architecture they design and build that brings a smile to my face. It is that they share the magic of their vision in casual ways, little ways, that surprise me.

The Remote Studio “facility” is nothing grand. I can’t even refer to it as quaint. But the students bring magic to the place. And sometimes they even leave marks upon it in case we are a bit lost to find the magic ourselves. There are two written notes left by two different students that make me smile every time I think about them. One is on a utility closet door that springs open when you push it. Taped to the outside of the door are the words: Narnia in here. The other is more recent and serves as our address marker on the road. Written in orange marker on a small wood stake is our street address: 625. Following the numbers is the phrase: somewhere between here and there.

We choose to live by magic. We choose to see beyond the everyday. We choose to hold on to the magic within us. We choose how to live everyday.


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The simplicity of imagination

 

 

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IMG_2307 IMG_2316 IMG_1839 One of the design components for this summer’s Remote Studio was a tree fort. This is one of the coolest forts you can imagine. It is beautiful and fantastical. At the open house the children ran rampant, jumping and screeching as children do. The tree fort and the companion vessel were a hit.

What I have grown to value from these experiences is what impresses these young imaginations most. Not the dynamic architecture. But the simplest of experiences. The opportunity for them to engage with the physicality of the Earth and each other.

The tree fort has a simple pulley system with a bucket at the end of a rope. The children immediately gravitated to the bucket and pulley. Giggles and laughter , dirt and rocks, up and down it went the entire play time.

Joy and laughter for children is found in the abundance of the simplicity of life. We often forget this when considering the needs of children. And we forget this for ourselves. The feel of the rock in our hand before we toss it into the air or across the water, the smell of dirt after a rain. The joy of a full moon on a summer night. Joy and laughter plain and simple. Life.


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Fodder for Fire

whats left over

whats left over

 

The snow has melted in Jackson Hole. Debris from tearing down a structure and building two Remote Studio projects show us that even conscientious builders produce more waste than we would aspire to. Separating out materials again: plywood, larger nominal members, caustic materials, and finally everything that could transform into firewood for heat this fall and winter.

the work

the work

How many times can scraps from one project be re-purposed for a next use? The next use no less graceful than the previous if the material finally finds purpose.

ready for winter

ready for winter