I am a 30 year old American Not-Quite-Architect* taking a career break to travel in Southern Europe and Northern Africa. I am working my way slowly from Madrid to Istanbul and back to Morrocco over the course of four months. I fully intend to wear out both my camera and my shoes in the endeavor.
How did this blog come about? Well … my interests in architecture and sustainability began simultaneously ten years ago when I traveled through England, India, the Philippines, New Zealand, and Mexico with an amazing traveling study abroad program called IHP. After a childhood in the architectural monotony of suburban America, I was awed by the simplicity and specificity of local design in each community and how the nature of people’s buildings shapes their lives. It was clear to me that good housing is essential to sustainability and that it cannot occur independent of society and environment.
I came home, finished my undergraduate degree in environmental studies and applied to architecture school. I really had no idea what I was getting into; I didn’t know any architects and I didn’t have a very clear idea of what an architect did. Skyscrapers and schools did not cross my mind. When I matriculated, however, it rapidly became clear that the field of architecture is much broader than I had guessed and that most architects do not design small, green residences.
But I haven’t given up. I spent the last five years at work for WholeTrees Architecture, a very small, very green firm which designs timberframe structues from branching roundwood columns and beams. This fall I left in order to renew my international travelers’ credential and am currently wandering the Mediterranean area absorbing the architectural suffusion of three cultures and several millennia. Follow along on my travels with Dwelling Places.
I don’t know exactly what will come next for me but I am committed to the idea that the buildings in which we live have the power to profoundly influence the lives we live in them. I like thinking about the issues which surround good, green design and this is a venue for me to share those ideas. You can also find me at Lost Between the Letters where I’ve been occasionally posting about design and a whole lot more for the last eight years.
*I’ve nearly finished my IDP but haven’t undertaken the licensing exams yet.