Rest Assured This Will Not Last

sacro monte precedent
Precedent study of the Sacro Monte di Varese by Sydney Lister.

For this fall’s studio course, I proposed a theme of pilgrimage. Each student, wherever they were throughout the world, would design a pilgrimage path close to their own home, and redesign the vacant spaces and streetscapes along it to make it more welcoming, more hospitable, more correct.

Like I talk about here, disappointment is forbidden in the world of design. Our CVs tell the familiar story of narcissism: that didn’t happen, and even if it did, it wasn’t that bad, and even if it was…

cava do viriato precedent
Precedent study of PROAP's Cava do Viriato project by Alyssa Ingrassia.

So, what is it really like when a project goes on for too long? When a pilgrim proceeds two thirds of the way down the path, but can’t go any further? Add far down the list of pandemic consequences disappointment, the old Five of Cups; we couldn’t get to our destination, out of some combination of over-ambition, exhaustion, distraction, and depression. There has to be some way to persevere working in good faith, to make your way slowly down an icy road; I haven’t found it yet. But it will need to be found, because this condition doesn’t end with 2020, or any vaccine; you don’t need to think in apocalyptic terms to understand that the axis of the world will only continue to tilt. Anyway, we started out with everything sparking, and I’m sharing the best of what my students achieved, which is very good indeed.

appian precedent
Precedent study of the Appian Way by Kerry Leung.

(December 2020)