Friday, October 06, 2006

Stone Wall; Retention and Walkway

A early conceptual, click to enlarge
A interesting story behind this conceptual drawing. A drawing that was never finished. A drawing that has become no more than a scrap of paper. A scrap of paper that has become a great reminder.

When 1st challenged to look at this site/drawing I thought this was going to be one of my most difficult and unique challenges. The homeowners had asked me to create a walkway from the back of the house, to the street, that was unique and very artistic.

I immediately thought I would have to use large blocks of sandstone to make this happen and that it would be a challenge to put them together . . . on some type of long graceful curve. The type of curve that would be long, slow, sinewy, sexy. I tend to liken that type of curve to the small of a woman's back; you know, the perfect curve.

The above drawings were probably the 4th or 5th page of drawings, I remember having a difficult time trying to relate what I was seeing on the site to what I was putting on paper. I couldn't get the perspective quite right, close but just not there. I remember this drawing being one of the few times I was close to being frustrated with the flow of my work.

This was a point where I could show the conceptuals, these scraps of paper to the homeowners. I went to see them, and could immediately tell something was really wrong. What was it? The concepts? The stone? The flow of the walk? Wow . . . how could I have missed so badly? How wrong I was.

The couple proceeds to calmly tell me that the wife had relapsed in her cancer treatments and the prognosis was not good. They were telling me this in such a way as to not hurt my feelings about how they were cancelling the project, to take care of more immediate concerns.

They handled everything with such grace, courage, and dignity . . . very powerful moment. An event that was another dynamic reminder to live every day, every project, every moment as best we can.

I keep that scrap of paper as a reminder of how fleeting, how fragile, how unknowing life can be. She died a few months later.


Kati said...

How sad. It reminds me of one the Four Agreements, according to Don Miguel Ruiz: don't take anything personally.

Rick Anderson said...

Okay, I was intrigued so i had to go Google the guy, very interesting.

I think all Designer's should learn this. It's about the client and their site not the Designer and their ego.