A Shelter for Daydreams

After reading Michael Pollan's A Place of My Own, I thought it fitting to investigate some of his sources of resource and inspiration referenced in the design of his shelter. Mr. Pollen's architect Charlie, gave him the book Tiny Houses, by Lester Walker, published in 1987. I picked up a copy at the library to take a peek. As Michael Pollen points out, this building can take on a variety of shapes, but all are an exercise in efficiency. I love the clarity of presentation of this book. Hand drawn plans and isometrics of these simple structures, convey not only the efficiency, but also the spirit of these special spaces. The author shares with us historic shelters such as Henry Thoreau's Cabin. Michael Pollen references this project in detail, as a source of inspiration in the design of his own hand built place.

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A Place Of My Own.

A Place of My Own,The Architecture of Daydreams, is an insightful book by author Michael Pollen. I am familiar with his well known publications The Omnivores Dilemma, In Defense Of Food, Food Rules, The Botany of Desire and Second Nature. His first book, A Place Of My Own, has recently been rereleased. I enjoyed this compelling story of process about the design and construction of a one room structure on his rural Connecticut property. This place was imagined for reading, writing and daydreaming, and was to be built with his own “two unhandy hands”. Being a writer and researcher, he shares his self directed education as he engages in the study of Architectural history, design theory, literature and philosophy, "from Vitrivius to Thoreau, from the Chinese masters of feng shui to the revolutionary Frank Lloyd Wright, Pollan brilliantly chronicles a realm of blueprints, joints and trusses as he peers into the ephemeral nature of “houseness” itself." He investigates the patterns of behavior that shape our environments and becomes an active participant in the design of this Imagined place with his Architect, Charlie. I especially enjoyed this aspect of the book; the element of discovery present as we travel with him on the path of his process. There is a very real awakening to the experience of a place and his defined priorities and program. "…I began to see that the real subject of these pictures was not architectural ideas or styles so much as architectural experiences. Each picture evoked what a particular kind of place or space felt like, they were poetic that way, and it was the sensual nature of each experience, more than any purely visulal or aesthetic details, that Charlie meant to call my attention to".  He comes to realize he will not only shape this environment, but it will shape him as well.

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