Finding Inspiration

This post picks up on an idea I wrote on last semester, and I expect to elaborate on at a later date as well.

Directions for the above “Can of Inspiration”: Add 1% invisible inspiration to 99% perspiration for the original, Thomas Edison inspired formula – and get the job done!  Once opened, content will infuse the local atmosphere.  Caution required in confined spaces to avoid over-stimulation.  Invisible inspiration from the Department of Doing is the finest you can buy and limited production.  Use sparingly.”

On Friday the studio met in the library of the CAC.C and held a charrette to kick off the semester’s designing.  I have always found this to be a productive way to get the creative juices flowing and give all the students some traction to begin their individual designs.  First we began by listing several important aspects to take into consideration while flushing out the designs.  Next we studied the semester’s schedule and made a calendar with several milestones to meet along the way to insure the completion date is met.

After a short break we reconvened and the students around the table took turns sharing thoughts and images that that they found inspirational for the project at hand.  It was asked that everyone search in diverse areas for ideas both big and small, preferably outside the world of architecture.  I have to admit I was disappointed with the efforts of the students in this part of the charrette at the time.  Looking back now, a couple of days later, I realize that what I am asking the students to do may be confusing for them now, and I need to give them some time to catch on to the idea.

I wish inspiration was easily found, with instructions and packaged in an non-perishable can, but the problem is that inspiration can’t just come from the usual sources (in our case) within the discipline of architecture, but must come from areas just outside the focus of architecture.  I would argue that the most fresh and innovative ideas in any design field are often inspired from outside sources.  Especially with the unique task we have before us this semester, where projects of precedent are non-existent, it is critical we recognize the opportunity to learn from things we might not have been looking for in the first place.


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