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)